the wonderful world of veena.

17 September 2014

36 of 52: new york, new york, what a wonderful town.

Traveling is always good for the soul, and any travel that includes family, friends, and friends that are pretty much family - plus lots of yummy food and a crazy city like New York - is pretty much my favourite.

When Anthony Appa and Sheilamma - and Jagdish Uncle - began planning their trip to the US, I couldn't wait to find out their itinerary to see where and when I would be able to meet them. As luck would have it, the easiest and cheapest [thank you, Delta SkyMiles] place for me to join them was New York City. I know, life is hard. So I booked my tickets, arranged to stay with Maggie, and set off to the Big Apple.

I arrived early on Wednesday and spent some time catching up with my cousin Niki, in town from Coimbatore. Abi and later Maggie joined us for drinks and dinner, and once again I was swept up into the chaos that is New York City.

[sweet moo left me a welcome home post-it on the door!]
[as usual, my trip to nyc begins at a bar. loved returning to the headless horseman]
[my dinner at ippudo. i'm pretty convinced it was the best ramen in the history of the world]
I spent Thursday and Friday with Anthony Appa, Sheilamma, and Jaggu, and we hit quite a few of the hot spots: Times Square, Broadway, Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and the Empire State Building [all on Thursday], as well as the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. It was a busy two days, but it was a blast seeing them and wandering the city with them. We wrapped up Friday with dinner with Shilpa and Nehal and a second visit to Times Square to see it all lit up in the night.

[fancy decorations over the escalator in the disney store] 
[hanging out with my adopted parents. loved showing them the city]
[this view. it never gets old] 
[jaggu making a wish] 
[st patrick's cathedral]
[so pretty and serene and peaceful]
[presents from home! old monk, a scarf, cut mango pickle, and lots of earrings. my people know me well]
[well hello there, lady liberty] 
[view of the city from the statue ferry]
[because lady liberty]
[with sheilamma] 
[very cool beer garden near battery park. they give you growlers full of water. i like this place]
Once I bid adieu to that group, I met Maggie and friends in Brooklyn, where we ate, drank, and danced until the wee hours of the morning. Alan and I were very proud that we kept Maggie out until 5am, because that never happens. But it was a fun night. And it ended with pizza, as all successful nights out in New York City should.

[because it takes us a while to look 'normal' for a picture...]
[...and still somehow this ends up being the best one]
[but at least we are entertaining]
[normal-looking girls and awkward-looking guys. seems about right]
On Saturday we hit up Saravanaa Bhavan for some South Indian meals and masala dosas, all of which were extremely delicious and make me want to move to New York so I can eat there once a week. Sastri came down from Poughkeepsie to join us, and after lunch we joined the University of Arkansas NY Alumni Association at Hurley's Pub to watch the Arkansas-Texas Tech game.

[this was my lunch. and it was delicious. i have dreamt of it every night since]
[a few south indian thalis, a mysore onion masala dosa, a mango lassi, and water served in steel tumblers! take me baaaaack]
Saturday night found us in NoLiTa where we met Abi and Niki for drinks. In between we stumbled upon the San Genaro Festival, because we all know Italians need very little reason to celebrate. We had a fun night and got home at the very respectable time of approximately 2.30am. Well done, us.

[festivals always mean pretty lights]
On Sunday Maggie, Alan, and I trekked over to Clinton Hill in Brooklyn to have a potluck brunch at Bianca's. It was so much fun, and much cheaper than going out for brunch, with the added benefit of being able to chill and hang out for as long as we liked. We ate tomatoes with kale, potatoes with rosemary, scrambled eggs, fried eggs in various stages of runniness [so you could take your pick], bacon, and watermelon, and we had make-your-own mimosas and Bloody Marys. It was all pretty delicious, and I love this new tradition of Sunday brunch with Bianca and friends whenever I'm in the City.

After that we hit up Chelsea to meet the Arkansas crowd and to watch the Packers game. Needless to say I was not much appreciated in my Packers jersey after the Jets blew an 18-point lead and we ended up with the victory, but at least my life was never threatened. And then we had some yummy Thai food and were actually home "early" to chill out with Lili, Kelly, and Danny.

[cat tanks. because we just can't even]
[maggie and i made a vow to take more pictures together during my visit. this was the only one we got, and you can't even see our faces. go us]
Since all the real grown-ups had work on Monday, Alan and I met Maggie for brunch and then headed down to the High Line. I've been hearing about it for years but had never gotten to see it, and Stephen met us at the end of our journey and walked with us through Chelsea Market. With some time to spare before I needed to head back and pack up for my flight, Alan and I discovered Johnny's Bar in Greenwich Village. It's a pretty cool dive bar with a very nice bartender and conversational patrons. Oh, and did I mention the buy-2-get-the-3rd-free special they have from 12-3pm every day? Sold. And then it was off to collect my stuff and hit up the subway / shuttle to LaGuardia to catch my flight back to Memphis.

[cool murals]
[that's new jersey over there]
[and then we end the trip with another bar. oh, new york]
It was a whirlwind 4.5 days, as it always is in New York, but I got to see so many fun people and eat lots of yummy food, so it was well worth it. I have somehow managed two trips to the City in a 7 month span this year, and with each visit my desire to return is ever heightened. Who knows, maybe one of these job applications will work out and I'll be able to move there in the coming months. Hey, a girl can dream.

other highlights included: Tuesday night dinner at India Palace; spoke to Bern for the first time in months; started and finished Orphan Train [so, so good].

And now to plot my next visit.

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