When we first moved to NY, we wanted to go to the hottest bars, party at the most happening clubs and truly experience what NY nightlife was all about. If you google top NY bars/clubs (or even listen to some hip hop) , names like 1 Oak, Greenhouse get thrown around a lot. But a couple of visits to these places makes you realize really quick that thats not where real NY is. Clubs such as 1 oak or Greenhouse is where the hype is. They are the places where only tourists that don’t know where to find real NY end up. You are not going to get into these places unless you look like someone that walked straight out of the Victoria’s secret catalogue or know someone or are willing to buy bottle service. Then how do the rest of us get in? Well….promoters! Promoters can get you into any club that they work with. Provided you dress a certain way and meet their criteria. For example, a promoter that has helped Bijal and I get into clubs usually brings a south American crowd to the club. Meaning…club owners call him up when they need more south american people at their club. Bijal and I are Indian, but i guess we look close enough.
Having been to these clubs, in addition to the numerous other clubs in NY that aren’t as hyped, you realize that true NY is not at 1 oak or Greenhouse. True NY is everywhere but there. Places with friendly bouncers that aren’t really full of themselves, or places where you don’t need to be someone to get in. Real New York is at places such as The Yard or Off the Wagon where you don’t need to know a promoter to get in. So do yourself a favor when you come to party it up in NY…go check out the real NY. Not the NY that is just hype! Leave that for the tourists!
Bijal & I spent this past weekend vacationing in South Beach, Miami! We fell in love! Gorgeous beaches, awesome weather, beautiful women, great night life..I mean really, whats not to love! But a part of me felt guilty. Over the past 6 months I have ranted and raved to everyone about how great a city New York is and that I’d not rather live in any other city. And here I was, in love with Miami within 4 hours of landing there. So what was it that made me fall in love so fast? Everything I loved about South Beach can also be found in California and I lived there for 4 years. So why was Miami any different. And then it all made sense. After having lived in the concrete jungle of NYC for the past 6 months Miami seemed to be just the change I needed. But just as I had hoped, the need for that change was very short lived. 2 days into my trip to Miami, I knew that while Miami was a perfect vacation spot, NY would always be the place to be, MY preferred place to be.
The perfect Miami souvenir
Alcoholic slushies at Wet Willie’s! This one was called the superman and it definitely took me for a ride!
A little bit of Jersey Shore in Miami
The perfect beach party at Nikki Beach!
As Bijal and I drove through Weehawken on our way to Edgewater, we saw something that we had to pull over to take in. Wow, 6 months of being in this area and we had no idea how close we were to this. Wowww!!!! And by Wowww, i mean Wowwwwwwww! I knew I had to write all about it!
One of my most favorite things about New York is something you cannot experience in New York. Its the view of New York from New Jersey. Exchange Place (Newport) in Jersey city has gorgeous view of the financial district. In the evenings with the skyline lit up, the view is to die for. The other view I love is the one from Hoboken that covers all of midtown and the financial district. I absolutely love the giant lawn right on the water front. There are always people either sun tanning or just having a family picnic. Its awesome seeing so many people just soaking in the sun, building memories and at the same time enjoying the gorgeous view of New York. Last but not the least is the view I found today and one that inspired this blog post. The view was from Hamilton Park in Weehawken. What made this view unique and absolutely breathtaking is that compared to the other views, this one was from up on a cliff. For a second, I forgot I was on the east coast and thought I was in beautiful San Diego heading down the 2 lane road to the gorgeous La Jolla cove waterfront. I have included a video of the view, but the video does not do the view any justice.
Since moving to the east coast, Bijal & I have become huge fans of the show ‘Lost’. We started with season 1 and in six months have gone through 3 seasons! Towards the end of season 3, as we saw one of the characters prepare a “Greatest Hits” list of all the events that had occured in his life, it occured to me that it was my 6 month anniversary of moving to the east coast! As such, I decided to dedicate this blog post to all the ‘Greatest Hits’ aka memories the east coast has given me in the past 6 months. There have been some awesome times, most of them, well documented through pictures. Thanks to my handy iPhone!
Feb: First weekend in NY we bumped into Adrian Grenier
Feb: First snowstorm!
March: Bumped into Ludacris at Unos
March: Trip to Atlantic City
March: First St. Patricks day on the east coast
April: Macy’s Flower Show
April: Macy’s Flower Show
April: Macy’s Flower Show
April: Fun trips to visit family in Baltimore
April: Getting all the women in our family to take a shot (Their first shot ever!!)
May: Finding awesome mangoes on the east coast (Taste exactly like the ones in India and can rarely ever be found on the west coast)
May: Chanel anyone? Trip to China town
May: Our first street fair market in NY (Hester Street Market)
June: Seeing a live episode of the Jersey Shore in NY!
June: Drunken walk back from China town to WTC!
June: Good Morning Gia!!!
June: The much awaited trip to the Jersey Shore!
June: A dream come true! The AR Rahman concert in Atlantic City
June: Fun times with the family in China town!
July: Happy Birthday Rohan! July 2nd, 2010
July: First speeding ticket on the east coast!
July: First 4th of July in NY (Macy’s fireworks)
July: I like big butts and I cannot lie..one of my first blog posts
July: Surprises from the wifey on my birthday! Personalized m&m’s
July: Birthday fortune cookie! Another gift from the wifey!
Aug: Indian Independence day parade in NY
Aug: Tattoo #2 and my first one on the east coast!
Aug: And just like the first time, my partner in crime!
Summer is almost over! And we all know it’s no fun trying to explore NY in the winter. A couple of Bijal and my coworkers had mentioned to us that Brooklyn was a must see! So we decided to meet up with a couple of our friends in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn museum.
As we drove past the manhattan bridge into Brooklyn, I thought to myself….”Why have I never been to this gorgeous part of NY before?”. Everything was so New York, yet so wasn’t! The first couple of miles of drive was very manhattan like, lots of street food, local businesses, crowded streets. But then as we got closer to prospect park, the scenery completely changed. A close friend of mine always says that he would eventually want to move to Brooklyn. He loved the artistic vibe the city had. He loved the music scene, the art scene, everything about it! I never quite got him because I didn’t understand why anyone would chose Brooklyn over Manhattan….and all that changed within 10 minutes of us crossing the Manhattan bridge. A blog entry about Brooklyn is useless because you really need to experience it yourself. As we drove by prospect park and the Brooklyn library, all we could do was stare and wonder why it had taken us 6 months of moving to this area to venture out to Brooklyn. We had definitely missed out.
Neither words nor pictures can do Brooklyn justice. Yet, I have posted some of the pictures from our day out in Brooklyn below. They include our trip to the Brooklyn Botanical gardens, The Brooklyn Museum, Prospect park and the Brooklyn Brewery.
I thought $1 beers in NYC were just a myth. Something I had just heard about but never actually seen…until this past week when I found myself wandering around in the upper east side. Thursday nights at The Brews Brothers…$1 beers. For the first time in NYC, I had a hard time meeting the minimum credit card tab required to close my card out. $10 = 10 beers…wth! I needed to go to work the next day. So what do you do when you find yourself in such a situation, start buying beers for other people. Oh, another option is to keep your tab open, go have some good Italian food at Tony’s Di Napoli, and then return for some more beers.
On a side note, that part of the upper east side seemed to be quite a happening area. I thought upper east side = what I had seen on the TV show ‘Gossip Girl’ (Yes yes, I have watched a couple of episodes of the Gossip girl….so sue me!). But the area around 82nd St and 2nd Ave has a ton to do, with lots of restaurants and bars with a ton of options. I’ll definitely be going there again some time soon.
National pride or corporate greed?? That’s the question that kept running through my mind as I watched the Indian independence day parade in NY. The parade is famous for being the largest Indian independence day parade outside of India, and having just moved to the area (and being Indian), there was no way I was going to miss it.
You expect independence day parades to be about national pride. You expect them to be a tribute to the thousands of people that lost their life in the freedom struggle. You expect them to be a recognition of everything the nation has achieved since independence. Yet the NY parade was none of that. Truck after truck, as the different decorated trailers drove by, you realized the parade was more about advertising and marketing rather than celebrating India. From banks to Indian tv channels to even US senators trying to gather the support of the Indian community, all drove by with no sense of national pride or spirit. In fact, most trailers had mediocre decorations and a DJ blasting music as they drove by. As if that was going to make all the people standing and watching in the crowd proud of their country.
Maybe I was just expecting too much. Or maybe I was being too judgmental? Or was I? I mean you go to a parade, and then trailer after trailer all you see are advertisements, poorly decorated trailers passing by, each trailer having their own DJ blasting music, and a bunch of people just packed on top of the trailers (maybe relatives of the organizers) dancing away to the DJ’s music as if they were at a rave. Wouldn’t you be pissed off and disappointed just like I was? As some wise man once said – “Opinions are like a$$holes. Everyone has one and they all stink”. I am sure some of you think my opinion on the parade stinks, but then again, that is the beauty of an opinion. Your opinion about my opinion might just stink :).
I have posted pictures of some of the relatively nicer trailers below. There were very very few of these. I did post a video though, of an obnoxious trailer that drove by (which is pretty much representative of what the majority of trailers looked like).