Days 1-2, the East Coast

 First leg was a Heathrow to JFK flight that went largely uneventful. Apart from the nuisance of having to wear a mask all along the journey, the flight was pretty uneventful and comparable to the pre-Covid flights I have taken. 

First port of call - the big apple, New York! 

My cousin Sathya gracefully hosted me on this leg of the trip. He lives in Paramus, NJ and it was great catching up with him and his family after quite a gap, and great to meet their new born Anika. Paramus is a lovely neighborhood and, as I quipped to Sathya, seems relatively cheaper than similar-distance suburbs of London. Commuting to and fro from Paramus to NY seems as convenient as the London commuter belt. 

Sathya’s mom-in-law made Upma Kozhakattai, one of my favorite south indian delicacies, and one I miss a lot. It was an absolute delight to enjoy this gastronomical delight after a long time!


One of our other cousins, Vaishnavi, who is studying at NYU, agreed to hit the NYC tourist spots with me. We spotted the WTC, Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, Staten Island Ferry (seeing Statue of Liberty), ate New York Pizza, hit the Dominique Ansel Bakery (where we missed the Cronuts as they had run out), walked around in Central Park checking out freshly bloomed Cherry Blossoms, went to The Top of The Rock to check out the Manhattan Skyline, went to time square, tried a pretzel there (overrated!) and finished the day around there. 

New York is an amazing place. Standing on the top of Rockefeller center, you can’t help but wonder that every bit of this extremely amazing maze of concrete (both above and below the ground) is all credited to human ingenuity just in the last 200 years or so. Just imagine the next 200 and you will realize that the prospects of our race are just limitless!

In the midst of the concrete jungle that is Manhattan, Central Park is an oasis - a serene presence to remind all of us the pivotal role of nature, the four seasons and the beauty of flora. 

The New York subway is most interesting, though a bit underwhelming for someone who has traveled across modern public transport systems. Nevertheless, it is an unmissable fact that the New York metro is the necessary heartbeat to the functioning of this incredibly vibrant city. 

Next chapter

Food Tip: Check out the wonderful desserts at Dominique Ansel Bakery - you are assured to come out heavier on sugar and experience while lighter on your pocket! :)



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