New York

New York Downtown
Iconic New York heights.



The iconic man made heights in New York city have inspired many people. So many books, movies songs have been written on this city and especially the spirit of this city. In my quarter of a decade of stay in the USA I never had an opportunity to visit this city. That day finally dawned on me and I took the transit to New York City's Penn Station. Living in the Midwest for sometime had removed the idea of America spoon fed to us by staple Hollywood movies. I lived in an idyllic small college town where I literally knew most person's name by heart. I knew about urban legends of that small town, the home owners and their families who rented out their attics and spare apartments to students, immigrant owners of coney islands, ageing Persian/Iranian professors of Pol Science who fled to USA during the time of Mosadegh and now sell old Persian rugs and carpets. When I would go to India for vacations I would get overwhelmed by the volume of traffic and people. My brother would scorn at me for acting as if I was a pedegree from some holy town where traffic and crowd are jut figments of someone's horrific imagination. New York city gave me the familiar feeling of being in India. I could see rickshaws, street food carts, crowds, rude people, bustling and busy McDonalds. The college town which I call my home in the USA, has a dedicated crowd of people who are completely anti McDonald and have pledged to eat organic food for life. They speak volumes against Monsanto and in fact the McD there attracts only poor people or a few people who are not very concerned about their diet or are simply running late to work. I have never seen many people thronging McDonalds for a decent meal. This is a sight which reminded me of the bustling McDonalds at Connaught Place in New Delhi. I have experienced the woe of standing in a queue to visit the washroom at that particular McD in New Delhi and New York was not very different. New York made me nostalgic of those times spent roaming aimlessly during my late teens in New Delhi.

Big Billboards that fascinate people.

Supporters of a local football team.
Times Square gave me the feeling of Durga pooja shopping in a bustling Fancy bazar except that there were taller buildings and the roads were a tad wider. The same crowd, dirt, smell, sweat, noise and busy tourists. I saw rows and rows of brown people selling things. I wondered if the white man simply vanished from New York. I am not being racist but this is just an observation since the only white people I saw were tourists. The New York city downtown of movies seemed to disappear. I was not particularly enamoured or fascinated by the downtown in my visit. It was not the downtown people romanticised in movies. It made me more nostalgic and I wished we did more planning to develop our Fancy Bazar into a Times Square which our writers and film makers romanticise in their creative produces.


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