New York State Of Mind: I looked up the original context of it. He wrote it while coming home, back to his city, New York. He has seen life away from it and was coming home.

But mine: Restlessness. Desire to wander more. Stare at every thing. The entire city. Talk to strangers. Maybe grab a few of them and go to a concert. Or get a drink. Enjoy Street Music. Street Art. Do more. Dont want to go home. Very restless.

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As it gets closer to going home, i can look back and remember: Random strangers. Music. Yellow taxis. The full moon against the sky scrapers. The architecture. The dude waving the German flag after the world cup final. The random stranger from Canada who sat next to me on the pavement listening to the street music while his family shopped in SoHo. Flat rectangles of Belgium granite, brought to the city as a part of a 1830’s ship ballast, that now make the cobbled stones used on the streets. Wondering if the New Yorkers are impervious to the beauty of the skyscrapers and the bridges. The temptation of goods everywhere. Busy people. These teeny tiny spaces called parks, where babies and grown ups seem to steal a moment from the city running on steroids. More Temptation. To eat, drink, shop.

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This trip was unlike any other visits to the city. A farewell to Maanasa. And a shopping trip before she leaves for good. New York was not the subject but remains a very strong presence in the background. And sometimes the foreground. With the last few hours left, should i run back into the city? Its raining and i am sleeping on the floor at the airport. That is my New York State of Mind.

There is no place like it, no place with an atom of its glory, pride, and exultancy. It lays its hand upon a man’s bowels; he grows drunk with ecstasy; he grows young and full of glory, he feels that he can never die. — Walt Whitman

The Temptation.

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Walking out of Nili Lotan, Equipment, Chanel, A.P.C, … empty handed was incredibly hard. I wanted to run back in and purchase all those beautiful things they made. Had to remind myself of my resolve to lay of things that I don’t need and simplify my existence. Wanted to wander off into the city so that I can take pictures. Hunt down those spots I see all the photographers find to take their perfect composures. Had to remind myself that I am not here to be selfish and do a photo tour but to hang out with Maanasa. The food scene was pretty impressive.  Temptation everywhere. I am beginning to think it’s a exercise in self restraint to walk around and not keep feeding your desires. Oh New York City !

The Futbol World Cup Final

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I was going to skip it in favour of shopping or seeing more of the city. When I mentioned this to harsha, he broke into a “booooo”. And the Final got closer, I couldn’t stay away. We ended up in a crowded bar. I wanted Germany to win. Not because I knew the payers on the team or because I had storng feeling against Argentina. But coz I am visiting Germay soon and I wanted them to be happy. Yes, I am a self proclaimed #plasticSoccorFan.  Watching it in NYC added to the fun. There were Europeans and South Americans and Americans in the bar. Listening to everyone definitely added to the experience. Left there drunk on happiness.

New York that is not New York City

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I have spent about ten days of my life living in New York City till date before this visit. And always associate New York to my experience with New York City. Staying in Port Jefferson was such an oxymoron to what I thought was coming for me or was going on in my head. A small laid back sleepy port town. Docks with picturesque boats. Humidity that reminds you that you are not too far off from the waters. Handsome older population. Cute ginger bread homes. A lake with ducks that are so laid back, that are not scared of humans. Parks with landscaping and loaded with Bollywood-esque flower beds. Lots and lots of skyscraper trees. And buildings that are hidden behind a mop of greens. Almost anti-NYC. A cute campus. Sparsely populated. Not lacking in open space and trees. We hung around in her office. Played checkers and backgammon under the trees. It was an idyllic retreat from the world. I was taken back with how beautiful the place was. How can this be a collage town near NYC? Its almost unfair.

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So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish. See you on the other side Maanasa.

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