New York : A Brief Intro

Many years ago, as a kid, I had chanced upon a coffee table book titled ‘New York City In Pictures’. Mesmerised by this amazing city full of energy and ideas, being in New York has since been a dream. I would scribble famous buildings like The Empire State Building or Chrysler Building. Would draw those long straight roads between skyscrapers. New York was the backdrop of the comic books I would draw and write, filling my summer holidays. I would draw action scenes around Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Building and so on. It was as if I was familiar with the city even before I ever set foot in it.

And then finally the travel and film gods smiled on us and our film Bachelor Girls (watch it on Netflix now) was selected for screening in NYC. This was our chance to visit the city of my childhood comic book world. And off we flew via London.

We had an extremely narrow layover window in London. As luck would have it, our flight was late to land in London, smashing any hopes of lazying around the airport, a practice I love. In this distress, a British Airways staff lady was extremely helpful in dashing us through a maze of airport alleys, corridors, stairs, elevators, escalators and transit buses, all the while on her walkie talkie, requesting the connecting flight to New York to not take off without us. More than the stress of missing the flight, I was amused by our run. Anyway, we managed to get onboard the flight and landed in NYC in the wee hours of the morning, so wee, the hotel wouldn’t give us our room till a few hours later. So we left the luggage at the 4 Points By Sheraton, Manhattan, and went out for a slow walk, all tired and dizzy. (We were delightfully surprised to find unbelievable rates for this hotel on and couldn’t resist. Highly recommend this place).

New York somehow felt familiar. Despite the jet lag, the dizzyness, we were so happy and excited to be here! The Big Apple! The Original City of Dreams. The Cultural Melting Pot Of The World. The home of Indie Cinema in USA. The Advertising Capital of The World. The Land Of Skyscrapers. New York is Awesome. New York, I Love You!

What to do in New York is not an easy answer. What to do here is to live here. Honestly, this city has almost inifinite number of things to do and offer. You could spend a lifetime and not cover everything. We try and cover a few brief things which will not include a visit to the Statue Of Liberty. Because we didn’t go there, limited by time (our trip include a quick visit to Los Angeles and back), and we chose the National Museum of The American Indian instead. And loved it.

So here’s understanding the basics of New York City.
Streets run horizontally from East To West (East 53rd Street, for example)
– Avenues run from North To South
– 5th Avenue splits Eastside and Westside. As you go away from 5th its ‘Higher’, closer to 5th Ave is Lower.
– Broadway runs diagonal
– The entire city Of New York is well connected with the subway and a small walk. If you can understand that, you can travel anywhere on a subway pass and some walking.

As an introduction, New York is divided into many Boroughs or Districts. When we speak about New York City what most people probably visualise is Manhattan. Well, Manhattan itself is divided into Downtown (the southern tip, includes Wall Street and the Financial District), Midtown (includes Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center etc) and Uptown (includes Central Park and many museums). Manhattan is actually an Island.

Just North of Manhattan is Bronx. This area is not an island.

East of Manhattan and Bronx is Queens. This is where the two large airports, La Guardia and JFK are located.

South East of Manhattan is Brooklyn. Its is New York City’s most populated Borough and is largely residential, though a lot of offices have now opened here. It is connected to Manhattan via the famous Brooklyn Bridge.

Then there is Staten Island, located in the South West of Manhattan.

On the west side of Manhattan is Greenwich Village, called just ‘The Village’.

Greenwich Village also has many other dining, drinking and cultural joints. With this basic geography in mind, we set up New York City. More in next post.

Smalls NYC Ticket
I am glad we went to visit Small’s for a night of fabulous Jazz. The ticket allows you entry into Small’s as well as Mezzrow Jazz Club.
Smalls Greenwich Village New York City
Inside Small’s in Greenwich Village, NYC.
9th Avenue NYC
Standing on West 58th Street looking at 9th Avenue in New York City! New York! I love you!
New York City Roof Top View
Looking at New York, the city of my childhood dreams…
NYC Rooftop View
The classic architecture of New York City
New York City Roof Top View
There is a classic order to these Skyscrapers, the streets between them and the lane markings… it is a rhythm…
Umamis at Hudson Hotel
Inside Umami’s at Hudson Hotel. The burgers here are legendary.
Times Square New York
Times Square in New York. Perhaps the most commercial part of the city, we didn’t like it, except for the fact that you could find many brand showrooms here, which may interest you. I was looking for the Citizen watch flagship store.
Times Square New York
Times Square New York City. Crowded, commercial and loud.
Madison Avenue New York City
Madison Avenue New York City. This is the home of the Advertising Business in America. Almost all the large agencies have their head offices here.The building on the left foreground is the prestigious Roosevelt Hotel.
Roosevelt Hotel New York City
On the left is the Bear Stearns building and the right is Roosevelt Hotel New York City. Finance and Luxury on Madison Avenue, New York City.
Madison Avenue, New Yor City
Madison Avenue, New Yor City
Grand Central Terminal New York
Perhaps the largest train station in the world in number of platforms (44, all below ground) The Grand Central Terminal was built in around 1871.
Grand Central Terminal New York City
The Grand Central is really grand. It was designed in the Beaux-Arts Style by Reed and Stern, Architects.
Grand Central Terminal Chandelier
Inside one of Grand Central Terminal’s Concourse, 10 giant Chandeliers like this one, each with 110 bulbs, illuminate and also create an aura.
Grand Central Terminal Concourse
One of the Grand Central Terminal Concourse. The station is really large.
Grand Central Terminal NYC
Outside the Grand Central Terminal, traffic and buzz of NYC.
Food Stall in NYC
A typical food stall in NYC, somehwere near Bryant Park. In the far distance you can see Chrysler Building.
Bryant Park NYC
At Bryant Park. Located in Midtown Manhattan it is a welcome respite, some breathing space and a great place to hang out.
Bryant Park Cafe
A charming outdoor seating cafe in Bryant Park. I miss such spaces in India.
Protest march in Bryant park NYC
Just as we reached Bryant park, we saw these protestors… dissent is one of the pillars of democracy.
Fluffy's New York
For another stay in New York, we had chosen the Hudosn Hotel on W58th Street. We would grab a classic all American breakfast at Fluffys before heading out for the day.
East Village Theater, NYC
The East Village Theater, NYC where we had our film ‘Bachelor Girls’ screened. It was such a wonderful feeling…
East Village NYC
Hanging out at East Village in NYC. I couldn’t get over the beautiful sky in this evening.
2nd Avenue, NYC
Standing on the 2nd Avenue, NYC, in front of East Village Cinema, looking around…
Lunch in East Village
We had lunch at an amazing place in East Village. This part of NYC is very chic and has some really cool places to dine and hangout…
Parking Lot
A parking lot in between old tenement buildings somewhere around East Village…
Museum Of The City Of New York
Museum Of The City Of New York. This city is full of museums, but if there is one you must visit, it is this one. It helps you underatand the history, culture and politics of NYC.
Musuem Of City Of New York
Inside the Musuem Of City Of New York
Central Park, NYC
No visit to NYC is complete without one to Central Park.
Skyscrapers of New York City
That is the Financial District. Skyscrapers of New York City
Financial District, New York City
Walking along the Financial District, New York City. This place has many iconic cafes, buildings, museums etc.
National Museum Of The American Indian
National Museum Of The American Indian. We had time for only this or Statue of Liberty. I am glad we chose this museum.
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan with Brooklyn. On the Brooklyn side is a rich promenade with cafes, open spaces, sculptures etc.
Financial District, New York City
Back to the Financial District, New York City

9 thoughts on “New York : A Brief Intro”

  1. It’s an amazing introduction to New York! From the way you described it and commented on the photos one can easily figure out you really love this city. And I know how it feels to be familiar with a city before you even set foot on it. It was like this with Saint Petersburg -I walked so many streets of the Russian northern capital along with Dostoyevsky’s characters:) And I suspect it would be the same with Paris.

    • I really want to visit Russia with time in hand. Have heard so much about St Petersburg, and also the vast landscape of Russia. if I ever get to making the trip, I shall surely check with you about tips 🙂

  2. How coffee table books have inspired many of us to visit places around the globe! New York City looks pretty on such sunny days during your visit. It’s one of the cities in the U.S. I’d love to visit when I get the chance to travel there, one day I hope.


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