In the Big Apple

Today the sun was out, but there was something more important happening half way round the world. The men were glued to the tv and the shops were mostly closed. So we didn’t have much choice but to stick around till the match ended. It was getting a bit tense and as the match was being streamed there was a few minutes delay between the actual scores and what we were seeing on the telly. Then one of my friends wrote the score on whatsapp and I said it out aloud without thinking. Nishanth was furious. I lost him the excitement and he deduced from my forthcoming reaction as to what exactly happened. Anyway as soon as the match was over we got ready to leave.

The University Heights Bridge crosses the Harlem River, connecting Manhattan and Bronx.

The University Heights Bridge connects Manhattan and The Bronx.

Today we walked a mile to a barbecue place. Food was not too bad, but it was the usual greasy huge plates of food which the New York restaurants are famous for. We were stuffed by the time we finished. I don’t eat meat these days for lunch when I’m at work. I did not order any food for myself and just had a bit of everybody else’s. There was still lots of food left. We then walked a short distance, crossed a bridge over the Harlem River and reached the Manhattan side of NYC.

Plane landing in the Hudson

Plane landing in the Hudson

Do you remember a pilot landing his flight a few years ago, on the Hudson river safely soon after take off when he flew into a team of geese resulting in both the engines failing. The Harlem River meets the Hudson – which is on the west side of Manhattan -near this bridge. We, anaesthetists take a lot of interest in the way pilots react to crisis situations and try and learn how they handle these unexpected situations which they’ve never done before but only have faced in simulation scenarios. This was a classic example. Even though the pilot was quaking inside he did a marvelous job and saved the lives of all those on board.

There was a problem at the 1 train subway station and so we had to walk a bit further to get the A train. About 30 minutes later we were at 42 street. We checked into our hotel for the night. We had some hotel reward points which were coming up to expiring and realised that we could use it anywhere in the world, so we used it to book the room. We chatted for a little while and Nidhin wanted to chill out in the room. So we left him there and walked to Times Square, Rockefeller centre, Empire State Building, radio city ie all the important landmarks around here. We do this every time we come here. Nishanth is my personal photographer/paparazzi and guide. He is also a wealth of information and tells us stories about the various places.

Near 42nd Street Times Square

Near 42nd Street Times Square

We started off at Times Square which is the main hub for all the activity, with street performers and suchlike. All the buildings are lit up with flashing TV screens of the latest blockbusters and TV shows. Each competing to be bigger and better. The ball used for the New Year’s Eve drop also gets bigger every few years and is now covered in crystals lights. Next stop is the Radio City building. One of the streets near there is where most of the diamond trading in the world apparently takes place. At a particular time of the day/ night a gang of people come to scour the nearby streets for dropped pieces of diamonds and make a fortune from just this. We walk past the Rockefeller centre, where everyone is having a fun time either ice skating on the ice rink made famous in films, or taking pictures or just hanging about. We walk through the channel gardens, named as such as it separates the French shops from the English ones. We end the walk outside St Patrick’s cathedral which is a neo-gothic church. It was recently cleaned up for the pope’s visit. Last time we saw it, it was almost black, now it’s glistening in the dark. It’s too late and they are only letting people out. We are also tired and none of us are hungry and so we come back to our hotel and say goodbye to Nishanth, Deepthi and Nidhin.

I’m having difficulty sleeping. Everyday I wake up at 3 in the morning, at least today it was 4 and then managed another hour of shut eye. So another day of fun awaits. Nishanth is picking us up at 1030 after breakfast. NYC is the only city were I give my brain a rest when it comes to directions and maps. Nishanth takes care of it all.

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