bhargavkesavan

Travelogue, Nostalgic memories and more…


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Best Food carts in Avenue of Americas!


If there is one thing that you need not worry during your visit to NYC, that’s Food. There are plenty of options to eat when you are in the Big Apple. You will get food from $4 to even $3000 a meal!

They say that if you want to try out all the eateries in the Manhattan, you will need 84 years! I know we don’t have so much time left, so I’m going to list the best three food carts in the Midtown Manhattan or in fact the best in entire New York City.

When you enter Avenue of the Americas from 42nd street or from any of the midtown streets, you will start seeing food carts in every corners; especially during lunch hours. There are food carts which functions just during the lunch hours and only on weekdays.

Trini Paki Boys

First time I’d food from here is during Fall 2014. Mohamed runs his cart for 17+ years now and his Mom use to take care of their business before him, so for close to 25+ years this cart is right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.

I usually have Veggie over rice and Veggie over Dhal roti. Dhal roti is very special in this cart. Mohamed is very kind person, he gets along his customers very easily, in fact it should be said in other way, customers get along with him very easily for his friendly nature. He always know what I was going to order.

His cart is so famous that he got published in print media in Japan, He was published on Travel & Living Channel and several other media has praised his food over the time.

If you are in city & like to enjoy a tasty food on a weekday, do stop between 43rd and 44th street on Avenue of Americas.

Here is the google map marker http://bit.ly/TriniPakiBoys

This is Mohamed
Trini Paki Boys

Royal Grill Halal Food

When Mohamed is out on vacation or takes a day off, my next best food cart is Royal Grill Halal Food, it’s just two streets from my office and I’ve had at least hundred lunches from here. Mohamed Alam and his wife are the best people ever to run a food cart.

They are so kind and hardworking people. They start their day as early as 7 AM in the morning and their cart is open until 11:30 PM. They’ll change their shift with their employee at 7 PM but the food taste will remain same.

Alam serves Veggie samosa in his cart along with veggie rice. Falafel over rice, Veggie Biriyani (Not the typical Indian biriyani), Veggie rice with Dhal are the best food here for vegetarians. My wife likes the falafel rice from here, so whenever I order falafel at evening hours, Alam makes it fresh for me before I take bus to home.

This cart has been published in so many news articles & is featured on ABC 7, PIX 11 tv channels. Alam and his wife has won best food cart award a few times and they have also won The Vendy Award. What makes his cart special is that he remembers all his customers favorite food from his cart. He will always welcome everyone with smile! He also provides a loyalty card, which gets punched each time you have food form his cart & your every 8th meal is free for being a regular customer. I’ve missed tens of such cards, sometimes purposefully.

Here is the google map marker to his food cart – http://bit.ly/RoyalGrillHalalFood

That’s me with Alam & his employee inside food cart.

Moshes Falafel

You know Little Brazil? It’s on 46th street, two streets further from Royal Grill Halal. Little Brazil is famous for food carts, you will literally see a fleet of food carts during lunch hours. This cart is here for close to 4 decades! You will see few elderly youth running this store who attracts their customers with their witty talks.

It’s the best ever cart specially for falafel, I love the pita that comes with the yummy hummus & a pickle. It costs a couple dollars more than the previous two carts but it tastes equally excellent! They have a happy hour during evening hours, so if you miss that prime lunch rush hour, you can have little discount in price.

What I like here is that since its not rice and no gravy in food, you will get the food in a paper bag for take out. So we can say Moshes Falafel has banned plastic bags way before NY’s plastic ban!

Here is the google map marker for this cart – http://bit.ly/MoshesFalafel

Fruit Cart

Yes this is not favorite for most people, yet when you prefer fruits or like to see what varieties of fruits available, just stop by the Fruit cart next to Trini Paki Boys. A mom and daughter from Vietnam runs this cart for more than a decade. You will see ample varieties of fruits.

You can get fruit juices of various combos and custom combos as well and all for less than $5 you might get the same juice in Jamba Juice or other fancy branded stores but this cart is no less than any of those. You will get two stomachs full of fruits for just $4 a small order and don’t even ask about the large order which I struggled to finish one whole day! (nope! no exaggeration!)

Google map marker – Just go to Trini Paki Boys from above, the cart towards city bike stand is this! You can’t miss them. They’re open throughout weekdays.

Small!

What makes New York City best is that you will find hundreds of food carts run by people from all over the world, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Iran, Turkey, China and every single country in this world & you can taste every one of them and have your stomach full.

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5 Most irritating text messages!


Do you recall when there was a time when all relatives use to live together people use to wish each other in person, be it someones birthday or a festival or any occasion? 

When people moved to different places this culture changed to letter & when telephone was an affordable accessory at home, we use to call our relatives and friends at their neighbor house telephone even when they didn’t had phone at home?

Then came the pager & then cellphone era with 100 messages per day, we reserved 10 messages to most important person and used remaining messages to send forward messages or normal chat conversation.

And then came this age with WhatsApp! And thats it.

The already disconnected world further disconnected.

Messages changed from personally typing to forward messages only to image forwards to stickers.

Did you notice during the recent occasions like New Year or Pongal that even image forward message was not that trending but the WhatsApp stickers?

Let’s see what this communication evolution has for us in future,

Until then here is the most irritating text messages. 

1. K

Have you ever typed so many words in this small screen, correcting so many typos and looked up for special timing emojis for the text and curiously waited for other persons response and got a K as response?

I really wonder if they have a flight to catch or in so urge to run or fly to wash room or what else could be the super urgent matter that they couldn’t type anything from the alphabets but just K. Its the most easy work with just two letters, why the hell can people not type it fully if not a proper response to messages?


2. 🙂

There is another set of people that I’m not sure if they really understand how a smiley works or what it represents. Out of all smilies they pick the most irritating emoji, a slightly smile face emoji. How in the world do they go around and look for a half smile face when there is clearly a smiley that even makes you smile when you look at it? I assume people do really smile when they send a smiley.

3. 👍 

Yeah. I really feel like breaking that thumb when someone sends it to me as a reply. Just imagine talking to someone in person and as a reply they show you a thumbs up to your face. Come on, really… just imagine it. How did you feel? You being talking to someone in person, face to face and when you expect a reply they show you a thumbs up to your face. I’ll definitely try my best to break that thumb when it dances in front of my face!

Just type some god damn words, you idiots!

4. rofl

I have seen people replying to texts or commenting on posts with a grim face but as rofl, lmao or lol. Why?? if there was no short abbreviations, do you really think people will type laughing my ass off or roll on floor laugh? 

Emojis are meant to show our expressions in texts when you didn’t get a real laugh why fake it?

5. hmm, Tq, gtg, wc, thmh, refl,

This is like K but not ok! “Once upon a time, long long ago, so long ago” when there was number of messages per day limitations and number of characters in text limitations, people used short words for everything in the text and the msg wl b lk ts almst n al msgs. But why the hell now? Now you can even write a movie story or even a blog post in messages & these ancient messengers still didn’t adapt to new world. 

Have you felt any of these as irritating texts anytime? Or do you think there are other most commonly irritating texts other than this? Do let me know in comments. 

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Endangered Animals – Grace-ful Ice


It’s December & Cold… So? It’s time to see Ice carvings happening in New York City. Ice sculptors of Okamoto Studio performed Live ice carvings on the theme “Endangered Animals” this year at the Grace building (HBO) at Midtown Manhattan.

It takes an average of two hours to give life to the giant ice bars which is sculpted, flamed, brushed and what not to give it a perfect shape!

Take a look at the endangered animals that are carved so beautifully by the passionate artists of Okamoto Studio. BTW… if you’re in the city, you can still see this ice carvings till late noon today, do stop by if you’re around.

That stripes stands out!
Dolphin is cute even it’s an ice statue!

Every year during second week of December ArtsBrookfield arranges Okamoto Studio to perform ice carvings in their properties in the city, also Okamoto studio performs live ice carvings every Saturday night at the New York Botanical garden, do checkout their social media pages for updates.

Checkout the Ice carvings from 2014-2017 in my previous posts in this blog. Do follow my Instagram profile & enjoy the photos


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5 Reasons why you should not use cellphone in restroom


Cellphones have become a third hand these days & it has become an inseparable gadget of ours. Everyone use cellphone throughout the day since the moment we’re awake and until we fall asleep. Many even fall asleep while using cellphones. If phones are not on silent/vibrate mode at night, notification sounds will even disturbs our sleep many a times.

How many times in a week does it happen to you?

This cellphone usage in recent times has gone one setup further in being engaged even in restrooms. You could have heard people talking, listening to music, watching videos even in restrooms especially even in public restrooms.

You may think and what’s the big deal in that right? yeah, right… that’s what we’re going to see in this post.

Do you use cellphone in restroom?

Here is the five reasons why you shouldn’t any longer! 

Effective Immediately!

1. Unaware of time consumption

When you’re in restroom at anytime of the day, either at home or at office or at public restroom; once you start using your cellphone you will never realize how long you’ve spent sitting there! Just compare the time you spend in restroom with cellphone and without cellphone. You can see at least a 15-20 minutes what so ever was your business there. You can save plenty of time if you stop carrying your third hand with you to restroom!

2. Save health

Since you won’t realize how long you’ve spent sitting there, You’re impacting the blood circulation to your legs and to your butt. Since you don’t move the legs or your body for a long time it’ll result in making your legs feel numb. 

Just get out soon and feel good!

3. Back pain 

Often you don’t realize that astute pain in your lower back after sitting for a long time, since the scroll will never get over on your facebook or twitter or instagram you will never realize that back pain until you try to sit straight which you will never do until you hold that cellphone which makes you bend towards it. 

4. Common enemy – Germs

Yes, you should be worried about germs at all places, especially restroom. If there is one proverb that should be modified for restroom then that must be

All that glitters are not clean!

You know very well restroom is the birth place for germs & unless hands are washed even our hands and legs are full of germs. When you use cellphone inside restroom and place it on the bathtub handle or on wash basin or anywhere inside restroom you’re loading your cellphone with germs which you’ll carry outside eventually to use even after washing hands. What’s the use? Your fingers will carry those germs everywhere until you sterilize our phone and hands again!

When was the last time you ever cleaned your phone?
Do you use cell phone in restroom? Then this is for you...
If you keep using it daily then this is how you may have to wipe the germs!

5. Save your cellphone 

Another reason why you should not carry your cellphone to restroom is saving it from falling on restroom floor or on the coast itself! Ever imagine how will you recover your phone if at all if it slides on to the coast? Eww… no way!!!

Never going to use cellphone in 24 hours so I’ve to use it in restroom!
Oopsie!!!

Bonus point!

Well there is an important and another reason why you shouldn’t carry cellphone to restroom, it’s simply because you should not! Just get on to the main business and do the smooth transaction and get out! Why do you want to sit there for long time!

If you still carry cellphone to restroom, you’re not in danger… You’re the danger!!!


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TheBlindList – My blind date with Earth!


As a child I’ve dreamt of places which I don’t know if exists in this world or not. I’ve imagined me going to forests and spending more time in nature, thought about camping (which I was not aware such thing existed and the very name “camping”) but it was my imagination that I’ll spend time in forest & mountains.

Then twenty years later came a time when I visited Havelock Island in Anadman Islands. the most beautiful place on earth. I spent few days with my friends wandering in the woods which was our first hiking experience which turned more adventurous when we heard elephants trumpeting at a distance! We cancelled one of our days plan to enjoy snorkeling, it was like a blind date with earth! I jumped on to the reef with just the snorkeling kit  & I was floating for half a day enjoying the most colorful fishes in the crystal clear waters. It became more wonderful when I saw a family of Nemo fishes just that the little nemo was not lost! And my first bucket-list was complete when I did a scuba diving at Chidiya Tapu in Anadaman through Lacadives.

Without any expectations we went to Andaman like going on a blind date just that this is a date with our planet! And of course I was not disappointed and still cherish my Snorkeling & Scuba memories at Andaman!

Four years later, which was this year. My wife & I made plans to visit Grand Canyon. We booked our tickets to Vegas and booked ticket to Antelope Canyon. We were very excited to explore the places we were about to visit and we were openminded about this exploration.

As soon as we landed we rented a car and filled up the trunk and back seat with necessary eatables and water for our 6 days trip. Since it’s most hottest place we have arranged the trunk such a way that food won’t get spoiled. We began our trip to Grand Canyon from Nevada via Route 66, it’s called as “Historic Route 66”. It’s the most deserted place in USA & a heaven to bikers and car enthusiasts who travel to explore & to those who go on exploring the world.

 

As soon as we landed we rented a car and filled up the trunk and back seat with necessary eatables and water for our 6 days trip. Since it’s most hottest place we have arranged the trunk such a way that food won’t get spoiled. We began our trip to Grand Canyon from Nevada via Route 66, it’s called as “Historic Route 66”. It’s the most deserted place in USA & a heaven to bikers and car enthusiasts who travel to explore & to those who go on exploring the world.

The reason this route is so famous is that it’s a straight road for hundreds of miles with absolutely nothing on left & ride sides of the road. There will be signs marked on the way that there are no gas stations (petrol bunks) for next 100 miles or so. You can easily see 10 miles ahead of you on a clear morning or evening when sun is not at peak. Try to keep your AC full, haha it won’t workout! It’s so hot that you will feel you’re in Chennai on a peak summer day or in Hyderabad or Delhi during peak summer and yet it’s more hot than that. You can easily fit one or two of our Indian states in this road as you can see the entire state is just empty area with deserts and rocks and mountains.

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Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

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Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

 

As soon as we landed we rented a car and filled up the trunk and back seat with necessary eatables and water for our 6 days trip. Since it’s most hottest place we have arranged the trunk such a way that food won’t get spoiled. We began our trip to Grand Canyon from Nevada via Route 66, it’s called as “Historic Route 66”. It’s the most deserted place in USA & a heaven to bikers and car enthusiasts who travel to explore & to those who go on exploring the world.

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Historic Rt 66, you can easily see 10 miles ahead of you! It’s a straight road for 100s of miles.

When we reached Grand Canyon we definitely didn’t think we are on earth, it was like diving in Mars. We went to Southern rim of Grand Canyon and we were on self exploration skipping the maps and finding our own trial to hike. To our surprise we saw four weathers on the same day at Grand Canyon. To our surprise we experienced Snow, never knew there is snowfall at GC, thought it’ll be just in December or January but a snowfall during April last week that too during our visit was unexpected! As we started to go back within just 3 miles, it was too sunny and hot! On coming cars looked at us so surprisingly and they had no clue they’re entering Snow land!

After a day we headed to Nevada back via Monument Valley, Utah. Every road is an exceptionally awesome and scary at the same time. Reason why it’s scary is that there is no town or mobile network for hundreds of miles. So you better keep your tank full or running for at least a few hundred miles or keep a hardcopy of maps. When you look from aerial view you will be in middle of no where! Scenes around me never changed as we drove! As we entered Zion national park after 250 miles from Antelope we saw few cars and trucks and felt like back to earth & that we got company or at least there are people to help if you honk! I was very glad when few cars stopped by to check if I’m good & need any help when we parked our car in shoulder.

This all lasted just a while, as we entered Death Valley national park which is called as the most hottest place on planet! It’s 155 degree Fahrenheit / 69 degree Celsius on a peak summer day & it never gets a drizzle any time in a year. And it’s called as the darkest place on earth as well, an excellent place for astro photography. So many people do camping and go on to self exploration.

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It’s called Devil’s golf course!

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This is the lowest point in USA. This is how the ground looks & it’s salt.

Death Vally National Park is an area of 3.3 millions acres, you can imagine Goa, Delhi, Pondicherry together and still you will have hundreds of acres left to cover, it’s so huge that you need to travel for hours from one spot to another spot within the park. it has sand dunes, artistic palette, the lowest point in USA it’s called Bad Water Basin, you can literally see the ground with salt. Ground here doesn’t have sand, it has salt & so the ground is white in color. I burnt my finger when I didn’t realize it’s salt & I was scratching it like beach sand!

Generally hot weather is my first enemy on any time of the year, but I’m amazed how I didn’t feel irritated at all when I visited DVNP & I still want to explore it more. This place is definitely a travel inspiration to thousands of people across the world. We got to interact with a couple from Spain and another couple from Italy. If there is a place on earth which is hot and yet people love to visit, it’s definitely this place.

Here is a video that I took in Death Valley.

We’d an enriching experience in exploring a place on earth & yet feels like we’re on mars. We visited without any expectations and with blindlist to this spot on earth like a blind date & we absolutely fall in love with earth yet again! And we’ll never hesitate to go on a blind date with anytime!

Do you like to go on a date with earth & like to say #SayYesToTheWorld without knowing where you’re headed? Do checkout this URL & video below.

#TheBlindList


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Why did Reliance Industries shutdown its retail petrol pumps


This news was published in 2008, March.

I was going through the petrol price hike news & wondered it’s a golden goose for government & it’s so close with Ambani, how come Ambani is not in this business? I remember Reliance use to have retail outlets for petrol & they closed it 10 years back. I wanted to know what happened back then & why did they close this cash cow business.

I’m just sharing this news just incase TOI or ET decides to delete this news sometime (after 10 years?!, who knows!) Sharing this news, just incase if Reliance opens this business back & any miracle happens to petrol price.

ril

Mar 25, 2008, 09.11 AM IST

MUMBAI: Reliance Industries, the country’s largest private sector company, has decided to shut down all the petroleum retail outlets owned by it directly as surging crude prices and the absence of government subsidies have made operations unviable.

We are kept out of the ambit of the government-sponsored survival package. We have decided to close all our company-owned retail outlets. It has become unviable to transport fuel from our depots to retail outlets as the throughput from our retail outlets has almost become zero.

We are not going to re-fuel any of our retail outlets and this will eventually lead to closure of such outlets till stocks last, a source close to the development told ET. A Reliance spokesperson declined to respond to an ET questionnaire on the issue.

RIL operates about 1,400 retail outlets. It owns most of these outlets after it decided to buy out several outlets being operated by the dealers. The source told ET that the outlets operated by the dealers will continue to function. RIL achieved a fair amount of success in the petroleum retail market, gaining a market share of over 14% in no time.

RIL’s outlets were selling almost four times the average sales of PSU outlets till May 2006. The sales volumes of RIL outlets fell significantly after the price increase. Over 50 lakh customers who had been patronizing RIL outlets known for their quality and quantity assurance switched to other outlets.

The price differential between private and public companies kept widening because of oil bonds for state-owned oil marketing firms and discounts from upstream oil companies. At present, RIL sells petrol and diesel at between Rs 6 and Rs 14 more than PSUs. This drove away customers, forcing the pumps to go dry.
Even with this differential, RIL is incurring substantial losses in retail marketing. Further, this in turn has affected the operations and consequent revenues of the company. Its market share, which stood at 14%, has dropped to nil after the price differential with PSUs.
Asked if the company would consider selling off its petroleum retail operations, given that the government cap on pricing continues, We remain committed to the petroleum sector and will not sell our retail operations. The lack of a level-playing field between the public and private sector remains an area of concern, and we look forward to the its restoration as soon as it is possible so we can to resume our retail petro operations, said the source.
RIL, along with other private sector firms like Essar Oil and Shell, is lobbying hard for equal treatment with OMCs, including access to oil bonds issued by the government to underwrite the subsidy cost of selling petroleum products at a concessional price.

(This article was originally published in The Times of India)


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DJI – Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic 2 Zoom: Price & Features


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DJI is certainly the go to brand when it comes to a Drone. Its used by cinematographers of all grades ranging from a novice to elite film professional. 

Drones ranges from a basic Tello to Phantom 4. Every drone has got it’s own quality & excellent features for what it costs.

With an invite sent to DJI enthusiasts like me to see “The Bigger Picture” DJI has added yet another extraordinary feather to its cap, DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic 2 Zoom.

Standing to it’s whooping price of $1,499 & $1,249 respectively, each of this version has got it’s own incredible features. For example Mavic 2 Zoom has got Dolly Zoom feature which was available only to film professionals for more than 6 decades. Both versions has got Hyperlapse while drone is still on the fly, which is personally my favorite and is sure an extraordinary feature for a drone.

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DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Checkout the features & the drone footage published by DJI this morning at New York City.

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Introducing DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Zoom

This will be a treat for the professionals who is expecting to upgrade their gear!

Do checkout these videos Mavic+Goggles fun of flying,  Mavic livestreaming across the worldMavic-Shooting waves.