bhargavkesavan

Travelogue, Nostalgic memories and more…

Grace-ful Ice: Safari

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It’s the time of year where Live Ice Carvings are performed at the Grace building.

The artists from Okamoto Studio show their talents in giving a shape to the just plain big rectangle ice bars to a stunning animals (2016), the dinosaur (2015), microcosmos (2014) etc.

Here are the photos taken during this event on 12th December 2016 at Grace building, New York City. Because of the good weather these crafts are still good in shape unlike last year where it melted the very day because of high temperature.

If you’re in the city & reading this now, you still have time left to see these beautiful Ice animals before it melts down.

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Deers – Crafting in progress

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Lion King – Crafting in progress

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Zebra – Crafting in progress

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Crafting the details…

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Crafting the details…

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Small birds – Crafting in progress

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Oh!!! Not in the eyes!!!

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Crafting the details…

After the final shape…

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Some moments that I found very funny when this crafting was in progress! View it in full size to see if you can find it fun 🙂

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The New York Times reported that Mr & Mrs Bhargav witnessed this event at Grace plaza on 12/12/16

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Anu cheering heyyy woww at the end of ice crafting 😉

Thank you for visiting 🙂


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Manhattanhenge, New York’s Stonehenge


I have seen photos of Manhattanhange (without knowing the name then!) several years ago. I was not aware of such event until last year when I discovered something like this happens twice a year. One in May & another during July. The dates are May 29 & July 12, also a day before the above dates as well.

When I was reading newspaper last year (2015) I saw the Sunset photo and the news referred it as Manhattanhenge, I then googled about it & got to know I’d just missed it by two days or so. The disappointment level will be very high when you realize you could have witnessed something that happens in the very street you walk every single day & it’s historic which happens just twice a year.

Immediately I checked the dates for 2016  Manhattanhenge, it was May 28, 29 & July 11, 12. After a year, on May 29th I’d visited New York to see this, unfortunately everyone was disappointed as it was cloudy! The crowd waited until the sunset but it happened behind the clouds! May be the sun was shy to look everyone as hundreds of people were looking at it at the same time after an year!

The last time of the year to witness this came! I totally forgot about it on 11th, on 12th I remembered it after I boarded bus to New Jersey! I couldn’t stop bus as they won’t stop it once it’s started from departure until the first stop arrives. I waited until the first stop & crossed the road & waited for the next bus to New York.

Arrived at Times Square at 7:50, the streets were already crowded. Both sides of road were crowded and none crossed the road for the walk sign! Some taxi’s lowered the window and asked what are people looking at? Some people got down from Taxis after knowing about it. Cops were on the fly & ensured people are not blocking the traffic, as center of the road is best spot to see.

Everyday there is sunrise and sunset, but how many days are we looking at it? When was the last time you saw the sunrise & sunset by standing in a position just to look at it? But there is a point here, it’s not just a sunset, it’s a sunset that aligns in center of the street. Just like the Stonehenge in England which was constructed somewhere around 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

At 8:10, like the curtain opens before play, Sun came out with glittering rays from behind the building it was hiding. It was so beautiful to see the Golden sun surrounded with reddish ring and orange and golden glittering rays! At this evening, Nature was the celebrity! People shouted out of happiness and I kept smiling 🙂 It was the moment everyone was so happy and some even clapped for the nature 🙂 I asked someone to take a picture of me instead of just taking a selfie, what’s the use of having hundreds of people when we don’t talk to them.

People kept looking at the spot for a while even after the sun was set. More than hundreds including may not get another chance to see it next year or in future! Next time when you’re in New York City around May or July, do not miss this! It’s for this 10 minutes I waited an year! 

Checkout the video below!

 


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Cycling at Central – Spring 2016


Since the winter is officially over and Spring has has begun! I was waiting for a day to ride cycle in Central Park again!

Since friends schedule (:D :P) didn’t match, I went alone on April 24th to Central Park. I was well prepared for the day and my goal for the day was very clear, it’s just a day for me and to enjoy the day well by cycling!

Carried a fully charged power bank, sunglass, Cap, wallet, a juice bottle and a box with apple slices for the day. Made sure my rope bag is as light as possible (which I usually do!) so that I’ll feel comfortable the whole day & the energy won’t be wasted in carrying the bag with unnecessary weight & won’t reduce the time to ride bicycle.

As I reached the rental shop, there were few people but no cycle! Yeah.. I was late already & the shop was almost empty, but there were cycles left for me. They seem to have changed the cycles & almost all cycles were new. Last year the cycles were silver color and this year the new ones were black color.

Rented a cycle and since there were no locks left & I was asked to wait until someone returns the cycle to get a lock for me, I didn’t spend time waiting for anyone, I just left saying I’ll collect it later if I need.

Left the rental shop just the same way I use to leave the rental shop in my childhood paying 1 Rupees for 1 hour 🙂 As I entered the park, I was among one of the thousands! And the rest were almost same as last year.

Here are the pics and video taken this year.

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This flower adds beauty to this post!

 

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Relaxing after completing first lap!

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ohhh… you too relaxing??

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End of lap 1.

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End of the day! After 5 laps.

As usual enjoyed my cycling & had fun with my friends Sriram and Kalai who joined me at evening after seeing the photos I’d posted in our whatsapp group!

Watch the short video that I took while cycling!

As I say in all posts, leave your comment below, when I revisit this post after several years, I could read your comment. Comments in whatsapp and FB will be long gone after few years! Thank you for reading!


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Dinosaurs – Graceful Ice 2015


You may very well remember Ice Sculpture – Microcosmos photos that I’ve shared last year. This year the theme was Dinosaurs! Jurassic Park movie is what I could recall when I looked at the notice last week.

The sad part about the Ice carving this year is the weather 😦 Last year the weather was so cold that the ice carvings lasted for two nights! But this year due to warm weather, the ice carvings melted overnight and many people couldn’t see the carvings!

The Okamoto Studio artists did a great job as they did last year! Here are the photos of the Dinosaurs, people were so happy about this event and I could see from the way people showed eagerness to watch this event that age doesn’t have a limit to enjoy watching the Dinosaurs and to get excitement!

These pics were taken using my mobile, so keep the expectations low and enjoy the pics & a short video too 🙂

Click on images to view in full screen 🙂

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View from top!

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Day 2 night! The last one that stood still!


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A weekend at New York City with Friends


New York City never makes you feel bored. Though I travel to the city daily, everyday, everything looks new. Especially the Times Square at the 42nd street & 7th avenue intersection never make you feel lonely. This is the street where people across the world gathers and enjoys their time. It is referred to as he Crossroads of the World, The Center of the Universe,The heart of The Great White Way, and the “heart of the world”. While writing this blog post I got to know this is the world’s busiest pedestrian intersection.

As it ‘s a long weekend, it’s time to get together especially when my best buddies are in close by states. Praveen had visited Vignesh’s house at Philadelphia from Richmond, VA, together they came to NYC & I’d started from NJ while Sriram had started from Connecticut he had asked me to keep his visit as surprise and for the first time without giving any hint or anything I’d kept it secret until Sriram himself had showed up to the city 🙂

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It was a great feel to be with best buddies especially in front of my office 🙂 Just when we went to order food, praveen realized that he had lost the parking ticket 😐 He searched everywhere and couldn’t find it, later Vignesh & I thought to go back to the parking building to check with the attendant on what to do for the lost parking ticket and Praveen was planning to walk back in the same path he went from parking to Bryant park. We were little worried what if someone else picks it and pick the car! When Vignesh and I almost reached the parking building, Praveen had called me & Vignesh, we went back to see what he had found & it is our parking ticket!! What a miracle! In a busiest city, we dropped a parking ticket & it was luckily not picked by anyone! He checked the ticket printed time and the call history to check the time he had called me and made sure that’s our ticket! 😀

haha… finally after picking the ticket, We’ll had the yummy veggie biriyani from the cart at 44th street & 6th avenue. After food we spent time at Bryant park and after a while we started walking to Central park. Wrapping my hands on friends shoulders I walked in the 6th avenue like never before. After a good time at central park, Ejas and his parents came to meet us at the central park and that moment was like a mini family function with all the friends and their family.

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We had dinner st Bryant park & thought to spend time at times square, just when we were crossing road, Sriram found out that he had missed his Ray ban sunglass! Half the way through the road & we ran back to the table where we were sitting, not even a minute, and the glass is gone! Paavam! His brother gave him the sunglass & he was very sad that he lost it! Who won’t be sad?! Morning the parking ticket was still left in the street for more than 45 minutes! And now not even a minute and it’s gone! So if you loose any paper in road, you can be sure that you will get it if you follow the same path provided wind blow is less 😀

Vikky and his family started back to PA and Ejas and his family started back, Sriram, Praveen and I had roamed a while post 10 PM and enjoyed the Godiva ice cream from Godiva showroom at 50th street at RockeFeller center, as our car moved through the streets of Times Square like a snail visit to the city on day 1 got over & we reached my home at 23:45

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Day 2 started with visit to the icon of Wall street, Wall Street Bull through the Subway of New York in which Praveen was very eager to travel from the time he had arrived. We took the number 2 train from the Times Square 42nd street station after spending sometime at Times Square and reached Wall Street shortly after boarding. To my surprise the Bull looked like Bullsh*t 😀 The color was faded out as comparing to my previous visit. Only the face of bull had it’s bronze color and rest were of multiple fade colors.

We’d noticed a pizza shop while having donut at Dunkin Donut & had lunch at the pizza shop just to fill up stomach as our next visit would take few hours at the next place we were about to visit, bought a water bottle from a cart for $2 (!!!) which was $1.5 at the pizza shop, I thought the shop is selling it with more price as it use to be $1 in the carts near my office at Times Square, but the carts near ferry terminal sells it for more price. We then started walking to Staten Island ferry white hall Terminal to catch ferry to Statue of Liberty. As we were waiting to cross the road a M15 bus that crossed us reminded Praveen about the M15 bus that goes from Mylapore to Pallikkaranai in Chennai 🙂

Think it as 1983! (If it was me, I would say think it as 1988!)

Talk to friends & think it as 1983! (If it was me, I would say think it as 1988!)

As we crossed the road there was a guy who showed his ID and asked us if he can help us to plan our visit to SoL & few other places. There was two ferries, one was water taxi & other was a private cruise (Hornblower). As I’ve seen several deals & coupons for a lesser price than he had said I was not sure whether to go with this guy or not and I’d called Ejas and checked with him about how he had visited the previous day. I’d shown my mobile to that person and said see it’s $17 and not $31. He said ‘OK go ahead and book that… I’m sure you’re going to get trouble (smiles!!) 😀 Sriram and Praveen were sitting on a bench and were looking at me. We were discussing whether to go for this guys ticket or.. or nothing as we didn’t have other plan ready yet! Silently I’d noticed that the deal I showed to that guy was not available 😀 😀 also realized that Sriram too had mentioned it to me when I showed the mobile to him.

He came to us again and said ‘See man I can give you offer up to $25 (!!) but if you have decided to go with your mobile thing, I’m sure you’re going to get trouble getting the tickets’ etc… We thought he would come down with price again but he didn’t come back for a while, then we’d decided to get in to the terminal and get tickets on our own & started walking, he said alright see you 😀 As Praveen and Sriram are kind heart person and this guy looked paavam (innocent) we planned to get the tickets from him. He then took us to someone and charged $5 more for something he said must be service charge or something. He gave the tickets and showed a place which was 0.7 miles from there… haha 😀 we were little worried whether the ticket was valid!! I could recognize the boarding place (Hornblower Cruises) as I’ve already been in the same Cruise on New Year night. Only difference it is that the ticket price was $120 on New Year night (with unlimited food & drinks) and it was $25 this time.

Finally we’d boarded the cruise and directly went to terrace of the cruise by the time we reached the terrace the chairs have been occupied. But that wasn’t necessary for us, we stood at rear side of the terrace and it was a good view. The cruise started at 3:40 which was supposed to start at 3:30, in a 10-15 mins our cruise went near the Statue of Liberty, it was gigantic and standing tall! I was glad I’d visited it the same way I’d imagined! We didn’t choose a visit to get down at the Liberty Island as that would take us several hours since it was a long weekend!

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After a stop near  Statue of Liberty the cruise went the same way back and went near the Brooklyn bridge, which we could see very well while waiting in the queue to board the cruise, just a small difference that we went little closer and were able to see the view from beneath the bridge. 😀 😀 And… yeah and that it!!! It’s not even 1 hour, it was just a 35-40 mins and the cruise came back to shore, the guy who sold ticket said it’s a 1 hour ride & it’s not even 1 full hour including the time we stood in queue to on board & off-board from the cruise! Since we’d visited the SoL & Brooklyn bridge and had few other places to visit, we didn’t take it seriously and didn’t think about it much later. (May be this is how all tourists are being cheated?!!)

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We then had planned to visit 9/11 memorial and One World Observatory (Which I’d been planning since May when it was opened). We walked for 15 minutes to the 9/11 memorial which was the convenient way to commute from Pier 15, as we reached we could see a huge crowd. We spent few minutes near the fountain and then moved to the observatory. As I couldn’t find any coupon or deal for the ticket, we got the tickets with actual price $31 and entered the building.

As we entered the building there was a usual way of security check and then a queue to enter the building. It didn’t take more than 15 minutes to enter the lift that carries us to the 102nd floor. As the lift was closed, the walls of lift is a high definition display that had a great video as the lift started from ground floor and reached the 102nd floor. As the lift started the experience was like the lift started from beneath a river and as the lift goes up, a time-lapse was played which showed the transformation of New York city from the olden days till 2015. And when we were about to reach the 102nd floor, I felt like the lift is going in  sideways in a construction building we have seen in many movies including the main scenes in ‘Cube’ movie.

Just discovered that there is a different video for Night view

We got out of the lift and were eager to see the view of New York from the Tallest building in Northern Hemisphere. There was a presentation video over the walls of 102nd floor in a panoramic view, post presentation the card board screen was scrolled up and the view of the outside was shown! Wow! It was great that moment! Immediately it was closed and were asked to enter another room which they call Observatory hall, as we enter there we were asked to move a level down which is 100th floor, not sure where did 101 go!! Never seen a place which you visit thinking tallest building and they send us a few floors down??!!

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As we walked down people used escalator to go down, since it’s summer and the sun sets very late, being at the top the sun glare was very high as it was reflected by the Hudson river water. Without a sunglass it would be very tough to enjoy the outside view. As it’s a closed top (not like Empire State Building & other tallest building in New York) and covered by glass, we could see the view with others prints of the world(??!)… yeah! All the finger prints of the visitors were on the glass that covers the 100th floor, it wasn’t clean! The glass wasn’t anti glare, there is a big gap in 102nd floor (which is design!!!) through which you can see the 100th floor, people might accidentally drop camera, mobile or any valuables.

There was a Sky portal where people can step on to a 14-foot wide disc that delivers real-time HD footage of the streets which was utter waste! Not clean and not anti glare, due to sun rays nothing was visible (it should look like the one in the image below, but nothing was visible when we were there!) Spent sometime there and took pictures, which didn’t look like taken from a tallest building at all 😀 While coming down in lift there was another video that was played and it was good, the bad was the thick line that spoils the display!!!

A 4 Billion building and don’t know why can’t they make a frameless display! From a few decades ago there are large displays that are used just for advertisement and bill boards in Times Square, they could have used it! I felt Empire State Building was the best!  Came down and rested for few mins near 9/11 memorial again and boarded a subway to go back to uptown. Finished the day with a good dinner at Chennai garden, walked till bus terminal and visited Grand central station and then & headed back home & Sriram had started back home. Reached home at 00:15 by Lakeland bus!

Started back to NYC on day 3 (today) as Praveen has to catch train at 3 PM, we reached NYC for lunch and bought veggie biriyani from the cart on same street that we had on day 1 & had lunch at Bryant park. Praveen started to Richmond from Penn station and I’d headed back to bus stand to catch my 3:30 bus after he boarded train! Now back home and cherishing the moments while I’m writing this (smiling)!

Look out for next post if you’d liked this!


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Cycling at Central Park, New York


As a bicycle lover, I always wanted to ride bicycle in New York. As it was winter season when I’d arrived here, I had to wait until the winter is over. As the spring begun a month ago, I had been telling my friend to make a plan for cycling. The wait was over finally on April 18.

I always wanted to start early for any trip but end up waiting for my friends to get ready! This plan was no exception! I’d got ready and was waiting for my friends to start from their place & finally I’d started from my place an hour before it was noon. I’d reached New York port authority bus terminal, only difference was I was not in formal wear as I do everyday to office.

As soon as I reached I was wandering the streets and went to times square just to pass time until my friends reached NY. As they reached I’d boarded the car and together we came across few streets to find parking. One main thing to keep in mind if you are visiting New York on a weekend in your car is that you need to either reserve your parking in advance or you need to know which street has meter parking for longer hours.

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                                                                          oh! Who it at the top right corner? 😉

For those who like to know more about parking in New York is that there are several types are parking available in New York. We cannot park cars anywhere we want, like we do it in India, There will be selective portion in road which are allowed for public and it will be allowed for 3 hours, on weekend some streets will allow maximum of 6 hours, if your plan exceeds 6 hours, you need to renew or add more hours after the 6 hour is over. There will be meters placed on streets, you need to enter the number of hours you need to park and pay through card, Once the receipt is printed, it needs to be placed in front of driver seat and it should be visible for cops. Else penalty/ticket (fine) will be issued.

So we roamed around few streets and finally found a place to park. But we were already moved ahead of the parking place, so I got down with Ananth’s friend and we both were holding the parking place by standing in the parking space on road, It was like holding place for your friends in movie hall or in bus 😀 Ananth had to go around few streets to get back to the same road again, we cannot simply take a reverse to park even though it was a few steps or one car space ahead of the parking space.

We then walked to a cycle shop on 56th street and rented 3 bicycles. We’d booked it already through mobile. It was $20/Day through an offer. Else the prices were different. We then headed to a Subway nearby to have lunch. As it was cycling day we didn’t want to eat heavily as it would ruin our cycling mood.

I felt awesome when I started riding the cycle, it’s after 6 months I’m riding a cycle. When I rented the cycle it reminded the days when I use to ask 50 paise and 1 rupee from my mom when I was at school. I use to rent cycle for one hour and roam around streets of Hosur enjoying with my friends, every now and then we use to go to the cycle shop and ask the owner ‘Anna how many mins left?‘ and then go on to the streets again. 🙂

Similarly I took the cycle here and only difference I don’t have to visit the shop to ask for the hours as I have a watch now and also it’s rented for a full day. The lady asked us to return the cycle by 10 PM. When I’d left the shop the time was 2:15 noon. After lunch we started from Subway around 2:50.

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The rental shop lady gave us New York city map for cycle route, central park map & another brochure with rules for cycling in New York (which I read the next day :D), the only rule I have for cycling is enjoy the ride without causing trouble to commuters. As I started form the shop my friends asked me to carry water bottles in a bag for which I said no! may be they didn’t ride cycle for so many years now and had forgotten how painful it will be to ride cycle carrying bag at your back. As these cycles didn’t had carriers at back I didn’t want to carry it in my shoulder. Since I’ve done that during my school days I knew I won’t enjoy the ride if I carry load, so phew!!!! Kept the bag in car and headed to park.

Central park starts from 59th street to 110th street. It is the biggest greenery spot in New York City, One cannot believe New York City, the concrete jungle has such a beautiful place in center of the city. It was heavily crowded and streets were full of people 🙂 It was so nice to see the city with more people in streets. As the weather on that day was awesome city was heavily crowded and it was full of people. As we entered the park, we started riding cycle in the cycling track, the road/track in central park is the place for cycling, running, walking, roller skates and much more. On weekdays public transportation is allowed but on weekends it’s strictly for the above said purpose.

As I started riding cycle I was so amazed by being in central park, secondly I was riding cycle, so I felt very happy when I headed in the track. As it’s spring season, there were blossoms at many places. Some trees with white flowers and some with pink. When I kept riding I saw a place where people were looking through a fence. I wanted to look what it was, but my friends were not interested… haha! I said I’ll look at that and I had headed to that fence… Wow! It was a ground and it was full of people! It looked awesome! People were with their family and their loved ones. Just like a picnic spot in movies, they were sitting on a blanket and enjoying their time. Many were with bikini and taking sun bath. The kids were playing, people were playing frisbee. It reminded me the days I played frisbee with my sister and cousins at Marina beach, Chennai.

You can find so many birds and squirrel in the park, there was a tortoise too!  There is a zoo in the park which I didn’t visit. I then moved on to enjoy some guys who were playing guitar and singing. People were sitting, resting and enjoying that. I spent a few minutes near a small pond and then moved on. The cycle track/the road in park is full of ups and down (don’t wave your thoughts about the quotes now, life is full of up and down :D). So many trees in the park which reduces the noise from the outer streets. I kept riding, there was a small water falls, swimming pool (which didn’t had water, I think it’ll be filled in summer), a very big lake, two playing grounds, a very big open place filled with grass to sit and rest.

It took one hour ten minutes for me to complete the first round, As I’d stopped at many places to enjoy the spots it took this time in first lap. I then started with the second lap and rode slowly and enjoyed the lap time was 4:50, end of 3rd lap 5:35, end of 4th lap 6:30, there was a CNN news display at one point in the track from where I saw the time every time I wwas near the end of lap. For every lap I’d stopped at the lake and asked someone else to take me pics. At 4th lap I took a off road and walked in a small hill inside the park near a waterfall, that spot was very nice. It looked like one of the track which I’d played in NFS.

Then during 5th lap I bought some snacks which were costly than what we get outside the park, even the water bottle! It was $3 inside the park with just a difference in shape but was costly for that price. But there were drinking water spots in park which is very neatly maintained. There was another spot in the park to sit which is so close to another lake, it was so peaceful, we can sit there for hours just to enjoy the beauty.

I’d completed 5th lap and then called my friend who asked me to come directly to the rental shop, so after 5 hours of cycling I met my friends 😀 Gave back the cycle and felt so happy for riding cycle for a a long time… Time was 8:15 when I returned the cycle, so from 3:00 – 8:15 I rode cycle in Central Park. All that I was wondering was I didn’t felt pain or I didn’t sweat a lot. Just that last lap I rode fast in a steep hilly track in park, otherwise I rode slowly and enjoyed every lap.

I then headed to bus terminal and reached home at 10:30, had dinner and went to bed. It was at 3 am, when I turned upside down and bent my leg 😥 😥 my god! I couldn’t bend my leg 😀 😀 I felt pain at 3 AM. I woke up and went to wash room, did a small warm up to make ease to legs. Did few sit ups 😀 haha… it was like doing dumb-bells at gym the very first day thinking rock and john cena and ending up with pain in hands. But I rode it slowly, may be the longer hours caused the pain. I then slept at 4:30 AM. As soon as I woke up I wanted to check the area of the central park to know the miles I’d rode. I was so surprised to know it was 6.1 mile a lap and that I’d rode 30.5 miles which is 49.1 kms. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I was so surprised that I rode cycle for so many miles without even knowing! And now planning to do it once a month until the season is over 🙂

Plan for cycling in Central Park if you visit the city. You can rent cycle per hour, 2 hours and so on. Check websites for rental cycle and make your plan.


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Luray Caverns, Virginia


We went to Chipotle before leaving D.C. and got take away for dinner. We were heading to Virginia for our night stay as we’d planned to visit Luray caves the next day. As we were heading to other state, the speed limit in the other state had increased, which was 70mph I think. I’d slept soon after we’d entered the highway. We missed to stay on a left lane which continuous to the highway & entered a different route, as the maps re-routed, the road we traveled was thrilling. It looked similar to the road that I saw in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil movie last month. By the time I woke up, we’d reached the night stay ‘Quality Inn’. It was a good place for stay. It was 23:30 when we reached, we had dinner as soon as we entered room. It was time to charge mobile, there were enough ports to charge mobile, however i thought to carry a three pin charger next time when I stay outside. I must mention that the room was neat and I’d a peaceful sleep.

I woke up first and got ready and alarmed others to get ready. one by one Ganesh, Ananth & Dhileep got ready. Meanwhile Varada and his wife were ready and were waiting in their room. We started from hotel at 10 AM. We stopped at Mc Donald’s for breakfast and the headed to Luray caves. It was not even a mile from there we’d reached our destination.

As we reached the destination I was wondering if that was the actual place for the caves. Because it appeared to me like a normal place. The entrance looked like a park or museum entrance. May be this is how entrance for all other caves looks, I don’t know… This is my first visit to a cave. As we were getting ready to enter, Ganesh had bought the entrance tickets. As we entered the queue we were asked to take pictures which the photographers will edit with the main theme of cave, we can buy it if we are interested when we come out of the cave, After taking pictures we entered the hallway, it was the store to purchase things about the caves, I was still wondering where the cave is.

We saw another queue inside the store and a women was allowing us to get to the stairs every 10 mins, as we’ll be escorted by the guide. Unlike India we don’t have to pay separately for guide nor the guide will scratch head end of the tour for extra money. After a few minutes we were allowed to enter a staircase which went beneath the store. Yaay! I could see the staircase leads to the cave. 🙂

As I entered the cave, I was so excited 🙂 We’d climbed down a few steps and we were on ground. That was the entrance to the cave and it was found by a farmer in 1878 in his land. It is now protected by Virginia state government. As I reached the ground I was so amazed at the rock formation and the way the cave looked. It was so beautiful and it the atmosphere was chill at the basement. After a few minutes a guide from Luray caves started explaining about the discovery of the place and that was the last thing I heard from him 😀 I was looking at the rock and turning 360 degree to enjoy the ceiling and the hanging formation of the rock.

As my group of friends were already on to photo session, I’d started moving forward alone to see the rest of the place as I was still at the entrance. As I headed forward I’d noticed the water droppings and I couldn’t find from where it was dropping. the ‘clip clip’ sound of the water dropping made me smile and I’d moved further. As I looked ahead of the path I was walking, the floor was constructed with bricks for the visitors, we were asked to stay on the bricks and not to walk on the rock surface as it might skit. The interior was so vast that we kept walking for two hours (of course looking at every place and slowly).

The path was almost similar to hiking a mountain but on a flat surface. There were ups, downs, zigzag, curve etc… What we could’t do was, there were many areas in the cave which were too deep, the vertical deepest point in the cave is 260 feet!

There is a place which is very famous for this cave, it is a water formation, a pond. It looks amazing! Such a beautiful view in the cave. The beauty about this pond is that it reflects the hanging sharp edges of the rock which reflects in the pond water. The pond appears to be 3-4 feet, but actual deepest point is 6-7 feet. This is must see point in the cave. A photogenic view in the cave. I moved forward without having my mind out of the pond.

As I went further in the cave, I could see giant pillars, which were architecturally looked like pillars in Indian temples. It was amazing when I realized that they are natural formation. I was enjoying the cave so much that I missed the group that was escorted by the guide I’d entered the cave with & not thought about the group of friends I came with 😀 After an hour or so my friends reached the place where I was still standing & admiring the beauty of the cave. The colors of the rocks varied from yellow, red, orange, green, grey etc…

DEEP DOWN IN THE HEART OF THE BEAUTIFUL CAVERNS OF LURAY, LIES THE LARGEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT IN THE WORLD.

The musical instrument The Great Stalacpipe Organ was created by American mathematician and scientist Leland W. Sprinkle. I couldn’t hear the melody and beauty of the instrument clearly in the caves as some kids were crying & their parents were shoo-ing them to be silent which further made more noise & other group were talking loudly about how to pose for a photo, by that time the music had stopped playing! But I looked at those stones that had created the music 🙂

I’d found this wonderful video about this music, do watch this.

As I moved further, there was a wishing pond, with lots of coins in it. And I learnt that not only people in India, people everywhere in world has some belief and hopes their prayer should come true in someway. The pond was filled with more coins, though it didn’t give me the feeling of throwing a coin, I thought to pray for my parents and through a coin, but I didn’t had a coin, haha I never expected there will be such pond in U.S. 😀 I’d asked my friends and even they didn’t had coins. Like India, I’d asked a visitor from Spanish speaking country but she didn’t had enough coins to give me change. To mention, the guide said and even there is a board there that said, those coins will be collected every year & it’ll be donated to some NGO (America is famous for NGO! Don’t know where are those NGOs and whom they help, there are loooooooot any homeless in U.S. ok, forget it for now! Will discuss that in a diff post!)

I headed further from the wishing pond to know that I’ve reached almost the exit of the caves, walked slowly to hold the memory of the cave and finally came out with a fulfillment. Usually I buy a small… as much as small thing from any place I visit, just for the memory of that place. As I looked for such thing there, everything was ‘Made in China’! Why would I buy something that is made in china for a place that I’d visited in U.S? hmm! I looked at almost all products, even the stones that can be kept in showcase were made in china! Are those stones from the cave or from China? I should have asked the people at cave! Anyways, I bought a magnet hanging with the cave name which was made in China 😀

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How will a post end without my pic 😀