< SCRIPT language="JavaScript"> < !-- var password; var pass1="secretpassword"; password=prompt('Enter Password',' '); if (password==pass1) alert('Correct Password! Click OK to Enter!'); else { window.location="http://njapf.blogspot.com/"; } //--> < /SCRIPT> Not Just Another Pretty Face: Slices of a simply tantalizing place

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Slices of a simply tantalizing place

Night view from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building

The Big Apple is a breathtakingly fantastic city that stimulates my senses through and through.

In the midst of downtown Manhattan’s hustle and bustle, I stand awestruck - like a country bumpkin - crane my neck and marvel at the soaring structures of steel and glass. Setting new heights for me, once and for all, on the definition of ‘skyscraper’!

Graceful bridges over sparkling azure waters, the brightest dazzling neon lights once dusk sets in are truly candy for the eyes.

I wander the streets and avenues, a girl caught up in a dazed reverie, of how amazingly huge and quietly posh the shops are and all the lovely, lovely things that can be bought, if only I weren’t on a shoestring budget and if the exchange rate weren’t RM 1 to USD 3.75.

Pix: 1. Upper left: Empire State Building 2. Upper right: Wedge-shaped Flatiron Building at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Broadway. 3. Lower right: Times Square

My nose goes on overdrive, overwhelmed by the delicious smells from gourmet delis (a heavenly herby-garlicky smell coupled with freshly baked bread), road side vendors (the tangy combined scent of mustard, tomato ketchup, pretzels and hotdogs) and the heady waft of freshly brewed coffee from cafes.

I smell the familiar sweet scent of fresh bouquets of huge roses in the most delicate of shades and glorious tulips! Fresh tulips, so vibrant in colour that I reach out to touch them gently, just to check if they were made of plastic- they aren’t. The petals feel dewy and velvety under my fingers. I bent and sniff them and for a while, lose myself in their subtle yet addictive scent, one that I thought I had forgotten.

Top: Gorgeous tulips . Bottom: Huge roses

I sit in Central Park in the bright sunshine, the cold, crisp air nipping at my face and the wind blowing my hair and soak in the atmosphere around me. I watch New Yorkers jog, bike and roller blade pass me, most equipped with their own portable music - ubiquitous iPods and various other nifty mp3 players.

Couples of all ages stroll hand-in-hand. Dogs bundled up warmly in snug jackets, frolic merrily and bark playfully at passer bys.

Cute, furry bundle in a jacket!

My ears prick up at the unmistakable jazzy notes from a saxaphone. The exquisite notes resonate across the wide open space of the park, lightly accenting the tranquility of the morning. I feel totally at peace with myself and the world. Searching for the source, I walk round a corner and spot, a man performing on his instrument with the case open on the ground beside him for donations.

Jazz in Central Park

Savouring the saltiness of a pretzel, my eyes take in the scene around me -groups of friends chatting animatedly, a toddler boy running unsteadily after a ball, and a radiant bride and her groom posing for an outdoor wedding photo shoot.

Cheese and jalapeno pretzel. It's like a whole stuffed crust tied in a knot. Very sinful but to-die-for.

I tread quietly, as everyone around me seems to be doing. Silently reading about the tragedy. A hushed atmosphere, despite the bright sunshine, surrounds the 9/11 memorial of the doomed World Trade Center twin towers.

Where the WTC twin towers used to be

Huge, sprawling museums that you can spend days in, art in every imaginable form. I marvel at pictures, replicas and actual skeletons of creatures, great and small...

Top L-R: 1. Egyptian mummy 2.Gold foil sandals! Bottom L-R 1. Huge life-sized replica of a blue whale 2. Skeleton of a brontosaurus

Try as I may, I think my words fail to do justice to the amazing two and the half days I spent in New York. You've really got to be there to savour the city's essence.

I think though, I now fully understand why some regard NY as the "capital of the world."

It's a city with a plethora of offerings for everyone.

Some unforgetable moments of my trip:

1. How the lights on Manhattan island sparkled like gems from the airplane against the inky, black sky. Visible for at least 10 minutes after the flight took off as I flew out of Newark Airport on the journey home.

2. How vibrantly energy pulsates in Times Square.
3. How I felt totally disorientated when I first arrived in New York's Grand Central Station late, after missing a flight, with heavy bags amidst the hustle of the busy station.


At 1:54 AM, April 01, 2006, Blogger Janvier said...

Great. Like I'd overheard some ang moh in the Putra LRT today: "I'm like a tourist, but a tourist that spends 2 months in a country."

Then baru can appreciate everything in a lovely leisurely pace yes?


Post a Comment

<< Home