gasp! I need some air, and was searching for it at - of all places- on google, semi-geek that I am, when I came across this website. Not quite what I was looking for, but refreshing nevertheless.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

organizing the kitchen

The picture above shows pretty much all I did over this weekend. Organize the kitchen. But then, the weekend starts at Friday night. So let's start from there.
As usual, had a release at work that had me stuck till 8. Came home, and was sitting down for dinner and a movie, when Kanishka said he was on his way to pick Ranjita up from Kennedy Airport, and would go by my place. So I hopped onto his loaner Jeep Liberty, to the airport, picked Ranjta, and came back. Followed by a movie.
Saturday started with Kanishka and Ranjita's house hunt - with a different broker than last time, as the previous broker had quit and gone off to greener pastures. This lasted for a good 3 hours, during which I managed to lose my cell phone in the cab (once) and recover it (once). Lunch defaulted to Kati Roll, which had a sweet 45 minute wait time. Everybody and their mother was there to have Kati Roll, and everyone had come there before we did. No - that's not true, I should correct that. Only the people ordering 10 rolls or more were there before us, and all of those who ordered one or two were behind us. Anyway - the rolls were followed by a nap, during which Dr Lahiri and Dr Bhagwan went to EWR to pick up Ranjita's parents and made their way to Princeton. Woke up shortly after 6, picked up a bottle of wine, and went over to Yashodhan's house. Took me 2 hours to reach Queens, because of a 'brief' halt at Patel Groceries in Jackson Heights. Crap place - as exhausting as a hike up a mountain. Dinner was awesome, with home cooked stuff, nothing frozen and nothing that came out of an instant mix box.
Sunday was downright lazy by any standards. Slept, ate, and watched movies. Among others - "Sixteen Candles"- a sweet leisurly movie about a girl's sixteenth birthday and the general life in high school, and
"The Naked Gun", a slapstick comedy with Leslie Nielson. Then went over to Bed Bath and Beyond, and onwards to the wonderful Container Store. Awesome places, both. Bought the spice jars from the container store, came home and organized my spices, throwing away the older containers and sealing the extra spices. Found I had bought too few, so went back to the store and picked up some more. Had a bag of honey roasted nuts and a cup of Italian Ice to supply me with the required energy. At the end, had to take this picture for the records.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

CBGB, Tribeca Grand, Riverside Drive, Bronx Zoo

In short, my weekend. Not bad, considering the average weekend plans of the middle aged desi is usually limited to 2 masala dosas, one vada sambar, and maybe a movie. With EXTRA butter on the popcorn, or no popcorn at all.

Krishna and a colleague of his came over Friday night, after I got home from work (late, as usual). My plans for spending the weekend in West Virginia for the HyperFest 2004 - with fast cars and bikini babes - went for a toss when my boss said I needed to "sacrifice" for the sake of the deployment. Which, for all the natural reasons, really pissed me off. But then I was telling you about my weekend - not starting a crib session about my work.

So - once they landed here, we made our way to Kati Roll Company, picked up some wonderful anda beef and anda chicken rolls, and walked east on Bleeker. When Bleeker ended in a T junction, we refused to stop, and so ended up through the doors of CBGB OMFUG for a night of live music. We were given the options of two doors, and the one we picked led us to one good rock band, and one crazy band with two people in it. I recommend the place, but make sure you know what's playing, and go early to make the most of the cover charge.

Then came Saturday. Kanishka came over for apartment hunting. A street fest broke out right in front of my house. Which meant he could not cross 6th Avenue at all, and I met up with him at 59th and 9th, at the office of City Habitats. The broker had picked a nice set of apartments, and we were done with 6 places and a zillion photographs in about 2 hours.

By then, of course, we were hungry as hell, so we hit the street fair with a vengeance. sheesh kebabs, watermelon smoothies, strawberry and banana smoothies, and chicken satays disappeared like magic. And really, really yummy. I love these street fairs.

A little rest and a little light music later, we decided to check out two of the neighborhoods among the houses visited earlier. That took one coffee and about 1.5 hours. Then I wanted to drive Kanishka's bimmer a little, and I started going north on 9th Ave. And north we went. Reached above 200th street before we decided it was far enough. We had gone where no man had gone before. To the upper regions of Manhattan, filled with a lot of life and party people, and surprisingly, some parks with hills in them. That was followed by a cruise down Riverside Drive, then some defensive driving down Broadway.

Home at 8, and about to settle down with dinner and a movie, when Greg asked if I was doing anything later that evening. Since I was not, we went off to the Tribeca Grand Hotel - a block away from my office commute stop of Franklin Street - and went down to the dance floor in the basement. DJ Swayzag was playing some really cool techno music that had awesome beats - though the bar was about $2 more than the usual in the area. Things started slow, but warmed up just after midnight, and the place barren when we came in at 10 was crammed with people all around. As dance clubs and lounges go, this had a really good crowd, not the meat packers of Webster Hall. But then this was the Tribeca Grand anyway. The sofas along the walls provide a good lounge atmosphere, if you can talk through the music, and the dance floor is nice and roomy, until filled with a billion people. Oh - by the way - this is where we got to know about it

That taken care of, and a few hours of sleep into my head, it's time to check out the Bronx Zoo. Right now, all I am doing is waiting for Mridul and company to arrive. It's surprising how they can be more than an hour late on a commute that Kanishka regularly does in about 50 minutes. But then life is full of surprises. More on the cute animals in the zoo - and the sliced, spicy ones in my sandwich - later.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Come on baby, light my fire

As of afternoon, July 3rd, I was not doing anything on the 4th. In fact, I had forgotten about the long weekend entirely, since the 4th was a Sunday. Later that day, Krishna Sekar called and said he'll try to come over, maybe with a friend. Even later, Anindya Roy gave a surprise call, and said he would come down here with Prakash Nanwani, whom I had not met since graduating from KGP!

So this is the sequence that happened, in brief. Madhup Bakshi, '99 ME, met up with Krishna Sekar, '99 CS, and managed to miss the bus that was to bring them to the city. As chance would have it, the next bus had Avinav Khanna, '01 EE, who was coming to see the fireworks on his own. Once these people landed up, I met up with them and we had a nice lunch at PongSri Thai Restaurant. Unable to find a liquor shop open that would sell some good wines, we decided to go home and open the nice scotch I received from Kanishka and Snigdha on my b'day a week back. As we teamed up with "Captain Macallan", we were joined by Anurag Singla, '99 CS who got delayed by a few hours because he dropped his car keys into the gutter as he was coming out of a highway rest area, and had his roomie drive down from home with the spare keys. With nothing much to do before the fireworks, we chilled out on a hot day, smoking and drinking. Around 6-something, Anindya Roy, '98 EY, and Prakash Nanwani, '98 CH, landed up from the Boston area. After some munchies and a few more rounds of drinks, the 7 of us started walking east. Reaching the fireworks display was the easiest of all - as soon as we crossed 1st ave, we fell into the NYPD channels, and that made things immensely simple - there was only one way to go, so no decisions to take and no views to worry about. After a lot of walking in the long lines of people, that resembled a rally in India more than anything in this country, we ended up in a very nice spot - on the FDR drive, southbound, right in front of the river. Just as we were getting comfortable, Kanishka Lahiri, '98 CS, landed up at my house, found a parking spot, and a cab, and joined the thousands still in queue. He made it to the northbound side of the FDR, still with a good view. The fireworks started at 9:30, and kept us in awe for a good 30 minutes. So, as things happened, 8 graduates of IIT Kharagpur ended up celebrating the US Independence Day at New York City together.