Horse Carriage ride and Dessert at the Plaza – Part 3

We decided to go on the classic central park horse carriage {it always brings back the memory of , Richard Gere & Julia Roberts  in Pretty Woman } but thought that $50 was little too expensive…. Then it’s the Manhattan… Big Apple, trendsetter of the universe!!

We sat on the carriage with a beautiful black horse with a patch of white on the chest & left leg. It was a handsome horse called King, standing tall, head held high. Mario, the young man from El Salvador (Central America) clicked our pictures in the dark. We moved on while Mario started with his explanation of the buildings around pointing towards Lady Gaga’s 75 Million dollar penthouse on Central Park South, with simple yet pleasant lighting! He was happy to learn that we were from India because his doctor was a kind hearted Indian who helped him a lot… as we moved on in the darkness, he pointed towards different parts of the park explaining its past & present… which often missed my ears because of the noise or I could not understand him. Sometimes I asked him back about it… when I was showing my husband the white slivery speck of the black rock glittering in the light, he said it was Manhattan granite.

Then he asked do you know why New York is called the Big Apple? Then continued saying the trail in the park had annual track race, where the commentator used the term, you go around like a big apple & it stuck… forever!

After we were done with our ride, Mario, allowed all of us to feed King with a banana each! King was regal as he picked out each banana smoothly from each of our hands!

Once we were done, we  crossed over  to the food hall in the basement of the New York Plaza hotel & have some dessert. Plaza is expensive but it’s nice to treat ourselves once a while. Ironically the main Plaza hotel {a landmark 20 story luxury hotel & condominium apartment building} shareholder is the Indian Conglomerate Sahara India Parivar, with minor partnership of Saudi. So the 5 large flags Indian, Plaza, US, Saudi & parent company Fairmont hotel flaunted at the entrance.

At the food hall, we finally decided on enjoying French Crepes prepared by some nice Americans . A couple of Middle Eastern origin, the lady wearing the light peach Niquab were waiting for her strawberry ice-cream & the husband for his crepe. I was wondering how is she was going to eat it? I did not have to stare at them as they were seated across our table. When it was handed over to her by her husband wearing jeans & check shirt, she quietly lifted her veil from the face & started eating revealing her pretty face bringing a smile on my lips!! As I remembered in one of my trips to NY, at the Battery park, I had seen a woman in black Niquab kissing her husband. After the crepe, we had lime coconut juice, there was nothing coconut about it… Coconut, a fancy drink, after years of condemning has caught up with Westerners after the publicity about its health benefits.

We walked home leisurely talking about luxury buildings & shops & well-dressed New Yorkr couples eating and enjoying the Sunday evening. Passed Mr. Trumps residence guarded by men in black with a NYPD vehicle parked outside. Well-dressed oldies & youngsters moved out of fancy clubs called Lavo and Tao where I’m told there are parties that start in the midday and wrap up before its night!, The Isle of Capri looked old & worn out but still held its former glory at least in terms of name. As we walked, my son said Mum I will show you something… see this building with opening in the middle & took me to Bloomberg headquarters at Lexington Avenue. I said we, like in the company where I worked for decades, pay more than a million annually. Click a picture for me to show it to my colleagues… (Incidentally Mr. Bloomberg is a Jew, guess American Jews not Israelite, so the product is accepted in the Middle East) & the picture he took was rather strange… looked as a large horse shoe… through which the passage ran like a space craft.

We picked up some sweet smelling lilies… & reached home. It was a long & exhausting day & we had walked more than 3 miles. No one had any complaints as we had spent quality time together as a family without the interference of any modern devices. I never really thought it was strange till I was woken up by the whisper of my DIL in the middle of the night & the events unfolded like a video in front of me. Seemed like someone was putting the pieces of the puzzle together in my own mind.

Advertisements

Manhattan – Fishing and Rats (Part 2)

When we entered the park through the south-east corner, the same drama was being enacted inside too but the crowd was mixed. Being Saturday, the park was crowded. A young lady was painting the stone bridge & I peeped from the side to see the work. She was good. We walked little further & sat on the bench opposite to the lake overlooking the bridge. A Youngman was catching fish with simple hook & some plastic looking bait, while 3-ducks stood close to each other on a small rock popping out of the water. Another man from across was capturing the beauty of the natural stone bridge with his camera. At least they were aware of the what they were doing!!

Youngman’s fishing became our discussion for a while as many passersby looked at him with critical eyes. I was wondering if the fishing is allowed inside the park pond? There were a whole lot of fish in the pond… some coloured ones too… meanwhile he got one & he showed it to two kids saying it’s a trout… & released back the fish as an asian woman watched them all. I commented it’s nice that it was released, I know it is to teach his kids but he also should tell them that the fish gets hurt like us & feels uncomfortable deprived of oxygen nearly expecting death too. In the meantime, the kids pointed towards the back & said see Dad there & ran towards him. Oh boy it was not his kids! Was it fair to catch the fish? What was the purpose?

Then the Youngman took his fishing rod & walked to the other side of the lake. I wondered if he was maybe re-living his childhood or maybe making it up for the lost childhood? Now our mind moved towards the stone bridge where many women sat & some kids crawled along it’s the ledge of the bridge, which gave us goosebumps.

My husband and son talked about the buildings around. And I pointed to my daughter in law the Rats racing & scurrying from both sides… with full speed ignoring the presence of humans on their mobiles! There were so many & one was just behind us on the tree watching us. I started telling them about an Indian National volleyball player’s unprecedented accident, when she had rats feasting on her raw flesh right in front of her eyes while she lay unable to move between Two railway tracks. Actually my talk was not about the rats but the human mental endurance but my husband & DIL quickly got up to move… & on the other side of the lake there was a father & son duo both equipped with fishing rod… besides them was the same Youngman!! Same old thing repeated yet I was thankful for they were releasing it back to the water… we moved on fearing their hook might hurt us from their behind while throwing.

Outside “Zombie Oasis” was getting larger & the lights were on. NYPD vehicle which I had seen earlier was still there & I joked what would the Zombies do for Uncle Sam to wait on them… eat each other? Glued to mobiles, they were almost dead to reality, no one spoke or laughed.. thank God they still seemed breathing!! Only casualty was the Psyche Crash!! While the passing cars rolled smoothly & sounds of horse’s hoop reminded of a bygone era, there was an eerie silence among the packed homogeneous sardines..