Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Seven Gifts to the world - New York City

The gifts of New York City to the world are many, picking seven is a tough task but the people at metro blog have come up with their list of seven things. Agree with it or not, it is certain that these are the things that any New Yorker would atleast appreciate.

No 7:
New York has always been an ideal location for movie settings.NYC is the home of so many famous movie scenes. When you factor in the many scenes from Ghostbusters, Goodfellas, and other well-known classics, NY's role becomes that much more respectable.

New York gives the world a prime location for film and movies! Now lately even for bollywood .
Movie Settings

No 6, I know you better or else:
New York way of Attitude, with a capital Type A. Visitors may find us pushy, loud, rude, and opinionated, but we have to be in order to survive this rat-infested race. How else to get yourself onto an already packed subway, or grab that last cab during a shift change, or get some decent service around here. "I'm walkin' here!" Dustin Hoffman's character shouts in Midnight Cowboy as he almost gets run over, something I want to holler about every other day.

But you know it's nothing personal. When you actually stop to talk to one of us, we're pretty friendly and cool, especially when you need directions, or a recommendation for a restaurant.... Where else can you find folks who'll jostle you out of the way one minute, and the next argue with others about how you can get from the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side in the fewest number of subway changes?
Attitude with capital A

Now for No 5:
If you've only been to New York as a tourist, you may have a narrow view of music and theater here. Our town is famous for Broadway musicals and Lincoln Center extravaganzas, but most performances don't involve $100 tickets, elaborate sets, or dancers in cat costumes. In summer, music and theater are everywhere - from al fresco string quartets, to Shakespeare in the Park, to major outdoor concerts. And the list goes on...
Music and Theatre galore

No 4 on the list is:
Racial Diversity, a diverse place to live. There are more opportunities for people who aren't white here. That says a lot about a country filled with immigrants.
Racial Diversity

On to No 3:
BIG, I am referring to the architecture and infrastructure that separates NYC from every other US mega-city and makes it the most easily traversed and interesting destinations in the world. Everything is big: subways, water supply, transportation, bridges...these were all experiments that NYC did and other cities learnt from it.

The No 2 on the list:
Courage. Not everybody appreciates this, but our courage and our defiance in the face of danger are a true contribution to America and the world.
Every day, our thoughts turn at least once to the gaping hole at Ground Zero. But our courage shows the world how to live when things happen to which you have no control over.

And the No 1:
Our fantastic cuisine, unequivocally our #1 Gift To The World. One of the great things about New York City is cuisine as varied and far reaching as its residents themselves. New York City is home to so many restaurants that it seems you could eat at a different place for every meal of the day for the rest of your life and never go to the same place twice.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Seven Gifts to the world - Chennai

For the past few days... the Metro Blog's around the globe have been dedicated to have 7 things about their city which represent gifts to the world. One gift a day for 7 days, this is a list of the two cities that I know of and love. Chennai and New York city.
Let me start with Chennai...

No 7 on the list is:
We're talking of Madras Cotton, or the Bleeding Madras. Cotton cloth was one of the main reason, the East India company chose to settle down in Madras, and build its factory here. For, here in a sandy tract of land, was "Cloathe, the cheaper by 20p". This part of the land was always associated with cotton, apparently.
Madras Cotton

No 6 is:
I'd say a laid-back attitude. Chennai is a calm, cultured place where raw aggression is barely seen on the surface. Ever since madras was assembled as a loose collection of neighbouring villages in the seventeenth century, the Madras of old, has been a quiet, warm hostess, offering freely of her wealth while holding on to her tranquil lifestyle. Elihu Yale was one of the first to return from India with a fortune and consequently to be accused of sharp practice.

So it is, Ladies and Gentlemen, wealth made on these shores found their way into building one of the world's most famous universities. Yale University
Wealth made from Chennai

On to No 5:
Speech, they said once, was possibly the swiftest form of communication. Although the chances that an Indian cook, when causally mentioning "milagu-thanneer" to his British superior, anticipating that his weird sounding concoction would take cooks of the world by storm - is probably a fate he/she didn't even contemplate.

If that ain't a potpourri of cultures, what else is?
Potpourri of cultures

No 4 on the list:
Indo-Saracenic architecture is described as a style of architecture used by British architects in the late 19th century in India. It drew elements from traditional Hindu and Islamic architecture, and combined it with the Gothic revival style favored in Victorian England.

Some of the many other Indo Saracenic buildings in Chennai include: the Madras University Senate House; the High Court (and another picture here); the Government Museum; the General Post Office; Egmore Station; Central Station
Indo-Saracenic Architecture

No 3 is none other than:
A.R. Rahman... need I say anything else. Music!
A.R. Rahman

on to No 2:
"I maintain that no organization can lead man to spirituality.
If an organization be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch, a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent him from growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the discovery for himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth.
So that is another reason why I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of the Order, to dissolve it"
That was Jiddu Krishnamurti, disbanding the Order of the Star of the East, the Order that was specifically formed to declare him as the Maitreya Buddha, the World Teacher.
Maitreya Buddha - World Teacher

And the No 1 thing that is chennai's gift to the world:
The beaches of Chennai, right from the isolated ones Kovalam, to the crowded Marina and Beasant Nagar, are an integral part of the city. Any visitor to the city has to visit the beach as a part of every trip, someone who does not live in Chennai will find it hard to understand the why every chennaiite loves the beach, its not spectacular, its definitely not picturesque, and its dirty, but the beaches despite their drawbacks do have an aura, just sitting in the sand, under the stars, with not a single soul in sight (yes this is possible in the isolated beaches along ECR, late at night), and listening to the waves. Walking on the beach, late at night is absolute bliss.
Chennai Beach

There you have it, 7 things that are a real gift to chennai. I am sure you have other things that you can think of, you can write about them in comments.

Next up is New York City.