Washington DC… the Capital!

Hi! Twinny now in Washington, D.C.! Finally!

D.C.   ….for district of Colombia … Because discovered by Christopher Columbus !

Washington ….because of George Washington …who decided that this compact 8 square miles on the Potomac river would be CAPITAL  of the worlds foremost nation!

Let’s begin with the White House …



All 44 presidents have lived in it except George Washington .. ! Why ?

Simply because It wasn’t ready!

Made in 1800, oil lamps lit up this Georgian construction till electricity introduced in 1891…..

Meetings both ceremonial and important have taken place in the Oval Office…


Scandals too! Humans after all ,human ! Can recall scandals all too vividly… Whether Watergate and Richard Nixon …


Or Monica and Bill !


‘Ask not what the country can do for you …instead… Ask what you can do for your country’…

These famous words part of invocation speech of everyone’s all time favourite president JOHN F KENNEDY 35th and youngest elected president of the US. Only 43 years old when elected..Erudite charming , charismatic ,quick decision maker…

with an open progressive agenda, he…

Inspired optimism.


Very few knew he suffered from Addison’s disease .. Yet  he was always energetic..

Twinny’s dearest friend Mekhela  and  she would do a prayer service for JFK on his every birth and death anniversary (may 29th 1917 and..Nov 22nd 1963 respectively)…

Of course …They were young teens and smitten!!

Carried away with the romance of the Kennedy family history…..!

Here is a picture of the handsome JFK and his wife Jackie


And of the completely irresistible Marilyn Monroe!!



.. singing ‘happy birthday ‘ to  the President  …..in 1962


Like Abraham Lincoln JFK too ,

horrifically assassinated in 1963 ,3 yrs into his presidency..while travelling to Dallas in a motorcade..

Visited the Arlington cemetery where his grave lies …,lit poignantly and permanently by an ‘ eternal flame’


And wondered ..’just why??’

Next to Arlington and Across the Potomac is an enormous pentagonal shaped building…. Of course it’s called…. The PENTAGON.. !Headquarters of US defense…HUGE! Over 6 million square feet .


Symbol of American military strength …

Construction started on September 11 th 1941

60 years later to the day Sept 11 th 2011 terrorists attacked and destroyed one third of it …

Resilience key to humanity … The building repaired and functioning within a year!

Acapella ……Means singing without any instruments ….

In the nearby university of Pennsylvania .. Is a group of 15 south Asian boys who have perfected the art… Of acapella . Group called ‘ PENN MASALA’

Recently they sang in Mumbai …

Simply amazing…

Please hear … You will be zapped out of your mind… Remember it’s just their voices , no instruments!!

Comin up …. folks!!

Ain’t that Groovy??!

American slang for ‘too good’!

And finally here are some pictures of cheery ” cherry blossoms ”in Washington.


They  Bloom seasonally…

….every year in April ..


Cherry blossoms beautiful …!

But  here’s a picture of Twinny with her very own cherry blossom……


Cherry Blossom Boot polish… Still the very best!!!

Bye!!! See you all next week in  freshly polished shoes!👞👞!

.. Lots of love twinny!

New York … Grand Central Station

Hi folks!Twinny’s back!

As promised ..

From Grand Central station , New York !

Grand from the outside

Grand from the inside

Grand by design!!


Seen from the outside … One can’t help but notice the magnificent clock .. The biggest Tiffany clock in the world …


Enter and one is stunned..

With the magnificent concourse

The starstudded aquamarine zodiac ceiling

With the marble staircases

And glittering chandeliers

With the sheer size

… Of the BIGGEST  STATION in the whole world …


The interesting fact about grand central station is that all the departure times on the display boards show a time different by one minute!!

Purposefully!!

So if the departure time is 12.15 … The train would actually leave at 12.16…

This is to ensure safety… So no accidents occur while the crowds rush to their respective trains… Ingenious I say!

Built in 1913 by multimillionaire VANDERBILT.

The station covers close to 50 acres …

Boasts 67 tracks and 44 platforms…

All buzzing with activity except track 61 .. Used for the entry and exit of VIPs in and out of newyork… Example president Franklin Delano Roosevelt routinely in and out , shrouded in secrecy because he had polio…

Here’s a picture of the president as he was .. 

And another in his Washington home , covered. With a cape…

So with this example one learns that ….. There is always always a reason behind everything! Cape covering president Roosevelt … For a reason…!

But in grand central station there are places made for NO reason at all!! Just there for fun!

…..Tennis courts ( now owned by Donald trump).. Where John McEnroe has played

……. Opulent hidden bars to just hang out…

…..A whispering gallery ….not the best place to whisper sweet nothings … would be heard 200 feet away!

…..a kissing gallery( er…not to be taken too seriously!)
…. And a secret room… For clandestine activities in world war 2 .. Where entry strictly prohibited.. Though nothing going on there now!!

Here’s a picture of the whispering gallery…Made by mistake or by design .. One not too sure…


Now right outside grand central station is the Helmsley building.. This belonged to hotel magnate Leona Helmsley …who despite her gargantuan wealth (owner of 23 hotels and hold your breath… The Empire State Building!) used to evade taxes!!!


Tyrannical ,stingy and mean…

. She was called ‘the queen of mean!’.


When she died in 2007 she bequeathed 12 million dollars of her wealth to … Guess who ??

Her pet Maltese dog.. Named Trouble!!

This move was labelled ‘the 3rd dumbest business decision of 2007 ‘by fortune magazine!

. See her transformation over the years ..into the quintessential ‘wicked witch..’which even tons of Botox couldn’t fix!


Americans sure dedicated to their pets ..!

And now to beat the heat in Bbay …my own pet preparation …

Pomegranate ice cream..!.

Made like Americans make hot dogs ….they take a hot sausage and put it inside a warm bun… Voila ‘hot dog ‘!
For pomegranate Ice cream..,

Take a dollop of Amul vanilla ice cream

Sprinkle ‘anaar ‘ Danaa on it…

Voila!! Pomegranate ice cream!!!!😊😊

Slurp !! Gelato deliciasato!!!

As you may infer..

Twinnys cooking skills ….seriously limited!!!


Byeeee! See you next week at the White House ,DC!!

Who will be Americas next president ???

Donald/ Hilary ?

Trump/ Clinton ??

Your guess as good as mine…😎!

Byeeee!!

NewYork… Brooklyn Bridge

Hi all! Welcome to Thursday’s date with Twinny…!

Bridges in China may be longer, higher , larger… But many regard The Brooklyn Bridge … The most beautiful in the world…



It was the worlds FIRST   STEEL WIRED SUSPENSION  BRIDGE  and has inspired painters like Andy Warhol

Playwrights like Arthur Miller

Movies like Spider-Man and Moonstruck… Advertisers have used this bridge to sell just about anything from Vaseline to absolute vodka…


Completed after14 years the bridge opened in 1883 with much celebration… A shout from the crowd that the bridge was collapsing caused mayhem and the trampling death of 12 pedestrians..,


The following year 21 elephants walked over the bridge to prove that indeed it was very strong……. not only strong.. it is spectacular .. an engineering marvel!!

Here’s a classic photo of painters posing on the bridges wires…

And another of   earphones and scrunchies tied to the bridges strong steel wires to commemorate a couples love…


Our Mumbai sealink is also an architectural marvel but lacks the promenade of the Brooklyn bridge… For walkers and cyclists … Which the architect JOHN ROEBLING felt would have ‘incalculable’ value in later years.. What foresight! It certainly did!!
How beautiful and romantic is it to walk hand in hand on the bridge… Or for that matter anywhere..!!No rush no worry no care!!!


Here’s a picture of the PEREGRINE  FALCON  ‘at home’ on the Brooklyn bridge..these are the fastest flying birds on earth reaching speeds of 200 miles per hour , diving and catching their prey midair!


They are seen nesting on Newyork bridges and skyscrapers … Were declared endangered because of DDT poisoning.. This insecticide was banned in the USA in 1972 despite being a star product of world war 2 …. The person who invented DDT was in fact awarded the Nobel prize in 1948!

DDT is banned in India too ..since 1989 , but we still use….Because it is cheap, effective and our bugs too many!!

The peregrine falcon is Not to be confused with the BALD EAGLE which is the NATIONAL bird of America …… Whyever do the Yankees call it bald ??! So many feathers on its distinctive white head!!!


And now am off … See you next week same time … At Grand Central station New York !!!

Just some trivia before I leave….

The Lost and Found dept in GRAND  CENTRAL  Station  has probably the best ‘return rate ‘ in the world… If you loose anything ..your specs, your wallet, your i- phone….. You find it!!


Wow!!

Not sure I want to find …


… The 300 gms I have just lost!!!!


Byyyyye!!

NewYork… and it’s Magic!

Hi folks ! Twinny returns!!

Still in newyork… More precisely..Manhattan ….which incidentally means’ place of general inebriation’….
Let’s go straight to  MADISON SQUARE GARDEN…. This is the hugest multipurpose indoor arena in the world!!


Evolving continuously , reinventing itself since the 1880’s…

It’s the convention centre where PM Modi famously gave his speech last year…

It’s the sports arena where Mohammad Ali and Joe Frazier had their first boxing fight…

Where world class ice hockey and basketball matches are played, where international dog shows held…

..where the worlds biggest concerts staged… Madonna has performed here a record 31 times !!!


Then there is RADIO CITY MUSIC  HALL… Part of Rockefeller centre …this huge entertainment centre opened in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression…made in elegant Art Deco style with a grand stage resembling the setting sun… This hall has the best acoustics and the best audience …..according to Elton John who played here for the 60 th time on his 60 th birthday …


It houses the giant Wurlitzer organ … .. It’s the Biggest in the whole world!

Just like we consider going to Hardwar for a holy dip in the Ganga a must do …

So also every newyorkers  dream is to witness a concert once in their lifetime at  Radio City MusicHall !

Julie Andrews  sang recently on her 70 th birthday… Right here on this stage …! Here is the gracious lady herself…


And the parodied lyrics of the song ‘My

Favourite Things’…..Enjoy!!!

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,

Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string,

These are a few of my favourite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,

These are a few of my favourite things.
When the pipes leak, When the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I simply remember my favourite things, And then I don’t feel so bad.
Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring,

These are a few of my favourite things.
Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin’, Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’, And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things.
When the joints ache, when the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then I remember the great life I’ve had, And then I don’t feel so bad.


Next is the razzle dazzle of the New York Theatre district .. For BROAdWAY and off -Broadway shows…where the lights shimmer bright , where glittering marquees open to glitzy productions , vaudevilles , musicals , what have you !!
Where the first talking movie was shown ( in 1927) …” The jazz singer !”

In India we not too far behind…. ”Alam Ara” 1931….. Was the first Indian talkie!!


Strangely enough Asians omnipresent in all spheres of New York life ….other than in the theatre world… Just an observation …!

What I definitely learnt is that New York … The land of ”immigrants”definitely allows you to display your talents and earn from doing so… HOUDINI  did it in the 1930’s as an ‘escape artist’

Escaping from all sorts of locks and chains , from water torture cells ,freeing himself even from strait jackets suspended upside down in front of crowds numbering thousands … On Coney Island … Performing the same act ….Sometimes 20 times a day!!!

What nerves of steel and physical prowess!!

What drive ! What ambition…! What amazing sleight of hand!!! Simply amazing ….


Was mesmerised completely by an illusionist… Didn’t see him perform Live but his feats amazing … DAVID COPPERFIELD—-The most commercially successful magician and illusionist ever!!! He became a lecturer in magic at the American School of Magic at age 16! That’s tantamount to legendary !!

Magician of the millennium and winner of some 21 Emmy awards , owner of 11 islands of the Bahamas ! Started ‘project magic ‘for rehabilitation of physically handicapped !

He made the Statue of Liberty ‘vanish!!’. What would take 26 helicopters to accomplish . … He did in seconds …how???

Of course it was all a well orchestrated trick!

That’s what I found out … All magic is a trick!!

Superbly planned with precision and genius!

Whether it is Chriss Angels.. Mind Freak…


Or David Blaines ”endurance acts”……


Or our own PC Sorcar Jr.’s illusion of making the Taj Mahal disappear…!

MAGIC is an ILLUSION!!

Didn’t know whether to be happy or sad…

To know my bubble of belief had just burst !!!


So that’s all folks!!
Leaving you all with plenty to chew on…try a magic trick or two …

They Not easy!!

Meanwhile …Twinny will do a special act…

…Its Called ‘Twinny’s DISAPPEARING  act’!!

But only till next Thursday !!

Will be back … Tune in!

NewYork… Central Park

Hi all!Twinny returns!!

This time from Central Park , New York !

Made in the 1880’s !


Which great visionaire would make a park so huge with so much foresight… At a time when the city was not so humongous … Ingenious !.., A huge haven … An oasis of calm… Some 3.5 square miles…. Surrounded by beautiful skyscrapers .. As though in a valley…Completely man made … With a 22 acre lake in the centre…

Truly beautiful !


Made for all .. To rest relax rejuvenate … Open all day till 1am morning
You can sit and just do nothing under the trees, cycle around…


Play chess

Walk your dog in special enclosures

Take a boat ride


Listen to musicians play

Sit around an amphitheatre and watch street performers do their act

Eat

Have your picture painted

Take a horsecart ride

Just walk around….

or even exchange your wedding vows…!

The part of Central Park I just love is a triangular section called ‘STRAWBERRY FEILDS ‘. It has trees donated by various countries and a special mosaic from Naples … dedicated to the iconic singer songwriter and musician John Lennon .. Called ‘imagine’..



The amazing peace activist and best voice of the Beatles … Was shot in 1980…

Outside his Dakota home … Opposite Central Park where he and his wife yoko Ono would often walk…..

He was just 40 yrs old!

Quickwitted ,extremely sharp… No one loved Yoko Ono the way he did… He even made his name John Ono Lennon!

On the day of his death he gave

an interview and nude photo shoot to the Rolling Stones magazine which became the best cover ever…


Ya that’s john and yoko!!!

And here the iconic Beatles…


Here are the lyrics of and the actual song … Imagine!

Amazing isn’t it?
The album won quite a few awards ..and was one of the best 500 songs ever written…

John Lennon and his simple Philosophy…


Here’s a picture of the newyork library …. Huger than it looks.. And Superbly beautiful with an exhaustive collection… Didn’t enter it !! Too enamoured from outside itself!

And here is the ‘library way’ leading upto the New York library …

Paved with interesting inspirational sayings… To read on …. Have a look

And one more…


And finally …

So true!

Twinny will be back .. more stories ,

More lifetruths….

Byeeee!

NewYork …. City of skyscrapers….

Back with another episode of Thursday’s Travelogues with Twinny!

We in NewYork … City of Skyscrapers!

LEVER  HOUSE in Manhattan seems pretty ordinary now… But in 1952 , when it was constructed… It was revolutionary ! The FIRST GLASS tower ever! Standing out at the time amongst buildings made of brick and limestone… It was a blueprint for glass and metal buildings of the future.

In 1958 .. the 38 storeyed Seagrams building was constructed…. all dark glass and bronze!

The special selling point here was the large granite ‘plaza’ on the ground level

In front of the building ….

It was an ideal space right in the heart of the city .. where people could lounge around and socialise ! A great gathering space !

Men in smart suits cocking their hats to coquettish girls sitting on marble benches …sipping Coca-Cola ( this was invented in the 1890’s!)..

Ooh la lah ! Carefree were the times …


Intended to be the tallest building in the world when it was constructed.( 1930) …was the beautiful Chrysler building . But it was so only for 11 months ..before the Empire State Building overtook it ..

This unique structure made in art – deco style with its bronze tapering spire and gargoyle eagles .. remains one of the most iconic structures ever to be made …


New York soon became known as the CITY of  SKYSCRAPERS!!. As more and more glass curtain buildings sprouted..with  no ornamentation… Just metal and glass.. one wondered however would  these gigantic surfaces be cleaned??!
Window cleaning became quite an operation! OTIS made a special scaffold for Lever House for this express purpose…. Thereafter all sorts of davits, scaffolds and lifts introduced. Dedicated crews of workers would strap themselves up onto leather harnesses and slide up and down the sides of buildings.. Awesome or Awful…….You decide!!

Above is a picture of the  iconic Empire State Building … Built in 1932… There were generations of families cleaning this building … So much daring needed to do this completely unenviable job..

.Even more daring required  to clean the jagged glass facade of the Hearst Tower( constructed in 2006)!

Cleaning this… Has been described as a roller coaster ride through Disneyland!

So what does one use to clean these glass facades??? Nothing more complicated than lemon scented soapy solution in nothing more sophisticated than a bucket! And what do you get paid … Just 25 dollars an hour! That’s peanuts! For such a high risk breakneck job!!

Three Glass cleaners were at work on the Twin Towers that fateful day … 9/ 11…One managed to save five others .. The other two perished …

Here is a classic picture of workers having lunch atop a NewYork skyscraper …..in 1932

And here’s everyones all time favourite… In Times Square… 1945 .. Right after World War 2….. At least 5 girls and 4 men said that they were the ones photographed kissing in this  unforgettable photograph…!


That’s all folks! Till next Thursday… For another edition of Travel with Twinny!

New York, New World!

New York was first New Amsterdam because the Dutch christened it so…Then the British came in and renamed it  New York !

Soon came the Irish, Germans, Puerto Ricans and a million or so Jews …
And a huge melting pot of hardy strong DNA’s gave birth to a city .. Probably the WORLDS CAPITAL !!
Wow !! Isn’t Twinny lucky!
What a place to begin a journey ….The Big Apple !!!

tumblr_ljryd8tzhz1qclui7o1_500

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000358

New York is the birthplace of so much…
Creativity in theatre, films – you name it!
Creativity in producing conveniences … For everyday living,
Creativity in music… All sorts thrived … Rock and roll, jazz, soul
…The birthplace of Sport, of Mohammed Ali !

The ‘Float like a butterfly, Sting like a bee!’ Star of the Ring lived by his own rules!

God Bless his soul!

Here he is with his famous quotes!

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000360

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000361

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000362

SOOOOO New York!

The city’s people were hungry to be the very best… Driving them to produce prodigiously, in all fields.. Making iconic towers …To house the growing populace …as more and more people flocked to the city of dreams…

Be it for Broadway or Wall Street, the city just grew and grew, never giving up..
Not after Black Thursday …

Not after The Great Depression…

Not even after 9/ 11….
New York and its people just somehow  crawled …out of the ashes,
reinventing themselves, Stronger than ever before …

Here’s  the WORLD ONE Tower, Erected  at the site of the destroyed Twin towers ..this is the tallest tower in the northern hemisphere .. And certainly the safest ever constructed ..

A symbol of hope …

Of resilience..

Of strength ..

Seen below, are the overwhelmingly poignant’REFLECTING POOLS’ with the names of the those who perished carved in stone around it.

A tribute …

A memory…

That shall survive…

Forever…

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000364

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000365

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000366

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000367

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000368

New York…a place to reflect…

A place to revel..

A place to be just YOU!

You could be chatting up a New York model…

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000370

Or simply pretending to be one!!! Ki pharak painda??!

2016-07-26-PHOTO-00000372

And that’s all folks ..!

That’s all for today’s edition of Travels with Twinny !!

See you next Thursday!