Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Pheeeww!!! It's been an eventful week. Hurricane Sandy paid us a visit and affected the lives of millions in almost 24 states. On the evening of October 29th, New York city was hit by the cyclone which flooded numerous streets, tunnels and subway lines. Lower Manhattan, Staten Island, Coney Island, the Rockaways, New Jersey were some areas severely hit by the storm.  Millions were without power, heat and running water for several days.

While we had prepared for the worst to come in terms of food supplies, water etc, no one knew what to expect. It was Siddharth's and my first time dealing with a hurricane. The winds started to pick up Sunday evening. By Monday morning, there was constant rain and the winds were all crazy. Trees danced like they were in a jam session. The winds howled like a beast in pain. It was loud and eerie. Things began to fly around and the rain poured like cats and dogs. By evening we got a call from our electricity company saying that they will shut our power. We ran to fill our tubs, pots and pans with water, made sure we had our flash light ready and candles all stocked. Charged all possible gadgets and informed our families.

We awaited with bated breath for the darkness to engulf us. The light flickered a bit, then our cable died, followed by the internet. We assumed the next would be our power. An hour, two hours and nothing happened. Soon we dozed off.

Tuesday morning, I woke up and stared out of the window,  it was bright and sunny. Was the worst over? Had the storm passed?? I looked outside and Manhattan was still standing tall. Unaware of the damage the storm had caused, I switched on the TV and was in for a rude shock - everywhere there was DEVASTATION!!! Several parts of NYC. NJ had been hit badly.

I decided to go out in my neighborhood to assess the situation and took my camera with me. I will forever be grateful for what I saw for the next 4 hours. While the internet and media was pouring with images of devastation, all I came across that day were beautiful pictures of my neighborhood. I went looking for trouble and devastation and all i could see was beauty everywhere. People and children were out on the streets and looked relieved and cheerful. And for that I am forever grateful!! Grateful for keeping me, my family and my neighborhood safe.

Here are the images I captured in my neighborhood (Park slope, Brooklyn) on the day after the hurricane. We are so lucky and grateful to have gotten through the hurricane unscathed.

Here and here are some incredible pictures of hurricane Sandy's destruction.

My heart goes out to the millions of people whose lives have changed because of this storm. Whose devastation knows no bound. All the best to you and your families as you come together to help and support each other.

How can you help?? 

- To volunteer immediately, email - with your name, email address and borough.
- The Red Cross is looking for shelter volunteers - visit for sign-up information
- For other opportunities go to
- To donate money, visit
- The Humane Society is accepting donations (

Here are some other ways to help

My prayer for all:

May all be happy, may all be happy, may all be happy
May you be happy, may you be happy, may you be happy
Whether visible or invisible, may all beings be happy 
Of earth, of water, or of sky, may all be happy
Of all the direction may all be happy
May all be free from fear, animosity and insecurity
May all be happy, may all be happy, may all be happy

Sunday, October 7, 2012


One of my favorite neighborhoods in NYC is DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). DUMBO has spectacular views of the city including the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge. It's a combination of old warehouses, unique boutiques, restaurants and pricey condos and lofts. Various art galleries adorn the streets of this small neighborhood. 
The Manhattan bridge with the Empire state building in the background
A view of the Manhattan Bridge
The lush green Brooklyn bridge park is a perfect spot to spend an afternoon. You can wander around the pathways and gaze at the views of the Statue of Liberty, have a picnic, read a book or just enjoy the excellent city views and the fresh breeze along the East river.  During the summer there are plenty of food vendors, special concerts, kayaking off the piers and many other fun activities for all age groups.

Perfect spot for picnics
Manhattan Bridge
Another view of the Manhattan bridge

Sit along the river and enjoy the lovely views of the city
DUMBO is a kids friendly neighborhood. Apart from the lush green parks, there are plenty of   playgrounds for children. The play areas are well equipped with swings and is a hotspot in the evenings. 

Jane's Carousel created in 1922 is a spectacular addition to the neighborhood enjoyed by both kids and the adults. For $2 a ride it's a treat not to be missed. 

Jane's Carousel
In September the famous Dumbo Art's Festival features work of over 500 artists. This was my first year visiting the festival and I absolutely loved it. I was specially intrigued by the projects sponsored by the Children's Museum of Art. The projects were vibrant, creative and so much fun. Here are a few pictures I took. It was a day well spent admiring some talented artistis. 
Youngs minds at work!
Siddharth posing at one of the warehouses
One of the artistic creations near the river
Admiring the view 
In Brooklyn, there is no lack of good food options. There is always great pizza everywhere. Grimaldi's is a must eat pizza place if you can patiently endure the super long lines. Once inside, the pizza is a sure winner. It's spectacular!! Read my yelp review here.
Outside Grimaldi's Pizza 
Long lines at Grimaldi's Pizza
Delicious pizza!
Another recent favorite of ours is the Mexican place - Gran Electrica. Love their rad wall paper, cocktails and their delicious mexican tapas. Oh and don't forget to check out their romantic, outdoor seating area. It's a winner all the way!
Gran Electrica - DUMBO's new Tequira
Grand Electrica's cute wall paper
Outdoor seating
Tostado Jaiba
Setas Quesadilla 
Poblano Chile Tacos
To satisfy your sweet tooth, head straight to The Brooklyn Ice Cream factory. Their ice creams are delicious!

Another place famous amongst the tourists is the One Girl Cookies. They make all sorts of cookies, cupcakes, whoopie pies and deserts. What did i think about them? Read here!
One Girl Cookies 

Assortment of cookies and cakes 
Some other fun places to eat are: 
AlMar - cash only 
Bubby's - cash only

River cafe restaurant
Another Panoramic view of DUMBO

Many people come to DUMBO just to take photographs, for wedding pictures, special occasions and anniversaries. The New York City skyline provides a perfect background for any picture. Located just 648 ft from the Brooklyn bridge, this yuppy, artistic and creative neighborhood is becoming one of New York's most talked-about borough!! 
From the Brooklyn bridge