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Old 24th June 2010, 13:21   #46
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+1. That trains leave from Union Station is purely incidental
Yep, you are damn right---I was also surprised to see the airport-like arrangement there for boarding trains---each train has a gate allotted and there are waiting lounges near each gate.

I also took the escalator at the parking lot behind the station (from where the inter-city buses depart) and went all the way up to the 4th floor to have a good look at the surroundings, as also the Amtrak trains at the platforms below.

In short, I recommend a visit to the Union Station for all those who are visiting DC.
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Old 26th June 2010, 08:52   #47
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Default 5/28 – Madame Tussauds & Empire State Building

Here we are at the Madame Tussauds
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8091.jpg

As we arrived in the main hall, I literally couldn’t distinguish between the wax and flesh. It is an experience. In my opinion, all the wax figures are not well done but the ones that are well done, it is paisa vasool from each of them – lot of vasooli..
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Here’s my pick from the ones displayed on that day…

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What is amazing about these wax statues is not just the life like quality but also the way they capture the mood – for example in this Woody Allen wax
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Jodie Foster
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Big B’s wax is one of the worse done work but my wife insisted and so here’s my wife with Big B. They have a Bollywood section with only Big B. I heard new wax are on their way...
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8113.jpg

Amazing Einstein
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Obama is watching who’s next… My camera's flash made their teeth bleached white but otherwise it was a fine wax of Obama and Michelle
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Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8123.jpg

The lady with whom the Playboy phenomena started – Marilyn Monroe appeared on the first issue of Playboy in December 1953
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8130.jpg

The Beatles
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Elton John
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This Britney has a beating heart as well – I mean you can see (and feel) her heart beating . My son is trying to repeat the expression of some of the girls and guys who photographed themselves on that ramp before him.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8136.jpg

Here I lost it. Some people were waiting for this lady to take the picture. And I too joined their wait. And it was more 60 seconds when we realized that it is a wax. I think we laughed loud enough to have shattered a few ear drums.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8137.jpg

The fun ended too soon. We were left wanting for more. Actually I was quite disappointed not to find any of the classics except Marilyn Monroe.


We then headed to Empire State Building for 86th Floor Observatory. The weather was not with us. It was lightening heavily and the management evacuated us from the open deck. But we waited for some time and the warning was lifted.

I am having too many awe inspiring moments. I am not sure what it is but Empire State Building will award you with some of the best views of your lifetime. Is it the location? Is it the charm? Is it the city? May be all three and much more…
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8141.tif.jpg

I took just a few pictures and spent whatever time we had in enjoying the views. It had started drizzling and the lightening was back to play spoil sport. We were evacuated again. This time we decide to go home.

But not before enjoying this south American music. He also had recorded labels that can be purchased. I had bought a label recently and so didn’t indulge but this artist was one of the better ones from what we came across during our short stay…


To be continued…

Last edited by akbaree : 26th June 2010 at 09:01.
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Old 26th June 2010, 09:03   #48
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At Tussaude's london, I took a photo of my wife with Capt Jack Sparrow. There was a sailor nearby. My wife was peering how lifelike this sailor was and suddenly the man who posed as the sailor statue moved saying boo.
After a couple of seconds my wife burst out laughing.
Capt Jack Sparrow was a prized catch though.
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Old 26th June 2010, 19:52   #49
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At Tussaude's london, I took a photo of my wife with Capt Jack Sparrow. There was a sailor nearby. My wife was peering how lifelike this sailor was and suddenly the man who posed as the sailor statue moved saying boo.
After a couple of seconds my wife burst out laughing.
Capt Jack Sparrow was a prized catch though.
The models are so real that even if man do not pose, just by virtue of standing still, they will look wax. I believe lighting is also playing its part here.
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Old 26th June 2010, 22:08   #50
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Default 5/29 – Metropolitan Museum of Art

After three days of hectic NYing, my wife and son decided to take a break today. And So I have a little more freedom to choose what to visit on the forth day. Out of myriad options, I decided to visit Metropolitan Art Museum.

The Museum opens at 9:30 AM and as I disembarked the Subway, the time was 9:00 AM. I was telling myself – come on, what’s the craze with this museum – you have reached at least 25 minutes sooner. The Museum folks (if there were early as well) will wonder what brings this guy so early. But to my surprise, there was already a queue to get in…
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Expect the unexpected. I haven’t read anything about this museum before. Apart from hosting dozens of Special Exhibits (like the Picasso one), the day I was there, they had 16 guided tours thru the day. This is the only museum that I have come across, where History LIVES, not just stays.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8145.tif.jpg

You name it; most probably you will find it. I started with the Greek gallery; most of the pictures below are for artifacts that are 2500 or more years old…

Note: I would highly recommend the audio guide. I got it at a discounted
rate of 6 USD (9 USD is the usual rate) as I had NY Pass.

Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8147.jpg
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From the early bronze age…
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8153.jpg

...
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8154.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8157.jpg
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Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8180.jpg

They surely had more attention to detail…
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8169.jpg

As you enter The Roman gallery
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8171.jpg

A Roman Pillar
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8181.jpg

The artifacts in this section are 1500 to 2100 years old.
Most of the Roman models are copied (better word may be adaptation) from Greek models that Romans found or excavated; including all the pictures that I am putting here
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8173.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8183.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8189.jpg

The art from African Continent displayed here is from 18th, 19th and early 20th Century
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8191.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8193.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8195.jpg
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The protruding shapes in the picture are depiction of phallus
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8198.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8199.jpg

These gold figurines are from South America (Peru and regions around) and around 1000 years old
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8205.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8206.jpg

To be continued…

Last edited by akbaree : 26th June 2010 at 22:09.
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Old 26th June 2010, 23:09   #51
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Default 5/29 – Metropolitan Museum of Art - II

Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8219.jpg


Neoclassical European – Random shots

Silverware (miscalculated color temperature – shot without flash)
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8212.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8211.jpg
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Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8226.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8224.jpg

Some other Random shots of figures/portraits from Roman times to 20th Century…
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8238.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8241.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8242.jpg
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Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8218.jpg

One of the most popular Greek adaptation by the Romans
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8223.jpg

Armour section
It had arms and weapons from Indian medieval period as well. But this life size depiction of heavy cavalry men steals the show…
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8230.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8232.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8235.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8236.jpg
Both guns are by Tiffany’s

Don’t miss the European Paintings Section (most paintings are from 15th thru 17th centuries). But they were hosting Picasso collection (more than 300 paintings by Picasso).
Here are some of Picasso's work
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8274.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8279.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8281.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8283.jpg

This 16th century painting has so much life that anyone will fall in love
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8284.jpg

The Asian section included Chinese, Japanese, Indian and other countries. Of-course there has to be Buddha
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8285.jpg

There was special exhibit on Ramyana but photography prohibited for that exhibit. It had a few extraordinary paintings.

To be continued…

Last edited by akbaree : 26th June 2010 at 23:18.
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Old 26th June 2010, 23:54   #52
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Default 5/29 – Metropolitan Museum of Art – III

The Egyptian Section

Egypt gifted this temple to America. Americans disassembled the temple block by block. Then transported it here; and then rebuilt block by block
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8246.jpg

Most of the photographs are of artifacts that are more than 3000 years old…

Murals
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8248.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8250.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8261.jpg


Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8253.jpg
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Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8265.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8268.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8270.jpg

They were running (it is on till 6th September 2010) a special exhibit on the artifacts found from Tutankhamun’s burial site - Tutankhamun’s Funeral
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8257.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8258.jpg
You may recall the times square picture that I posted - the museum is running billboard advertisements at times square (and elsewhere).


I have been in the museum for close to 6 hours. And I was able to scratch only the surface. I walked no less 5-6 miles. Any student of history or person fascinated by history should have this on their must do list before they die. But again the museum is a living legend – with so much happening each day.

I then spent some time at the Guggenheim museum.

At 5:00 it was time to meet up. Our hosts and my wife and son had reached Pier 17. We are sailing again today – but on a larger sail ship. And it is a sunset cruise.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8290.jpg
Our hosts
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8293.jpg

My overzealous camera happy day at the museum meant that the camera had run out of battery – one last picture and the battery died.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8297.jpg

It was a beautiful sunset behind the statue of liberty.
The sail ship was tall and before taking us back, he took us under the Brooklyn Bridge. The navigators made us feel that it is happening as an accident. From the ship it appeared that we are going to hit bridge and drown in East river. I lived to write this log and the navigators managed some fun at our expense – but in the end we will remember the sail as much as the sunset.

We concluded the day with some good food at Olive Garden (at the Times Square).

Just one more day to go
To be concluded…

Last edited by akbaree : 27th June 2010 at 00:00.
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Old 27th June 2010, 02:26   #53
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Default 5/30 – Our day out!

The fifth and last day in New York was my and my friend’s day out. We started the day late at around noon, but with high spirits. The last time just both of us would have gone out would probably be 15 years back – our school days.

If you have a car, a drive on FDR and 9A are highly recommended. It is fun to drive and the boardwalk generally invites a lot of activity by New Yorkers.

We started our day at Grand Central. I have been coming to benighted train lines of this station for 4 days now but never anticipated such a grand gala just above my head – except I knew that I am beneath Manhattan.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8331.jpg
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Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8310.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8319.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8320.jpg

Next was United Nations. As the office was closed there were no flags hosted…
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8304.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8306.jpg

This building with a metallic elevation stood tall and beautiful
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8323.jpg

This seems to be a weekend street fare – somewhere between 5th and 7th avenue – I forgot the street
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8326.jpg

This signal reminds you that you can enjoy Manhattan on a bike but then please take your own gear as renting it is much (much) costlier (in Manhattan) then renting the car.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8336.jpg

We then went to the largest retail store in the world – Macy’s. To say that the store is boring would be an understatement.

My friend liked to fill every frame with me – I am glad he likes me so much
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8341.jpg
Me at the Penn Station
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8346.jpg
Me with Amtrak
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8345.jpg

We then went to Toys R Us store. I think the store lives up to the hype and the fact that it is at Times Square. Innovative – they even had a giant wheel in the store.

Me and my friend at Jurassic Park section
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8353.jpg

These models of Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and Statue of Liberty are made from Lego blocks
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8355.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8357.jpg

And it was time to soak in the glory of our times – Times Square
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8363.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8364.jpg

I insisted to go to SAKS 5th Avenue (because it is Prianka Chopra’s favourite store, just kidding). But yes – a great store it is. I tried a few Armani Suites but had to let them go with some excuse and cool my heels with just a shirt for my son.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8369.jpg

Then we went walking over Brooklyn Bridge…
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8378.jpg
Zooming on Empire State Building
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8380.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8385.jpg

Manhattan Bridge
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8388.jpg
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8403.jpg

Okay. It was then time to take PATH and visit Waterfront Park on the New Jersey side to enjoy Manhattan skyline.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8408.jpg

Hyatt’s porch onto Hudson spoils the view of the Downtown/Midtown but still…
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8409.jpg

This trip to New York (or shall I say Manhattan) is over – the last picture from the trip.
Cincinnati - Niagara Falls, NY - New York - Cincinnati-dscn8412.jpg

We took our dinner at the UNO Grill. And after a good night’s sleep, next day drove back to Cincinnati – a whole different world.

The drive back was close to 1100 kilometers covered in 12 hours. The drive is always refreshing – thanks to the beautiful engineering from Buick and good roads.

Concluded - Thanks to everyone who took time to see pictures/read the log.

Last edited by akbaree : 27th June 2010 at 02:30.
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Old 27th June 2010, 11:20   #54
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They've even managed to put up King Kong made of lego blocks on top of empire state building.
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Old 28th June 2010, 07:50   #55
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Very good thread. Thanks for sharing the pics. Seems you had a blast.
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