MadNoor's Weblog

Living a Malaysian Life

Sunny New York…foggy Dubai

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New York New York…Every time I go to John F Kennedy International Airport, I get held up.

Sigh…While the rest of the crew breeze through the immigration check point, I would have to go to a small holding room where they hold suspected passengers with dodgy tax records, criminal files and expired visa. Our details are then taken and sent to the FBI database somewhere in Washington for clearance before we are allowed in, or otherwise.

Apparently, there is someone with the same name who has done something very naughty, and they have to make sure that I am not the same guy. You would have thought that with the fingerprints, photographs and every other details that they have of me, they would have figured out that I am not the person that they are looking for, but hey, the American agents are the most ‘friendly’ ones around and something that looks very obvious is apparently not.

But, even after all the trouble, I keep wanting to go to NYC. Why? Well its hard to explain. Of all the layovers that we go to, I enjoy the 27 hours that we get in NY. Its a vibrant city, with lots of things to do and being open 24 hours is a big plus for us who are jet lagged. While it gets pretty cold during winter, the other seasons can be very nice. I was lucky this time around as even though it was supposed to be rainy, it turned out to be a very nice sunny day!

Linda often has a shopping list for me when I am in NY, so the time that I have is made up of walking (or taking the subway) from one item on the shopping list to the other!

The view from my room. We stay smack in the middle of Manhattan Island, on the 53rd Street on the 6th Avenue, a stone\'s throw away from the main shopping areas of 5th and Madison Avenue. Lots of apartments all around with quint coffeeshops, very much along the vein of the TV Show \'Friends\

I have seen this fountain on TV so many times, that the first time that I saw it 'live' it was a very de ja vue moment! Its just a block down from the hotel and there are ample places to sit and enjoy a sandwich or coffee nearby.

Surprisingly, it’s not that difficult to get Halal food in NYC. Nearly every other street vendor sells halal rice with chicken, lamb or beef. They are mostly middle eastern, thus the food has an arabic slant to it. The vendor near the hotel has a sign that proudly proclaims that their food has been recognized as “the best halal food in New York” by some local magazine. Looking at the line of office workers waiting patiently for their lamb kofta fix in front of the vendor during lunch time makes me think that there is some truth in that best food claim.

But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, it was the chicken/lamb combo briyani. I wished that I had taken some photos of my lunch, because while the look might not have been great, it was really good. Some nicely kebabed lamb and grilled chicken, with fluffy yellow rice, with a side salad thrown in.

I took my lunch to this spot near Central Park. It was a nice day out, with the autumn temperature hovering in the low 20's. Central Park is a venue where lots of Hollywood movies have been shot, so lots of the places looked really familiar. Its amazing to have such a large park in the middle of city, but I guess thats one of the attraction of New York.

And when I turn around, this is the sight that I see, not forgetting the smell! The Horse ride carriage is a standard New York attraction stationed next to Central Park.

And a little distance away from Central Park is this, the Apple flagship store near 5th Avenue. I had attended a workshop there this time around, something to do with iWeb. The way the place was packed, you would have thought that they are giving away apple computers for free!

And of course the main landmark for NYC is Times Square! The place is pretty near the hotel, so I have passed by it many times, and all times, it has been packed! One thing about NYC, like many other large cities of the world, is the myriad of people that you will find on the street. The languages you will hear is just as varied, chinese, indian, arabic etc!

While the stay was short and sweet, I was pretty eager to get back home! The flight back took close to 13 hours and half way through we found out that Dubai was fogging up. Its pretty normal weather phenomenon for the transition between summer and winter and vice versa. The good news is that means the weather will come down further, but the bad news for us would be trying to get the flight back to Dubai!

This was a shot I took about 20 miles away from the airport. Look closely and the Burj tower can be see sticking out of the murky fog.

The same shot, but much closer in, around 5 miles from the airport. The towers around Syeikh Zahid Road can now be seen a lot clearer. But of course the Burj towers above it all.

Author: madnoor

An expat family in Dubai.

2 thoughts on “Sunny New York…foggy Dubai

  1. ..ah, to be a pilot! that last picture says it all! 😉

  2. ya, had to do a bit of cropping to get a clear picture, but the real sight was so much more amazing!

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