Grave of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (founder of Pakistan)
Pakistan has been and continues to be in the media as of late. The media will never give us good news or tales of generous deeds and adventures from this country, rather one hears only the worst possible things about this place. What comes to mind to the average American when they hear the name of Pakistan? Terrorism, probably. Or death, destruction, instability, corruption, etc (as if these things never happen anywhere else in the world).
Nevertheless, the next two segments will be dedicated to the beautiful Pakistan that I have known and visited and grown to love. I have been blessed to travel to Pakistan for the month of Ramadhan (Islamic fasting month) for the past 2 years and God willing will continue to do so. The people are great, the sites are amazing, the textiles, culture, landscapes, and history are spectacular. I have enjoyed and loved every bit of time that I got to spend there. I bring you here some of the pictures of Karachi and Thatta, in the southern province of Sindh, Pakistan.
Karachi is a port city, grand and luxurious. There is extreme wealth and also extreme poverty but a middle class is establishing themselves. Thatta was eye opening as it was falling apart, with this mosque one could see that this indeed was once a grand city in the Mughal empire. Now, it was reduced to a mere fraction of what it once was.The streets were lined with people who had nothing but the clothes on their back. There were refugees from the north who escaped flooding. It was devastating. There were many people at the mosque, taking comfort in the shade of the corridors and in the free food given away during the iftaar (breaking of the fast) at sundown.
May we always give back to those who are less fortunate than us and remember them in our prayers.
I hate crowds. It is why I avoid taking the R train from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM in the morning and 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM in the evening. The trains are overcrowded, especially in the winter with people and their enormous coats and bags. However that is the usual grind and I've timed myself out of it.
I wouldn't be me if I didn't find something to complain about. I've been meaning to call the MTA about this for a while but I never seem to remember to do it. At Prospect Avenue, going towards Bay Ridge, there is only one exit. It is so annoying that most people who get off at this spot (myself included) have to strategically place themselves between the 3rd or 4th subway car to get out right in front of turnstile. Otherwise, one can imagine waiting and moving slowly in line for 3-4 minutes. It seems like a silly thing to gripe about however isn't it against some law (or a fire hazard) to only have one exit in a heavily populated neighborhood where majority of the people ride the subway? The other side of the station has 2 exits. So MTA, BUILD A NEW EXIT AT PROSPECT AVENUE PLEASE!
I love to travel. I've had the pleasure to travel to Europe, South America, and Asia. I'll be putting up some pictures as soon as I can. Here, I begin with Dublin, Ireland.
Dublin - June 2009
We had great weather when visiting Dublin, it was sunny, warm, and inviting. I stayed at a hotel in downtown Dublin and for the most part we were able to walk around the city to see it. We were able to rent a car to go out to visit Trim Castle and the mountains. The landscape changed so suddenly in Ireland. From the coast, one was able to see the mountains in the distance. The landscapes were beautiful, the buildings were too. The churches were gothic like and had scary dungeon-like basements. The buildings that lined the river were all rectangular in shape and in an assortment of colors.I like celtic designs and try to incorporate them into henna patterns. The swirly patters in this image below are particularly cool, this passage tomb at Newgrange is dated back to 3,200 B.C. You can find out more about Newgrange here at their website, http://www.newgrange.com/.
I've lived in Brooklyn for nearly three years now. There is much to see and do and I fear that there will never be enough time to see and do the things that I want to. Inspiration is at every corner, if you let it be!
Prospect Park is fun, even in the dead of winter when the ice has frozen over the lake. Little kids squeal with delight at the ducks and swans in the pond. The ducks do look content on the ice.
Grand Central station recently celebrated its centennial. With the new LIRR expansion, it will be one of the largest transit hubs in the world. The beauty of it remains unchanged however, the high ceilings which remind one of a church, the windows that let in an extraordinary amount of light even on the dullest and greyest of days and the constant stream of motion on the ground, these facets will always remain.
I've lived in New York City for most of my life. Nevertheless, I'm not ashamed to admit that this train station is a source of inspiration for design and for happiness on a dreary day.
I'm lucky to have an apartment and to have heat that I do not have to pay for. However why is it so difficult to get the settings right? I must be be only person in my block who has all my windows open and the fan on all night in mid February because my thermostat reads 90 degrees!! I can't even dress properly because I can't tell what the weather is outside. It just feels hot. Alas, another call to the landlord...
I love downtown Manhattan, the financial district, in the evening. There's serenity in a place where one wouldn't believe there could be. When I leave my work place at 7pm, I'll often walk down broadway, all the way to Whitehall station (roughly 1.5 miles from where I work) just to enjoy the quiet streets. Most businesses close by 7ish, it's not like midtown in the financial district.
Lunchtime is a different story, that's when I absolutely loathe downtown Manhattan. Between construction, tourists, workers, students, beggars, and everyone in between, it is impossible to walk continuously in a straight line on a single street. Everything is open and people are shoving whatever crap they sell into your face. It's exhausting just thinking about it. The most annoying are those happy people in the street who are trying to make you donate money towards their charity. I won't make eye contact or I'll walk by so fast that they don't even try to stop me. Those people should go to wall street where bonuses are more than what I make in the year.
Day and night are two different creatures in the financial district. During the day, GET OUT OF MY WAY. During the night, walk a bit without fright.
My favorite past time at night, going to whole foods to get groceries on a Wednesday evening. It's empty and no one is out with their annoying children. Or grabbing a coffee/pastry at Pret A Manger or Aroma Cafe on Church Street near the PATH station.
I'll be adding pictures and commentary of the things I love. I am an ordinary person in an extraordinary place. There is no special purpose to this blog other than to project what I am thinking of at any given moment.
All the photos are mine (unless stated otherwise). Please do not use without permission. To learn more about me, check out my linked in profile below.