A day with the Liberty Lady
Last semester I was allotted a dorm room on the tenth floor. What was so amazing about this room? Well I and my roomie were the lucky ones to get the room with the ultimate view, the ultimate view of the Statue of Liberty!! If you are wondering then yes I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful and one of the major tourist destinations in US. Well staying in New York and not visiting the Statue of liberty is surely a crime! So when I was finally settled with my semester and had everything in control (by that I mean the dorm, fees, books, classes, schedule) I finally made plans with my roomie to go visit the Liberty Lady.
Location: The Statue of Liberty stands tall on Liberty Island within the State of New York.
Best time to visit: Any pleasant day as long as it’s not raining or snowing. Spring, summer and autumn are my order of preference.
Getting there: If you are planning to visit from New York then you will have to go Battery Park in lower Manhattan and if you are planning to visit from New Jersey then you will have to go to Liberty State Park. Once you reach the park ferries take you to the destination since it is the only way to get there. The Statue is not accessible by road. Ofcourse it is not! It’s an island…What was I thinking???!!
Since me and my roomie went from New York we went to Battery Park first. Once in the park, you need to go to the Castle Clinton National Monument from where you get to buy your ferry tickets.
Battery Park in itself is a pretty huge park and very beautiful. It is where the ferries come and carry the tourists to the Liberty Island. Our tickets were for 12:30pm and we arrived at 11:00am (we are overly punctual. wink.). I suggest you reach an hour or two before your ticket timing to board the ferry. Once you are there you can always kill time by checking out the stalls. Shop, eat and if possible get pictures clicked with the impersonator. There is a small shop inside the ferry too but it’s better to eat a bit before you travel.
Once it is your time to board the ferry you are made to stand in a queue. Now here is where it can take sometime since everyone has to go through a screening process and that is why getting tickets online is a better idea since reserved queues are smaller and the screening process is a bit quick. The screening process is similar like the one we have in the airport so be ready to take out off your jackets, belts or any metal belongings.
On the ferry: Once you board the ferry the best place to go get seated is on the top. It’s however first cum first serve but still you never know you might get lucky. Most people prefer standing. The duration to reach the Liberty Island is around 15-20mins. So that’s the time when you can get a whole lot of pictures. Of the bridge, the New York Skyline and the Statue of course!
Tip: Keep your camera handy so that you can take pictures of the Statue as this is the only time when the ferry takes a total 360 turn around the Statue and you can capture as many snapshots as you want from any angle.
On the Island: Ferries run every 30mins hence set your watch accordingly so that you roam around the Island and return to the place where ferry dropped you. Now here is the tricky part. Apparently the tickets have been divided into four types and depending on which ticket you carry you are allowed to walk on the island. There maybe areas where your entry might be restricted if not mentioned on your tickets.
Gift Shop: Quite strange I had thought they’d be many shops but to my surprise I only saw one gift shop, big but one. Here you can buy your Statue of Liberty souvenirs for your family, friends or just yourself.
Museum: If you happen to have the Reserve with Crown Ticket(the highest priced ticket)you have an access to the museum.
Getting back: Once the ferry picks you up from the place where it dropped you it will first take you to the Ellis Island where you can visit the Immigration Museum. If you are interested in anything related to historical immigration to America, then this is the place for you. You may or may not choose to de -board the ferry at Ellis Island and continue back to Battery Park in New York.
A few pointers you may want to know:
- If you are coming from New York it’s best to take the subway since it’s economical and fast.
- It is always better to book your tickets online at http://www.statuecruises.com as you end waiting in the line otherwise.
- It is always better to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. The island area can be a tad bit windy so you might want to dress accordingly.
- Battery Park in itself has a lot to offer, like the memorials. Some include the New York Korean War Veterans Memorial, East Coast Memorial and Coast Guard Memorial. So stick around for a while and explore.
- Take it from me the impersonator wouldn’t tell you this before posing with you for photos but it costs $5 so don’t think it’s free.
- The stalls at the Battery Park entry are the best place to buy I ♥ NY t-shirts and hoodies available in many different sizes and colors. So make sure you grab one of those.
- Charge your camera battery in advance so that you can click as many pictures as you want.
- Last but not the least…enjoy enjoy and enjoy!
That was my experience with Lady with the Torch. Have you been to any such monument or maybe any wonder of the world?? Let me know if you’ve had any such experience would love to hear something.
Good Taliban, Bad Taliban
Americans love fishing. Ok, here i am specific about American Government. Uncle Sam loves to fish in another’s pond mostly without permission. Unlike good fisherman, Uncle Sam muddies himself by entering the water and makes a complete mess. Like magician pulling out a rabbit from a hat, he can pull out any excuse to fish. He can even say that there exists a poisonous jelly (read: weapons of mass destruction) in the pond and enters it to save the other fishes. In that process, he would be killing more fishes in the pond chasing the imaginary jelly fish that he wants world to believe. Deep in the waters, he would get desperate to come out to banks and create another mess while swimming out.
Now you would be fairly aware of what am talking about. Bush made a big fishing mess and Obama is in a hurry to end the fishing expedition. So the peace chanting President of US of A who in a typical art of talking that comes easy for Politician’s across the world, mesmerized the globe and even swept the Noble prize starts to identify good fishes and bad fishes from the same fish fraternity. So he decides to pick the good Taliban and hopes they can continue fighting the bad Taliban as his proxy.
Sound’s easy eh?
But is there any good Taliban, Bad Taliban? Lets see about them.
Good Taliban: I will wait till US makes the exit and then resume my old habits.
Bad Taliban: I am same then, now and for ever.
Good Taliban: I will grow opium and buy weapons from “friendly” dealers.
Bad Talibam: I will grow opium and buy weapons from “non-friendly” dealers.
Good Taliban: I won’t indulge in public beheadings. (at least not publicly)
Bad Taliban: I will continue making “videos of terror” publicly.
Good Taliban: I will side with ISI as earlier.
Bad Taliban: ISI is split personality, I can bomb them as well as hug them. We have a weirdest, bizarre relationship that not even Pakistani ordinary citizens can understand.
Good Taliban: Oh, I will stop bombing in Pakistan.
Bad Taliban: I will bomb wherever I wish.
Good Taliban: Thanks for the US Dollars (Heeheee I will use them to buy weapons when you bid goodbye)
Bad Taliban: Dude, I have other source of Income.
Good Taliban: I am tired for a while… I need rest.
Bad Taliban: Bring ‘em on. Boost Bombs are the secret of my energy, our energy.
Good Taliban: *Gives a reformed look* (thinks) Can Hamid Karzai & Uncle Sam be so easily duped? *evil grin*
Bad Taliban: I am a bad actor.
Good Taliban: I am ready for a temporary makeover. Let me pose as “reformed-terrorist” even if you have proclaimed me a global terrorist.
Bad Taliban: No cosmetics please. It is against our ideology.
Good Taliban: Back to square one. Yay! We are going to start the fight again from fresh after some rest.
Bad Taliban: *Bomb* *Boom* (for them bombs are the spokesperson)
Ok, So is there any Good Taliban, Bad Taliban? Or is it just Uncle Sam saving remaining fishing nets and running away from the waters? Run.
To bribe or not to bribe ?
US of A is considering a bribe for the Afghan fighters to join their side. Honestly, I find this both interesting and hilarious. Some of the security analysts claim, these fighters were frustrated with local leaders, impressed with charismatic leaders from the Taliban, and promises that were made to them if they to perform an action. Simply said, Taliban or whichever group they represented promised them things that the government deprived them of. So who shall we point the fingers at now?
I am not encouraging war and will I never do that. Everyone at some point was at the bottom of the lowest pit, and obviously you would not care who pulled you out from the pit, as long as you got pulled out. I am guessing the same worked for these guys when they were in distress.
Let’s just take a look at ourselves. We lose our temper at times and only cool down when we have either got it our way, or some sort of a consensus has been reached largely in our favour. I would call that subtle bribery and of course violence on a small scale. We are not different from anyone fighting out there. They kill people. We tend to "kill" people with words – Just a faint line that separates us from them. Otherwise, all is good whether you choose to agree or not.
This video I came across had Hindu men fighting in the name of jihad. That came quite as a surprise. If this was indeed a religious war, where did these guys sprout out from? And they claim, as always I am going to quote word for word: "When we pick up guns, we get everything in life". Jihad in its true sense (if I am mistaken, please do correct me) is “all about battling the vices within which can range from simple anger to ego, jealousy and anything else that may cause harm (both physical and mental) to the self and others.”
Back to the ‘interesting’ American solution, it has been identified as ”the most cost-effective way to get people to lay down their arms, either to negotiate a peace or coerce them". I hail from a nation where Bribery is heavily criticized and is almost non-existent so that would naturally make me one who detests bribery as well. However, in this case if it reduces the amount of violence in the country, then I might be all for it. This of course may not be the permanent solution to the rising problem. But it will curb the situation. Buy us some time.
So why not?
Article written by Usha Amudan. The author hails from Singapore, currently pursuing studies in China.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a Wall (street)
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Well, am talking about the Humpty Dumpties who sat on Wall Street and having a great fall. All the desperate federal resurrection plans, painful bailouts and the king Uncle Sam’s efforts seems to be going down the drain and could not put the Humpty Dumpty back together!
So how is the impact of Humpty Dumpty’s great fall?!!
On 10 October, 2008:
Markets across Asia, Europe has been battered and dusts all over…
BSE is down to 10,527,
Dow Down to 8,579,
FTSE 100 fell more 20 percent to 3,932,
The Nikkei plunged 24 percent to 8,276, double its one-week loss in the 1987 crash.
The Sao Paulo stock exchange index fell 20 percent.
Hang Seng fell 7.3% yesterday
Sydney index closed 8.3% lower
Thai index was suspended after hitting circuit breaker 10% low
Germany’s DAX was down 7%
The Wall Street perhaps is the biggest wall than the Chinese wall! The length of impact spreads across the globe much bigger than the Chinese wall which runs through the Chinese vast land.
The impact is total. Humpty Dumpty fall from wall is gathering dust in bourses globally. What a fall it has been! The kings and ministers in various financial kingdoms across the globe are worried lot. Clueless, desperate, worried lot. While the common men are in disbelief and shocked seeing their investments getting wiped out every single day. It may take many a months possibly a year to bring back Humpty Dumpty standing up again. Lets all embrace for the turbulent times ahead… The great fall is for real and the pull back will also be real but the need for hour is wise planning and patience , shrewd moves from all King’s men across the globe.
B-School whizz kids or bad kids ?
The dramatic collapse of Wall Street made me thinking one point. Lehman brothers, Morgan Stanley, Bears and sterns etc all this big names commands the cream recruitment from the prestigious B-schools of the world. The policy makers and the cream of the management team of the companies had the brightest mind of the economics and business practice but still the companies failed and they failed miserably.
So what went wrong? What happened to the great analytical minds of the sharpest B-school whizz kids? Why did the supposedly high flying CEOs’ and their core team of number crunching pedigree of sharp minds which boasts of prestigious degrees from the elite universities bite the dust ? Is it coz that they where away from the ground realities of the market? Were they unaware of the real pulse of the market and lived in a theoretical management practices and board games? Or is it they were not concerned about the company but only in their personal pursuits of monetary benefits? Of course a monetary benefit will come only if you are leading a company in a successful manner and not sink it? So what really happened? Why it happened? Why none of the high flying economists were able to predict this windfall collapse?
I am not an economist or a supposedly sharp mind of B-school… but a simple man with this simple question… can anyone shed a light on my doubt?
United Socialist America – Collapse of Wall street
The Red brigades should be happy about the way Uncle Sam is managing its economy. Perfect Red sticker to George Bush , he is being a darling of welfare measures that will make any communist adore him .
- More than 700 billion $ bail out plans for the investment banks and insurance companies which where grossly mismanaged by supposedly cream of managerial great minds !
- No other country in this world perhaps spend like US in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid . It is truly a welfare state that should bring smiles to Red commrades. ( the budget for which is under strain now for mounting fiscal debts )
What went wrong ? The supposedly champion of free capitalism is now clueless and is turning to be a champion of socialism ( pun intented without having to say , still )
The root cause of all this can be summarised by Buddha’s word : Desire is the root cause of all miseries. Desire in a controlled manner is healthy but when it is uncontrolled it leads to greed . American government , American companies and American public to large extend knowingly or unknowlingly where trapped by the maya of greed . Greed for success , Greed for pompous life style , Greed for power , Greed for world domination . All this greed leads to the meltdown after giving a high for a while.
History has proved that not only an individual but even a system , governance , country cannot be left uncontrolled nor over controlled.
The collapse of USSR is partly cause of over controlled policies . The melt down of US economy is example of uncontrolled policies. Same as an individual cannot be over controlled or let uncontrolled , even a Government or any institution cannot be . There should be a middle path a moral discipline for a limited control for an individual and institution to maintain the sanity .
If the world maintains tends to choose the middle path it will be a better place over all.
But ……………………………………………. it shall always be a distant dream to achieve it practically. So we have to live with the cycle of raisings and collapses story.
We read history but never learn from history , ryt ? Sadly yes.