Monday, September 26, 2011

New-York Pizza, really?

Luzzo's Pizza, Easy Village, Manhattan

For all my ranting about the unhealthy food habits of the people in this country, I have to admit that if there’s one thing that will make me never want to leave New York, it’s the New York pizza! Look at the picture above, look me in the eyes and tell me you would disagree. Guilty! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Deep-Fried WHAT?!!

Led Zappole, Manhattan
Interesting name of the place itself, will plan a visit here when I drop say, 20 kilos. (think: never)

What do you do when you are given an oreo cookie? You eat it.

What do you do when you are given a snickers bar? You feel a little guilty, and then eat it.

What do you do when you are given a slice of pizza? You ponder, feel guilty, and then eat it.

What does an American do when they are given any of the above? Deep-fry them!

This is it. I have concluded that Americans will eat anything. Anything that is fried and deep-fried and covered in oil-and-grease or sugar! Let me re-phrase. Not only will they eat anything that is fried, they will find a new thing each day that can possibly be fried and then deep-fry it till it doesn’t even resemble the original product.

Whoever thinks of frying Oreo cookies? Snickers? Pizza, for heaven’s sake?! 400 calories a slice ain’t good enough for you? Let’s dunk it in oil and make it a round 1000!

I think my arteries clogged up just by looking at the sign-board above. Now excuse me while I write to the Association of Diabetes Specialists or whatever organization it was that named India is the Diabetes Capital of the World. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Look, Willy Wonka is for real!

Max Brenner - Chocolate by the Bald Man, Manhattan
Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed, but chocolate makes it worthwhile ~ Anon

Do you know what Charlie felt like in Willy Wonka's factory? No? Well, i'll tell you what Charlie felt like Willy Wonka's factory! Do you know what it feels like to suddenly wake up one day and be told that an alternate world exists? That the world you lived in was just a cheap substitute where mortals are banished from finding out about all that is good and beautiful and utopia-like. No? Well, then you shouldn't be spending any more time reading this than you have and instead start plotting your way to visit Max Brenner as soon as possible, for it is the closest you'll get to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory as possible!

Oh of course, you're still reading! So i'll just sum up my visit to Max Brenner in a few individual words instead of stringing together sentences. And it's not because I'm too bored to write (really!), it's only because I don't think I can talk about an experience like Brenner in just a few lines, and partly also because I think these words will do the job that any other style of writing would.

Think of: chocolate, coffee, rains, warmth, winter, cozy, gooey, fondue, sweet, candy, melting, waffles, marshmallow, romance, music, cheese, caramel, cookies, sugar, crepes, hazelnut, vanilla, mocha. What, are you drooling already? There's a lot more. So now go visit.

PS. Did I mention that they have the most adorable mugs? Hug mug for some warmth, kangaroo cup for the un-deciders like me (coffee? chocolate? coffee? No both!)!  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Be Safe - City of Djinns

A regiment rehearses outside Rashtrapati Bhavan for the upcoming Republic Day celebrations in Delhi
Picture taken in January 2008
Untill I enrolled for post-graduation in 2007, I had never been to Delhi. Yes, that's right. Never. I was almost always embarassed when in any conversation the name 'Delhi' popped up and I had to sheepishly admit, 'I do look forward to going there.' Of course, I've yet never been to Kerala or Assam or West Bengal (err..yes) either but having reached over the age of 20 without having visited the capital of my country somehow didn't feel right. At all.

So I guess as with most things, one always gets an opportunity to balance things out and when I did, I grabbed it with 3 hands. Or whatever. I made my first visit to Delhi in late 2007. And then again in early 2008. And again in mid-2008. And again...okay so you get the point. Over the last 4 years, I've been to Delhi innumerable times and I guess partly because so many of my closest friends from college belong from there. And I have to admit, each time I visit, I fall in love with the city again.

People from India will tell you of this strong Mumbai-Delhi divide where each one thinks they're superior to the other. But I can tell you this - I have lived most of my life in Bombay and completely love the city but Delhi has an unparalleled charm that's unique and should not be competed against. Okay, it has its share of perverts who think that they own a license to drink, to rape, to cause road rage, Delhi is blingy and flashy and superficial at a lot of levels; but if you're telling me Mumbai or New York or any other big city for that matter is perfect, you're obviously not in a position to have your opinion counted.

I love delhi winters, I love its street food, I love the historical vibe that the city sends out, its beautiful heritage structures, even its crassness! Oh yes, I love Delhi. And that's how I identify with the city. Not with blasts and earthquakes. I refrain from writing anything about it because obviously, 2 days after the incident, i'm not expecting people to be here to read the latest news update. I'm only paying my respects, my way of tribute to the city that has always been a great host to me, a city that I look forward to visiting again as soon as Im back in India, the City of Djinns. Take care Delhi!