Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American Independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was cast with the lettering (part of Leviticus 25:10) "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations. The Bell was case in the Whitechappel Foundry (UK) in the year 1752 and weighs 900 kg.

Independece Hall - This small hall above is where the American Independence & American Constitution was debated & adopted which till today stands are a framework for the sole superpower country on earth. The Founding Fathers of American History like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin & Thomas Jefferson sat on this chairs 250 (1775) years ago. Below are some text from the Preamble which states that people have rights to dismiss the government if it's voilating people's rights. The sentences below are the most well known and have had a lasting effect in American & World History.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The Free Quaker House is a historic quaker meeting place built in 1783

Streets of Philadelphia.

Streets of Philadelphia - by Bruce Sprinsteen.

Driving through the streets of Philadelphia, it was easy to understand that it was one of the oldest cities in the US, the street lanes were narrow. It's also a big port city with lot of blue collar workers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

New York -3 : View From the Top of Rockefeller Center

These photos are taken from the Rockefeller Center 70 stories above New York City with a 360 degree view of the city,this building was constructed in 1930 here below are a few of the photos.

Panoramic view of NYC

View of Central Park from the Observation Deck, Central park was opened in 1857 and is 770 acres.

View of the Empire state building, completed in 1931 and the tallest building in the world for 40 years. The Tall white building to the right is the Bank of America tower, it is the 2nd tallest building in New York after Empire state building.

The white colored 45 degree tilted building to the left is the 59 storey headquarter of Citigroup completed in 1977. Towards the right back is the 72 storey Trump world tower,a residential complex.

Distinctly clear is the Met Life building, a 59 storey building completed in 1963, just behind it you can see the spire of Chrysler building, the 77 Storey bulding was completed in 1928. The Octagonal building towards the left is 383 Madison Avenue, headquarter of JP Morgan. It has 47 floors and was completed only in 2001.

The Green colored building towards the right is Bertelsmann building , a 42 storey building completed in 1990.

20 exhange place, the triple striped building is a 59 floor art deco building completed in 1931

These last 2 pics are shots I took of the street below to show the dizzying height of the buildings.

My gratitude to Florence for taking me to New York City.

It's like a jungle, out here
So much struggle, out here
And my dream's still unphased
Greed still the cousin of death
Always feels like always somethin farther time
In the Streets of New York

All I see is street homes
And who it's holdin, our people
Only comforts the brain
It's like I'm going insane
The revolution has to start, don't waste no time
In the Streets of New York

Oh, break the game
Just ain't the same
Baby loves and girls with no shame
Can't get away (get away), epidemic plague
Every hood in every state
Don't have no reasons cause relieve is hard to find
- Alicia Keys

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New York -2 From the Streets to Skyscrapers

The Streets are Clean, the air cold and the building's tall, it's possible that most of the buildings do not get sunshine throughout the day but most of them are airconditioned and heated. Most of the transportation is done underground with the big buildings having their own subway station below their buildings.

500 5th Avenue bulding is a 1931, 60 Floor art deco building.

The Tall bulding towards the left is the Woolworth building, 59 stories completed in 1913.

Lincoln building is a Neo Gothic , 53 storey building completed in 1930

Bank of America tower is a 58 floor building completed in 2009

919 3rd Avenue is 47 floors built in 1971.

The Millenium Hilton building is a 59 storey, 1992 building with 471 rooms.

Chase Manhattan plaza is a 1961, 60 storey building

Radio City Hall - is an Entertainment venue of Rockefeller centre. It derives it's name from it's first tenants Radio Corporation of America, the building was completed in 1931.Radio City has 5,933 seats for spectators; it became the largest movie theater in the world at the time of its opening

These are views from the sidewalk upto the top of the building, Manhattan lives up to it's name as the home of Spiderman with huge tall buildings all across throughout the Island. Just having a look at one of the huge buildings made me wonder that if one family was allotted one room, whole towns and cities would fit into just one building itself. Some of the buildings were so tall that it would not fit into the frame of the camera. I used 2 evelators during my stay in Manhattan, our room was on the 14th floor which we reached in 3 minutes, we went to the top of Rockefeller Centre in just about 5 minutes because the elevators were fast,Many of the skyscraper are more than a 100 years old like the Rockefeller centre, Empire State building but they are still strong and have been built to last. It's important to remember that many of these skyscrapers are built of steel and have been well constructed with many of the older buildings more than 100 years.

Grand Central Terminal-it is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms: 44, with 67 tracks along them. They are on two levels, both below ground, with 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though the total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100. When the Long Island Rail Road's new station, below the existing levels, Grand Central will offer a total of 75 tracks and 48 platforms. The terminal covers an area of 48 acres.

World Trade Center Reconstruction Site - I could not see anything due to barricades around the construction site.

NYPD officers on horseback

Westward Go-4 Interceptor

Typical New York Vehicle Cop Cruiser - Ford Crown Victoria

New York Police Department -NYPD is the first police agency in the US started in 1845. The First one on mounted horse, second a mini car and finally NYPD car, the cops were quite friendly in giving help and direction.

This video was by Jay-Z & Alicia Keys - New York was running through my mind while touring around NYC :-)

"New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothin' you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York, New York,
New York"
- Alicia Keys

Seeing Elton John and Leon Russell perform live in Beacon Theatre, NYC

I was really lucky to see Elton John and Leon Russell promoting their new album the Union by performing live in Beacon Theatre, New York City for Good Morning America, Fall Concert Series. Here are a few photos and videos of the performance.

The Live Music Videos

Elton John with Leon Russell & ABC Anchors Robin Roberts and Sam Champion

Interior of Beacon Theatre

It has been a long day today, I am once again grateful to Mrs Florence for taking me to New York, we saw the advertisement for the show in Time square and went for the Concert to Beacon Theatre around 4:30 in the Morning and reached by 6:00 AM, Sir Elton John lived up to his reputation, Leon russell has a good voice and sang very well, both of them know their music and performed while playing the Piano, these guys know their music. It was unfortunate that I had not heard about Leon Russell but I am a big fan of his now too :-)

New York - 1 : ToNight @ NYC

Time Square at night

The New York -is one of the oldest and most extensive public transportation systems in the world, with 468 stations in operation (423 if stations connected by transfers are counted as a single station. The first underground line of the subway opened on October 27, 1904.

The UN, it's blurry because I took it from a moving car

Discovery Channel Building

From New York

The Buildings were tall, allright :-)

New York Cab - There are lot of Indian and Pakistani Cab Drivers

A stretched Mini Cooper

New York Subway - the subway was old, but neat and clean, not as crowded as the trains in India. There were subways one floor after another criss crossing throughout the city.

I think the Video - I gotta feeling best describes the excitement around Time Square in NYC.