Friday, July 30, 2010

Trying out the Windows Live Writer

Got introduced to the Windows Live Writer through one of my friend. She hosts an excellent frugality website Wealth Informatics. Do check that out!!

Getting back to Live writer, it is just so cool to use.. and this is my first post with the live writer editor.. Do try the live writerHappy

New York Touring Tips

Keeping up with my pledge here is the post on our New York trip. Instead of going on saying how great the trip was (yup it was indeed greaaat!!) I am going to say my tips on how to save better and see more on a trip to New York. I may not be the frugality expert to give my tips, but I did have my own ways of sightseeing New York.

How to get there??
We took a rental car and drove up to New Jersey. Now the question comes why New Jersey, why not New York. The answer –
1. Staying in New Jersey is way cheaper than staying at New York whatever be the star rating of the hotels you are looking at
2. New York is at a very close commutable distance from here and there are multiple options how you could reach New York - all of them equally exciting. (We took the Lakeland Bus service which took us to the port authority bus terminal, the busiest terminal in US - one of the places to see in NY)
3. If you ever took a car, parking is either complimentary or real cheap at the hotels in New Jersy whereas, in NY, it could easily be anywhere between $15 - $25
4. Even better if you flew to NJ. You could stay at a hotel closer to the airport and almost all hotels near airport has complimentary shuttle to airport from where you can take subway to NY

Plan ahead to save on attractions
Next, all the attractions at New York are really worth seeing and if you are planning to cover most of them, there is no better way to do it other than getting the coupons. You have a variety of coupons to choose from depending on the length of your stay.
Check out these links for the passes they offer

1. The New York Pass
2. New York City Pass
3. New York city Explorer Pass

We took the 2 day pass from “The New York Pass” as we were going for a long weekend. Even otherwise, I find that this is the cheapest amongst all the ones available and offers 55 attractions that you can see with the pass. So the next question is how to use your coupons to the fullest. (Remember that the New York pass comes with $10 coupon on the store and $10 coupon at their restaurant –don’t miss to use it)

How best to use the pass?
To gain profit out of your pass, you must plan to visit as many attractions as possible without compromising the time that needs to be given to each of them. If you are only planning to visit the Empire State building and the Liberty Island, please DO NOT buy the pass. Buying the pass is only meaningful if you use it well over than what it cost you actually. So even before you go to NY spend some time to look up at the list of attractions – again the New York Pass website has the most comprehensive list with links for each of them. You can see them clicking here. There are around 4 cruises (including night time cruise) including the Liberty Island ferry. So if you are a fan of the boats/ferry/sail plan your itinerary around these cruises. You can look up at the time when each of the cruises starts from their respective websites and make sure you reach to the deck at least 15 minutes in advance. Yeah! that is one advantage of your pass, you can skip lines at most places (except the Empire State Building)

How to draw out the itinerary?
Notice that each attraction is a hyperlink in the website. Clicking on the link will give you the webpage of the attraction where you can find the address for them. Span the attractions over your days of visit. Most importantly, plan them based on their address so that you don’t waste time travelling from one end to the other of Manhattan to see the attraction.

Commuting to the attractions
If you have a iphone/Blackberry/any3G phone, I would advise against the Red/Blue Bus that you can hop on/off to see attractions. The reason - they are costlier than what they are worth. Have Google maps installed in your phone and there is no better way to navigate around.
If you don’t have one (which I seriously doubt :) ), do take the bus or else you would lose time and energy trying to get from one place to another. You can see the details here for Red Bus or here for the Blue Bus.
But if you do have the technology in hand, you can get one day unlimited fun pass from MetroCard for $8.25 as compared to close to $60 for the hop on/off bus for a day. This can be used in both the bus and in the subway. Trust me it is exciting!! Your Google maps will show the next available public transit to reach your next destination. Walking up to the bus stops/subway stations is again great because NY Street is where all the action is. I actually had a neck ache craning my neck to see those massive sky scrapers.

These are the basic tips that you can consider before your trip. So enjoy your trip!!!
Please do share your ideas and experiences on New York trips. I’d love to hear them

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


This movie can be said to be a cross of Titanic+Lagaan+Some Kollywood masala :) But this movie is a definite yes to watch because of the art direction and the sets in the movie. It is always a nice feeling to see the old Madras in paintings or in antique photographs collection. I must say that they have brought those images to life in the movie. The heroine in this movie is Amy Jackson who has the Miss Teen America title to her name and sure enough looks pretty (but certainly not comparable to Kate Winslet on any scale). Arya looks cool. I don't know why the director choose the titanic style of narration, but in my guess the film would have looked much better in the typical tamil film flashback style of narration.I would rate the movie at 2.5 stars.

Follow the below link to watch madharasapattinam movie online for free:

Click here to watch madharasapattinam online for free

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Watched this movie today. Though there is no logic in what the hero does (atleast initially until they bring in the sentimental part), the movie is worth a one time watch compared to many nonsense that comes out these days in the name of a movie. Jayam Ravi is the hero. So as usual, it a Telugu remake. I dont know if the taste of tamil audience has hit a new low - am wondering bcos these days I see Tamanna as heroine in everyother movie. The first half is fun and second half drags a bit. I watched it alone but was laughing out loud for few scenes. I'd rate the movie at 3stars :)

Its a good movie to watch in theater. But for those outside India who have no other option, you can watch thillalangadi online for free by following this link

Click here to watch Thillalangadi online for free

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nostradamus and 2012

I recently happened to see the History channel documentary on the "Last Book of
Nostradamus" and its striking 7 images. This was the latest to the 2012 doomsday documentary by the "H" channel. Anyways, I wanted to share what I thought about the scholor's thought on those images - not intending on demeaning or anything, just my thoughts. They seemed to be interested more on the wheel at the top and the book of life and the tree of life and did not talk much on the lower part of each image which seemed to be showing 2 different Zodiacs. In some cases, they did touch on the zodiacs, but in others, they interpreted them into something totally not related to Zodiac. The 7 images are here:

Anyways, I have read and seen so much of this doomsday thing in Mayan, Chinese, Egyptian, Christian, Hopi and many other predictions. Also I read on the scientific theories like Galactic alignment of sun in the milky way, pole reversal, solar maxima - yes indeed I was so jobless :) Having read all this, the curiosity bug bit me to see what hindu mythology has to say on this.
From what I have read so far from the internet, according to Gita and other sacred Hindu scriptures, few think that its going to be the end of Kali Yuga and the start of Satya Yuga. Since that seems so far fetched with no Kalki avatar yet, I was more convinced with the second school of thought. This thought says that God has promised a golden period of 5000 years within the kali yuga and 2012 will be the year when we'd usher into this golden period in kali yuga. And I think this better suits to India if not the world as India seems to be doing better economically and is being recognised better world wide these days. If economists predictions turn out true, India would economically over power China by 2012.
So just like all others who are confused reading so much about 2012, I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that the hindu mythology prediction comes true!
To end this post, I want to share an optimist's cartoon that I saw on the net while researching on this topic

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pledging to write more

It’s been quite a while since I visited my blog myself. I know it sounds really bad :P but now I am pledging to myself to write at least one post in the blog per day. Hopefully I am going to keep my promise to self. I have had some interesting things going around during this time. I had a vacation to India for a fortnight. Yes, there is going to be a post on that. We visited New York - the city that never sleeps for the July 4 long weekend. Will plan a post on that too…
But right now to keep up with my resolve, I am going to start writing just about anything that I get :)
BTW, I also did a painting in the meanwhile. You can check the painting out by clicking here or by visiting