Monday, May 27, 2013

The cities of the world: Top things I enjoy in them

My blog has been suffering form neglect for quite a while, and I seem to refuse to pen down the thoughts that come and vanish so rapidly. Being the travel buff that I am, I am going to make a conscious effort to put down all of those random travel thoughts in pictures and writing before they are relegated to a corner of my mind.

This post is dedicated to the big cities I have traveled to and stayed in for a while to work or vacation in. Each one of them is unique in its own way and I realize there are some big names missing from the list, maybe to be backfilled someday, but here goes:

New York (a.k.a. "The city")




  1. Aptly named "The city that never sleeps", it is the place to go out late at night and never worry about finding places that are open. Shopping at midnight. Cabs all the time.
  2. Excellent restaurants. Some of the best food, ranging from the most expensive Michelin starred tasting menu to the street side lip smackingly good halal truck. 
  3. The best shopping and fashion. Again from the most expensive couture to the sample sales in the garment district.
  4. The Met for its art collection (I'm yet to see all of it) and free entry.
  5. The ability to pay with my credit card or phone on all the city taxis.
  6. The wildly different neighborhoods of New York. Everyone knows what you are up to when you are in Soho vs the Upper east side.
  7. Central park for the multitude of amazing runs and walks.
  8. Times square for being the tourist wonder par excellence and the source of constant annoyance to any New Yorker who needs to wade his way through it enroute to work.
London


  1. The history that envelops the entire city and is there wherever you look.
  2. The excellent public transport system and the buses which are a pleasure to ride.
  3. The treasure trove of museums with the most amazing collection of artifacts. The free admission into every one of them.
  4. Westminster Abbey (sadly no free admission) and its 3000+ burials.
  5. The fancy department stores and the cream teas, which let you appreciate black tea in its purest unadulterated form.
  6. The palace and the presence of the royals.
  7. The proximity to the rest of Europe.
  8. The city's many parks which are as delightful as an English garden.
Rome


  1. The history. The feel of an ancient city.
  2. The excellent food and espresso. The gnocchi and the pizza.
  3. Vatican city and St. Peter's basilica. The sistine chapel and Raphael rooms.
  4. The beautiful evening walks along the via del Corso and spanish steps terminating at random dinners at the sidewalk cafes.
  5. The open piazzas and the Pantheon.
Sydney



  1. Bondi beach with its huge open air seawater swimming pool where the waves rush in.
  2. The coastal cliff walks along most beaches. The Bondi to Coogee walk was my favorite memory.
  3. The wonderful harbor-side with the beautiful opera house which looks even better in the night.
  4. The rocks district with excellent food and nightlife.
  5. The flying foxes in the botanical garden.
  6. Ibis everywhere! Especially in the parks around the city.
  7. The darling harbor pedestrian bridge and the sky tram.
  8. Aussie pies! Complete with mash and peas.

Zurich



  1. Walking along the Banhoffstrasse and gawking at the expensive cars.
  2. The Zurichsee with beautiful alpine views on a clear day.
  3. The old town with its many fondue restaurants.
  4. Hiltl and its expansive vegetarian buffet. The presence of so many vegetarian restaurants around town.
  5. The proximity to the alps and access to some of the best nature walks and hikes.
  6. The biergartens around town serving great Swiss-German food.
  7. The rosti everywhere.


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