Tag Archives: City

A Hudson River Sunset- Old Visions, New Magic

A Hudson River Sunset

By Siddhi: 

In several of my previous posts, I’ve detailed at length those ethereal, remarkable moments in my travels that have redefined for me the notion of beauty. Standing on top of the Temple of Poseidon as the sun set, hiking to the summit of Sugarloaf in Rio to be greeted by a panorama of city lights celebrating the spirit of life, admiring the Chicago skyline at night immersed in legendary rap…the locales have, for the most part, been distant and exotic. But yesterday, as I was walking back to my dorm located just a block away from the Hudson, I stopped in complete awe and for the hundredth time in my life told my self: “This is the most beautiful sight I have ever witnessed.”

The Hudson River is truly one of the most consistently striking landmarks I’ve seen. This is my second year in New York City, and I still find myself at the water’s harbors at least three or four times a week for its never-ending gift of experience. The Hudson is a continually metamorphosing entity. On one morning it grips the entire universe and its imagery of awakening in its dynamic strokes of water and air. It becomes a living spiritual relationship between human and city, city and nature, nature and infinite. That very afternoon, it becomes that helicopter shot from every single movie ever set in New York. The boats, the daytime city scape, the runners and the mothers and the mothers who are runners all embracing, whether consciously or not, their role in the fabric of a breathtaking cosmopolitan dream. And at night, the Hudson becomes the iconic dance of twinkling lights from every building in the greatest city on earth, all of it together reflecting off the serene waters below. The pattern becomes routine, after some time. But never unremarkable.

I’ve seen glorious Hudson sunsets many a time. But yesterday, as I stood on Greenwich Street in the West Village and saw the blazing red sun dangle between two restaurants and send fierce spears of light through the narrow streets in front of me, I was living magic. There was something so mesmerizing about the colors and movement of light that I didn’t understand. I had seen this so many times before. Why was it so overwhelming now?

And then, after pacing back and forth for almost half an hour and watching the sun rays propagate and diminish with my subtle motions, it hit me.  For the first time, I was seeing the sun set in the tightest linear space I had ever seen it from before. This massive ball of red, orange, and yellow was literally like a shot from the all-time greatest “Circle of Life” intro sequence in the Lion King. The sun was proportionally larger than everything else in view, consummating all of the New York in my vision with stripes of beautiful soft and punching hard light. I’ve never seen the sun like this, so immense, almighty, holding the entire world in its palms.

Yesterday, it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. That perception will, undoubtedly, continually reconstruct itself the more I witness as I move. But what I took away from that spellbinding Hudson sunset was something more than the sight itself. It was knowing that an image I’d seen so many times, almost every single day, had suddenly on one random occasion become something else altogether. This wisdom is revelatory. I know that I can find renewed beauty in what has seemingly become mundane. As long as I keep looking and believing.

Walking in Gothenburg – The Best Way to Experience the City

A Lovely View Captured on Our Walk

By Lakshmi:

Today we had a sunny, mild day in Gothenburg.  So the day was filled with walking expeditions around the city.  Honestly, I have walked so much around the city or trammed it that the streets and squares feel familiar.  That’s a true testament to having explored the city.

This morning, we took a long, leisurely walk from our hotel in Majorna, a very old part of Gothenburg, to the Varldskulturmuseet (also known as the World Culture Museum) in Liseberg.  Here are neighborhoods we covered during our walk.

Majorna is a relatively quiet part of the city and the streets are dotted with cafes (including a gluten free one!), schools, apartments and stores.  There are multiple design/home goods stores and in the last several days, I have covered all of them.

Stigberget and Mast Hugget have storefronts on one side and the water on the other.  Mast Hugget ends at Järntorget (or the main square which is filled with stores and cafes).  Yesterday, I sat on a bench for a while,  watching students mill around Järntorget.

Haga is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Gotheburg and is filled with antique shops, book stores, cafes, and of course Cafe Husaren, the place with the giant yummy cinnamon buns.  Unlike their cream cheese icing soaked brethren in the US, these buns are the perfect breakfast or snack food with a cup of coffee.

Vasastaden is an old, elite neighborhood, filled with greenery and home to the impressive structure of Gothenburg University.  In fact the university has many buildings scattered across multiple blocks.

Lorensburg is filled with more cafes and one consistent feature of the outdoor sitting area in these cafes is the presence of blankets on the seats.  Given the weather changes, the cafes sure know to take care of their patrons.

When we finally got to Liseberg and the museum, we were taken aback.  The local tourist office mentioned this spot as a must do in Gothenburg, and given our outlook, we were very much looking forward to the experience.  However, we were both disappointed with the museum.  The exhibits were spartan, several in Swedish alone and even the ones claiming to be a cultural journey were very basic.  Maybe the target audience for the museum is kids and not adults.

They say the joy of travel like life lies in the journey and not the destination.  That was certainly true of our outing today.  While the World Culture Museum did not delight, our walk enabled us to savor many of the sights and smells of Gothenburg which were accentuated by the continual presence of a breathtaking assortment of flowers and flower arrangements throughout the city.

The Gothenburg Museum of Art – An Introduction to Nordic Artists and Beyond

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone interested in art who has a few hours to see a collection of paintings and sculptures donated by the people of Gothenburg.

What?   The Gothenburg Museum of Art located in the heart of the city.

How?  Take a tram or bus to the museum.  Details are provided below.

Stop: Götaplatsen, Valand/Avenyn.

Tram: 3, 7, 10

Bus: 18, 42, 58 & 158

Buy the museum pass for 40 Kroner and you will have access to 5 local museums for a whole year.  Admission is free to those 25 years of age or younger.  It is also good to have a 5 Kroner coin handy to stash away your bags in a locker.

Why?  We love visiting art museums in every city that we visit.  It gives us exposure to artists we have not heard of and gives us a chance to sample their work.  The Gothenburg Museum of Art has a Nordic focus, but houses older Dutch and French art as well.  Right now they also have a special exhibit entitled “Surrounding Bacon and Warhol”, featuring the work of two artists who worked at completely different creativity angles in the same time period.  The special exhibit costs an extra 60 Kroners.  Besides some very familiar pieces such as Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and Bacon’s tribute to Van Gogh, the exhibit features work that ranges across the creativity spectrum of these two artists.

While there are many many paintings from a multitude of Nordic artists, what really caught my attention were two sculptures.  The first was a huge sculpture of a pole dancer created in styrofoam and cast in plaster and another of a young boy who from the front looks like he is innocently peering across his desk and yet a closer look from the back reveals a crashed head.

PS.   This museum has three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Scandinavia.

To learn more about the Gothenburg Museum of Art, click here: