Inside the Georgia Aquarium

Summer 2010 I traveled around a fair bit and made a trip to California, Vegas, Upstate New York and Atlanta with my mother. I got a chance to see some great sites including the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. But the one that took me by surprise was my trip to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. I have always loved Aquariums but this has got to be one of the best I have ever visited. I spent over 5 hours here, and had to be literally dragged out of there. The aquarium is also home to the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, and I got to see them during the behind the scene tour. Here are some pictures, if you’re ever in the region this place definitely deserves a visit.

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Lost in trans(portation)!!

New York – the City, the Big Apple, Melting pot, there are many nicknames for this city and its many wonderful attractions and people. When I first came to the city (about eight months ago), one aspect of the city that scared me in particular was the subway. I was afraid to go down into the belly of the beast. I wondered what was with all these lines – A,B,C,D, 1,N,Q,R….How do I get my ticket? How do I know whether I need to go uptown or downtown?

I constantly found myself on the wrong train, often heading in the wrong direction. I spent many a night waiting for the C, only to realize it don’t operate at that time. Yes, painful lessons but I am smarter for it today, well thats until I need to go to a new part of town.

You see in India and Delhi in particular, we didn’t have a public transportation system as well priced, and well connected as NYC (more on this later). Most people have cars, and others take a rickshaw, DTC bus (best of luck getting on those), carpool or take a taxi (these are rather overpriced). In Delhi, the government would need to offer a significant cash reward for the middle/upper middle class to take the metro (started in 2002) and ditch their cars, so I find it all the more enthralling that the  subway is so popular in New York. But I digress.

Over the last couple of months I have come to admire the efficiency of the subway, and the diversity it holds in its narrow tubes and its many stations. On any given day, I see people from all around the world and hear several different languages. I had a professor that called the subway the ‘great equalizer’, and I could not agree more. In the subway, no matter the designation/title/bank balance we are all equal, jostling for a seat and therein lies its beauty.

Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce

I love watching TV, movies and plays, and I am a sucker for a good miniseries. My favorites include Band of Brothers, The Pacific – humm I guess alot of them are from HBO. But to me there is nothing better than getting wrapped up in a story and see it unfold.

So I was ecstatic to hear that one of my favorite actors – i.e Kate Winslet was playing the lead in one. However, school and work made it impossible to get time to watch the series.

It took me a while, but I finally started watching Mildred Pierce yesterday on HBO, a five part miniseries, and the closest adaptation of James M Cain’s 1941 novel. Not surprisingly, I was once again astounded by the powerhouse that is Kate Winslet. She is a phenomenal actress who really has the ability to transform and blend into any character, and genre.

Winslet brings to life the hardship of the economy during the (pre) depression era and the challenge a divorced woman faced in those times. I was swept away into the time period and felt her pain as she struggled to find a job, support her daughters and her inner conflict of letting go of a dream and the struggle to achieve success. It also has a strong supporting cast that including Guy Pearce, Melissa Leo (from the Fighter) and Evan Rachel Wood (from The Wrestler and Across the Universe).

There are quite a few powerful scenes but some of my favorites include one towards the end of Episode 3 – a confrontation of sorts between Mildred and her daughter, and the start of her daughters open rebellion against her mother, and Episode 4 – where Mrs Lenhart comes to meet Mildred. In Episode 1, Mildred goes to Mrs Lenhart’s home to seek a job as a housekeeper, but she could not bear the thought of dressing up in a uniform and she knew her oldest daughter would look down upon her. This scene really was brilliant and in a sense showed the notion of class distinction in that era. I am still on Episode 4, so I might post additional details. But I highly recommend it.

Here are some more reviews – I personally cant wait for the DVD to come out

NY Times –

Huffington Post –