Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Azaleas remind me of Manderley’s Happy Valley. I’m not a fan of Daphne du Maurier, but I found Rebecca captivating.

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The azaleas in the Happy Valley were “her” idea

When Maxim spoke, his voice was hushed too, gentle and low, as if he had no wish to break upon the silence. 'We call it the Happy Valley, ' he said. We stood quite still, not speaking, looking down upon the clear white faces of the flowers closest to us, and Maxim stooped, and picked up a fallen petal and gave it to me. It was crushed and bruised, and turning brown at the curled edge, but as I rubbed it across my hand the scent rose to me, sweet and strong, vivid as the living tree from which it came.

When Maxim spoke, his voice was hushed too, gentle and low, as if he had no wish to break upon the silence. ‘We call it the Happy Valley, ‘ he said. We stood quite still, not speaking, looking down upon the clear white faces of the flowers closest to us, and Maxim stooped, and picked up a fallen petal and gave it to me. It was crushed and bruised, and turning brown at the curled edge, but as I rubbed it across my hand the scent rose to me, sweet and strong, vivid as the living tree from which it came.

“Spoiler Alert”

Rebecca’s presence, her perfection, Danny’s creepy devotion to her, the madness, the despair; I love the way the story builds up. You see through the new Mrs. de Winter’s eyes. You are led to believe Maxim is unable to get over his first wife, the perfect Mrs. de Winter, Rebecca. You feel the new Mrs. de Winter’s pain. You feel for the new Mrs. de Winter, but are drawn towards Rebecca. You believe Maxim is unable to get over Rebecca because he loves her, only to discover he cannot forget her because he hates her. His guilt  and her wickedness play off beautifully against each other.

The New York Botanical Gardens has an entire area devoted to azaleas.

NY Botnical Garden

NY Botnical Garden

Cheesecake

IMG_1104The cheesecake at Junior’s in Grand Central Station is quite highly rated. If you ask me, it’s over-rated. I prefer the cheesecake from Zaro’s. In cheesecakes, anywhere, I think it’s best to opt for the original/plain/Jewish cheesecake, maybe with something tarty or citrusy in it  over the heavy chocolately ones.

The best cheesecake I’ve had till date though is the blueberry cheesecake at Prithvi Theatre’s cafe, back home in Bombay.

Frozen

As part of our anniversary celebrations, we decided to go see Niagara Falls “frozen”.

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Niagara Falls

The falls themselves never freeze over  a 100%. The rate at which the water flows does not permit that. The landscape around was white, while the falls were only partially frozen. Perhaps they might have been more frozen during that crazy polar vortex we experienced this winter, but it would have been quite foolhardy to attempt going there then.

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All Weather Friends

The highlight of the trip was the meeting the *bestie, who drove down from Canada to spend some quality time with us. (Love you loads. Muaawwhh.) It was her first solo road trip to the US, so lots of excitement on that front as well.

Wine Tasting

On our way back, we stopped over in the Finger Lakes region for breakfast. The cafe we stopped at was attached to a winery, so we decided to take our chances and sample some east coast wines. Now I am no oenophile, but I liked the whites. Not that the reds were bad, but the whites were better. The tasting experience itself was no better than the one I had on the West Coast. Glasses not rinsed out, not even between the reds and whites-wince. Lesson learnt, tip your wine waiter in advance. Please note, I am deliberately not using the word wine waiter(/bar tender) and not sommelier.

Taughannock Falls

We drove past Lake Cayuga and upto to the Taughannock Falls view point, for a spectacular winter scenery. While we were driving back, we noticed a little creamery to the side of the road. Who can resist the idea of ice creams on a cold frozen day? In the Husband’s words the texture of the ice cream was smooth as silk. Arguably, the best we’ve had till date.

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As we made are way back home, we drove through Ithaca. A quick message to the **B-I-L that we were driving through his town, got us all the insider tips on it.

We really made the most of this 2 day road trip. We covered everything planned,  made a few unscheduled stops and enjoyed every bit of it.

Cornell University, Ithaca

 

*Roliza Mascarenhas

** Ashok Roy

Korilla Korean Barbecue

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Food trucks are quite common in NYC. When I first saw the Korilla truck, I wasn’t sure I would get any vegetarian fare there. After confirming that they do serve vegetarian food, I couldn’t wait to try it out.
To be honest, I didn’t find it too great. There was a lot of food, but it was cold and insipid.
They are parked outside Columbia University on Amsterdam Avenue very Monday around lunch hour and on Thursday evenings around 6. They may be there at other times as well.