Shubho Nobo Borsho. This Bengali new year I am spending in New York City. There’s a conference at the Columbia Business School tomorrow (Saturday 14th April). Rajesh is making a presentation there on “Transforming India.” We will also meet Prof Jagadish Bhagwati and Prof Panagariya.
I am having lots of fun in the East coast. I arrived last week Friday at JFK, picked up a car at the airport and drove to Astoria (Queens) to spend the evening with my friend AT and his wife U. Next morning, I made my way to Philadelphia. I took my favorite East coast road, the New Jersey Turnpike. (“Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike, they’ve all gone to look for America.“)
I spent the next few days with a friend, IG, who teaches macro at Haverford University. I know little macro and like it even less. But IG and I have interesting conversations on the nature of reality and other such pointless but essential topics.
My next stop was in a lovely little town in New Jersey. For two days I was the guest of Mr & Mrs V Kumar. Yesterday, Rajesh arrived from India in the afternoon. I picked him up at Newark International and we went directly from the airport to meet with Rajiv Malhotra in Princeton, New Jersey. Today we spent some time in Manhattan — much of it in book stores — and then met a couple of friends (Alok and Tulika) for dinner at a restaurant called Vatan. While it is very highly rated, it does nothing for a Bengali such as yours truly because it is a vegetarian joint. Dinner for four sets you back close to $200, which in my books is a crime and a half.
I am writing this from the Westin Hotel in Jersey City where I will be till I get back home on Monday evening. Rajesh will come to California with me and then go back to Mumbai next Friday.
Walked along the waterfront today. The weather has been awesome. To top it all, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. I took lots of pretty pictures. Perhaps I should put them up on the web.
Alright, that’s it for now. Be well, do good work and keep in touch.
[Image stolen from Kanchan Gupta.]