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New York Diaries

New York, a melting pot of ethnicities, cuisines, languages, cultures and architecture, is possibly the world's most vibrant city. This space is intended to capture the city's heartbeat.

Tech and education's state of grace

by Amrita Tripathi
Friday , November 16, 2012 at 11 : 55

I got a chance to listen to well-known economist Professor Jeff Sachs speak at The Asia Society in New York on education, the change that technology is bringing in its wake, and the need for that change. Sachs also said the US war on poverty ended 30 years ago, transforming somehow into a "war on the poor". In reply to a question, he said the crisis in the country won't be solved by the "ridiculous rebellion of the rich against paying taxes".

Also on the panel, an 18-year-old student at The University of Maryland, Zak Malamed, who commandeered everyone's admiration just for being so articulate, young, and passionate about the need for change in the education system.

I wouldn't agree with everything I heard (who does, these days?!) but I did come away thinking it is true that...Read more...

TV news meets a New York Minute

by Amrita Tripathi
Saturday , October 27, 2012 at 13 : 31

It's hard to stand still in this city, buzzing as it is with a jolt of live adrenaline. And while I aim to be purposeful as the rest of them, it's a tough gig being a reporter slash producer, doing her own camera, while trying to break in. Running around to stay in the same place is what it often feels like for a journalist. The lone ranger nature of the foreign correspondent gig, is possibly its biggest drawback, though at least the title and location make up for it!

This is New York after all though, so take all the pontificating with a massive grain of salt. In fact, being part of an election tour to Hofstra University, to watch the second presidential debate let me see quite clearly, that I'm not alone. Most of the foreign press contingent feel exactly the same way...Read more...

Four thousand registered media people, a university campus in New York state that has already hosted a presidential debate, 80 undecided voters chosen by Gallup and 12 to 15 of their questions to be fielded by US President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney...the stakes can't get higher, with a race that's tighter than ever. Obama's had his schedule cleared for days of intensive debate preparation, and was quoted today as saying he feels fabulous. There is no doubt that he needs to go into this debate swinging... Hours to go now to the 2nd Presidential debate and there's a festive atmosphere here at Hofstra University, with debate watch parties on campus. Undoubtedly the debate will be keenly watched across the country...some faculty members at Hofstra University predict it will draw more eyeballs than the first (with an estimated 67 million viewers, not counting online).


Counting down to the second presidential debate

by Amrita Tripathi
Tuesday , October 16, 2012 at 10 : 16

15/10/12, Hofstra University, New York:

The clock is ticking, the race is tight as ever, and it's going to come down to voter turn-out, we're told. The US presidential election is just 3 weeks away and it's just about time for the second presidential debate. (Cue Gong).

This one is a town-hall style debate, that made its debut back in 1992. The two rivals will be fielding questions from a group of undecided voters. The group comprises 80 voters chosen by Gallup, and about 12-15 questions submitted will make the cut - CNN's Candy Crowley is vetting and moderating. Fun fact number one - what networks have to cough up to broadcast debate proceedings live from the debate room? 6000 dollars!

US President Obama's been criticised across the board for a...Read more...

The right to bear arms

by Amrita Tripathi
Monday , September 17, 2012 at 09 : 38

Another morning, news of another shooting. This in New Jersey, where an employee returned after his shift to shoot out the store he worked at, where his co-workers were getting ready for business, getting ready to open at 6 am. He killed an 18 year old girl and a 24 year old boy before killing himself, is what reports are saying. The gunman's age? Just 23.

The shooting outside the Empire State Building heralded the start of this bloody week. A disgruntled employee shot dead a former co-worker, pumping bulletins into his lifeless body - as eyewitnesses told me. He was well-dressed, hiding his weapon till then...and was shot by police (who, Mayor Bloomberg admitted, were responsible for injuring several civilians in the cross-fire).

In any other country, these would be considered local "news" - violent crimes specific...Read more...

Finding India

by Amrita Tripathi
Tuesday , September 11, 2012 at 14 : 28

The weather's perfect, a day after the storm (and tornado warning, with parts of Brooklyn and Queens hit), New York is bustling on a Sunday...

Music in the parks, a pet lover's paradise at Union Square... And an Indian connect to warm any desi's heart. Gandhi ji is tucked away in one corner.

Walking by the legendary Strand bookstore, if you just happen to look down, one of the many 'Made In India' sewer caps, make of that what you will.

...

A few hours after the shooting outside the Empire State Building, while police tried to contain the scene of the crime, curious on-lookers, tourists, and media crews descended upon the spot (as seen in the pictures).

The police extended the Do Not Cross yellow tape. The victim's body was not visible, but pretty soon a few eye-witnesses emerged, willing to talk to the press, and show the gruesome picture.

The victim had been shot in the face, and then bullets were pumped into his body. One of the witnesses said he heard 6 shots. His first instinct was to hide in case the shooter - who had his back to him - came towards him. A witness who worked at...Read more...

The grub street life of Big Apple

by Amrita Tripathi
Thursday , July 19, 2012 at 12 : 18

This city overwhelms. You underwhelm. This city is a massive ode to skyscrapers and a testament to human vision. You are the ant from the metaphor. This city is all about New Yorkers, for New Yorkers, by New Yorkers. You're not yet a New Yorker.

And then you are.

The New York skyline

Skyline under construction

At Herald Square

Okay, not all of a sudden, but I did read somewhere that it's just one of those cities that even visitors suddenly grow to identify with, and take on the title for. Unlike my city of birth, Delhi, I add quickly. It's such a...Read more...

Empire State O' Mind

by Amrita Tripathi
Friday , July 13, 2012 at 15 : 50

Like all good desis, the foreign trip starts with the packing. The over-packing, to be precise. Gone are the days when we'd sit on suitcases to make them shut, but the same principle applies. Then the 18 hour trip to the Home of the Brave, Land of the Free... and thud! thump! you're stuck in the longest line of your life. It took a little less than 2 hours to clear immigration. I thought of bolting a couple of times, but figured that wouldn't stand me in good stead. The actual process itself was painless and hassle-free (sorry about that, Shah Rukh) but it's the waiting, the lines, that could possibly kill you. If you're planning a trip this summer to the US, well budget that in to your travel time. No one does, do they now!

Word of advice, it's not...

More about Amrita Tripathi

Amrita Tripathi is a news anchor with CNN-IBN, and also doubles up as Health and Books Editor. An MA in Philosophy from St Stephen's College, Delhi University, she has also taught a few undergraduate classes at her alma mater, informally! When she is not tracking health issues, Amrita is busy chasing the literary dream. Her debut novel Broken News was published in 2010. Before joining CNN-IBN, Amrita worked with The Indian Express.

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