A weekend is just a weekend, but it is so much more.

Saturday, May 27, 2017 | New York, NY, United States 70°F Cloudy

This weekend my Dad came up from Princeton, New Jersey to stay with Sarika and I.

While Sarika and I are were meeting with our Doula, my Dad arrived to our place in Harlem. He sat in our newly setup nursery.

After hearing about our meticulous birth plan with the many options, my dad teased us a little. I couldn’t help but agree, we are attempting to understand our actions in any given plan.

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You will notice the lovely tree and bird decal that I put up, and some of the gifts from Sarika’s baby shower.

After hanging out for a little bit, and hearing my Dad share about stories about me as a child ( a regular occurrence)…

… Regular trips to Toys R’ Us or FAO Shwartz, where we would play for a couple of hours, and maybe we would get a toy

… My Dad taking my sister on a stroller everyday after work, and how she was so mesmerized by the city

…How as a kid I would insist on pushing my sister in the stroller, despite my sister being three years older

…How I never cried as a kid, and at first started drinking tons of milk

…How my parents co-sleeped with us and how dangerous it was for them because I kicked so much.

I smiled and enjoyed the stories that my Dad has shared many times, but continues to share them as though he was sharing them for the first time. I felt grateful for Sarika coming to the stories with a freshness, despite hearing them many times from my Dad and my Mom.

Chaiwali for Dad’s Birthday

We went off to Chaiwali to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. Chaiwali, a high-end Indian restaurant, always serves excellent food., but it was particularly nice to sit upstairs and enjoy the breeze as Sarika, Dad and I enjoyed a meal together.

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From there, we decided with certainty that we would find my Dad some non-alcholic beer, O’Douls. After visiting nearly 4 Gourmet Delis in Harlem, a CVS, and a Duane Reade we relented and gave-up.

We came home and enjoyed some lovely music and conversation with my Dad, while listening to some Wah! And, enjoying Haggen Das Swiss Almond Vanilla Ice Cream and I shared one of Dad’s poems on the kindness of mother’s:

When the quiet surrounds

We hear whispers

So gentle

They are in the wind

The sway of the leaves

In the birds calling

Celebrating

We are home

We are home

There are secrets

The most profound

When Moms

Whisper

With every breath

I love you

I love you

I love you

Who spoke

Who heard

It all happened

Today again

With every breath

I say

I hear

I love you

And I am lost

Into that song

As the stars

Wink away at me

I am drawn

Into the universe

Knowing love

I is all I am

All we are

Moms know this secret

They whisper it

Into our hearts

We get ready to go to sleep, my dad quickly gets ready and falls asleep with the lights on. I peer into check-in on him, and he wants to do his Guru Gita. He wakes up and does his Guru Gita. I am continually in awe of his discipline to Baba Muktananda.

Siddha Yoga Ashram NYC

The next morning we wake to go for the Guru Gita at the Siddha Yoga Ashram in NYC. We accidentally arrive early and Terry, the lovely manager, makes us some tea. We chat and have some fun banter. These days Dad and I feed off each other, and can enjoy friendly teasing with folks.

The Guru Gita is begins, and I am overcome with a nostalgia of this prayer that I have heard recited thousands of time. There is a mix spirituality, but also loving memories in hearing it.

I can’t help but be disturbed by the individual behind me, who sounds like opera singer singing these ancient Sanskrit chants. Tempo, volume, etc. — this dude was doing his own thing…oh it was so distracting.

I would tell my Dad how this laughingly bothered me, and he said, “He needs to get it out of his system…”

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Ayurveda Cafe for Lunch

Then we went to Ayruveda Cafe, we enjoyed some tasty food, and my Dad shared one of his poems:

*Where are we

Where do we go

As the winters come

Summers come

Winters turn into spring

And summers

As all happens

We are in spaces

Where begun

Where the ending

I know and so I am sad

Your space is so special

Precious

And even though

I do all I can

I may not get to your

Space within

So for me

My inner space

So full of change

Dazzling

It’s fine

I will visit

You too will

We will honor

Those spaces

Sacred

Beyond any divisions

All one

I simply love

Your place

Your space

More I do not need

And be in my place

Ever with your

Warm light

Ever

We spoke of the idea of sacred spaces and being able to visit each others sacred spaces. How we cannot fully know each others spaces, but that we can visit one others spaces. There is a sorrow in never being able to fully know each others spaces, but there is also this beauty in visiting one and others spaces.

My Dad asked the waiter for his name, and his name was Uchit. My Dad thought for a moment, and then asked “Do you know what your name is?” Uchit replied “correct” and my Dad said “No, no, no… it means the best.” My Dad made sure to congratulate Uchit for the work his family does to maintain this restaurants, and how it is out of service.

Northwood Central Park

From there, we walked through Central Park and strolled through Northwood Park, and enjoyed a a stroll and spoke about different things. None of which I remember in specific, but all of which were lovely.

The area is filled with lovely ponds, waterfalls and walkways. While speaking with this young Australian women, we noticed two turtles sunbathing…

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HA! We two good looking men.

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Taking a rest…

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Both Dad and I were mesmerized by the tunnels, and that someone would make these gorgeous tunnels by moving around these huge boulders…what an art.

A Little Family Time

We enjoyed little family time together, some food and some laughs. Then Gitu, Anil and Dad went back to New Jersey

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A Getaway before Baby – Beacon, NY

Sarika and I have been on somewhat of a scheduling “kick” — whatever we want, we schedule it in and make it happen.

Before our baby girl arrives, we wanted to take one last trip together. We decided this is not a trip for just the two of us, but the three of us, so throughout the trip we decided to take some video for our baby to be, and we figure we will share it with her one day.

Enter Beacon, NY:

We debated renting a car, but did not want the hassle, so a quick trip on MetroNorth Rail brought us to the lovely and historic town of Beacon.

Pro tip: Buy the ticket at the station and you can purchase discounted tickets to Dia: Beacon, the stunning art gallery built from in the former Nabisco-factory.

Day 1: Arrive in Beacon

We booked a room in this lady’s home on Airbnb.com – the Beacon Bamboo Forest – it was quaint, cozy and simple. By saving some money on room and travel, we feel comfortable enjoying ourselves a bit more for lunch and dinner.

We wander main street, enjoy looking into all the quaint stores and have a pastry at All You Knead. Next we go to Denning’s Point Distillery and I enjoy a bit of a tasting — I never thought I would be much for gins and whiskey, but these were actually very good.

We then enjoyed a little stop at More Good, a syrups, bitters and tea manufacturer in Beacon, NY. I have a feeling these folks may disrupt Coca Cola, and other major companies. They are pitching better tasting and healthier drinks to speciality restaurant chains, and grocery companies. At some point, the world will need to move onto a better tasting soda and after trying their drinks — I think that day is coming.

We continued down Main Street until we arrived at Gino’s Italian Ice and could simply not resist a cup of italian ice. I think it is the best treat — tasty, but not too heavy. We continued our walk until we arrived at the water fall, where we enjoyed the sound of the water and the heat of the sun.

For dinner, we went to Towne Crier for some dinner and live music from The Whispering Tree. We stuffed ourselves with a veggie burger, grilled cheese and black bean soup.

We came back to our Airbnb, popped in a DVD (Queen to Play) and enjoyed a nice foreign film. I have to admit, it was the first time — in a long time — that I had watched a DVD and I loved it. Each time Sarika and I watch something on Netflix, there is an option to back out, but not so much with a DVD…there is a joy in committing to a movie and enjoying it for its art — whether you like it or not.

Sarika and I fell asleep as we enjoyed seeing and feeling crazy baby kicks in Sarika’s belly.

Day 2: Dia: Beacon

The next day, we woke up and enjoyed a coffee, waffles and eggs at Homespun Foods. From there, we got ready and took a nice walk to the Dia: Beacon.

It is hard to describe the gallery, but it is a very unique experience — some of it is larger-than-life and some is so subtle. The joy of the gallery was the public tour, which is incredibly worth it.

Running away from a spider!

After Dia: Beacon, we walked back to Main Street. Sarika pushed through walking up-hill despite being 8 months pregnant. I was, as always, very impressed.

We enjoyed some tasty Mexican food at Tito Santana and recalled are gratitude for the day we had already enjoyed.

Tito Santana’s Tacos = Tasty.
normal Sarika shenanigans 

To end the evening, we went to Howard Cultural Center and enjoyed flamenco…

and, Sarika bought an origami nest with two doves….

she was so happy to have her little doves nest…

Beacon: Day 3:

On our way back to the train station, we enjoyed a quick stroll at the Long Dock Park before catching the express train back to NYC…