In Western musical theory a cadence is a particular series of intervals or chords that ends a phrase, section, or piece of music. Cadences give phrases a distinctive ending. An analogy can be made with punctuation, with some weaker cadences acting as commas, indicating a pause or momentary rest, while a stronger cadence will then act as the period, indicating the end of the phrase or musical sentence.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chicago Moments Contd..

Here are the glimpses of some of the wonderful places I visited in and around Chicago....

The Chicago Towers

I was very fortunate to get a stunning view of Chicago and Lake Michigan form the two observatories in Chicago, Sears Tower and Hancock Observatory. The sky has been clear for most the days of my stay in Chicago. But the price for visiting these towers was little on the higher side. But I would say the experience is worth it. You also get to learn a lot about the history of Chicago, on top of these towers. Especially at the HAncock, you get to have a visual aid that talks about, the Chicago fire, The famous Chicago Tribune, deep dish Pizza, the story behind the two towers etc.. It's certainly worth visiting. The only downside is the waiting time esp at the Hancock Tower which can be as high as two hours both for buying the ticket and getting up and down the lift.
Art Museum
The Art museum has some of the spectacular art works by artists from different parts of the world. Especially the paintings on the life of Jesus and his disciples give a true living experience. The museum also has a display of the art work from the Egyptian civilization, Chinese and Japanese culture. Some of the most exquisite furniture and handicrafts from the medieval british empire is also on display. Most of the paintings are Oil in Canvas type. I would recommend one to spend atleast 3-4 hours in order to visit the complete museum. Unfortunately I had only an hour and a half before the museum closed.


After the wonderful time at the conference, I headed towards my friend's place in Champaign on 1st by Greyhound bus. I never expected the bus service to be so bad. In fact the bus station itself was dirty and I felt a bit uncomfortable waiting there. Anyways the bus finally arrived and I managed to find a seat in the bus. There is no seat number and you can pick any seat you want ?! It was a three hours bus travel. But the driver was very courteous. All along the way the scenery looked very dry..this being winter season. It is predominantly farmlands. My friend was waiting for me at the Illinois Terminal Station. I didn't have any plans there but to just spend some leisure time with my friend. Mostly for the two days I stayed there I spent time just eating and sleeping. The twin cities of Champaign and Urbana are primarily farmlands except for the University campus. I took a stroll of the campus. UIUC is known for developing some of the earliest technologies for improving crop cultivation and dairy farming. Morro Plots are oldest of the experimental crop fields to demonstrate that artificial means can improve crop yield by multi-fold. The campus also has a hue cemetery, a large basket ball court and some of the oldest buldings in Champaign. I returned to Chicago on 3rd Jan through Greyhound. This time, it was even worse. I could hardly find a place in the bus and the bus was late by about half hour. That's when I decided that I would rather take a train, Amtrak than the bus.
Back to Chicago

Probably this was unnecessary for me to stay an other day in Chicago. But anyways that gave me time to relax before I caught my flight back to CA. I decided to stay back in the HI Chicago. I have started liking this place a lot. Wandered around the downtown before ending up in a noodles restaurant for some Japanese PAN noodles. Spent most of the time blogging and chatting. I didn't have any plans for the next day. But in the morning decided that I should visit the Museum of Science and Industry. I would say it's primarily a place for Kids. So i didn't find anything interesting except for the IMAX movie, "wild ocean". It had exhibits from Genetics, Industry, Space Exploration, U-boats, Chemistry and others. The most attractive part of the museum was the Holiday around the world exhibit..displaying Christmas trees decorated from about 58 countries around the world. The decorations were stunning and beautiful. Then I returned to the downtown and after dinner at Chilis, I headed back to the Hostel. Since my flight was at 6 AM, the next morning, I decided to reach the airport in the night and stay there. Although there was train service available throughout the night, I didn't want to take the risk by traveling alone, as Chicago is known for many notorious thieves. Finally I spent about 6 hours in the airport just blogging and chatting. I would say this trip to Chicago was truly a memorable one. I really enjoyed the beauty of the city, the spiritual growth through the conference, a wonderful friendship with a Japanese, moral support to a close friend of mine and an awesome Christmas and New Year Celebration. I should also thank God that the weather was perfect, so that I could enjoy most of my stay.


MoonPlace - a Chinese restaurant in China Town.
Kamehachi - a Japanese restaurant
India Garden - an Indian Restaurant
Chilis, PF Cheng's and Noodles & company are some of the other restaurants were I dined.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Chilling Out" in Chicago

After a wonderful time with friends at Stanford during Christmas I was all the more excited about my trip to Chicago for about 10 days.. I was  a little worried because until Christmas the weather was extremely bad with snow storms and temperature falling to -20 deg C.. But by God's grace till today (I'm still in Chicago..till Jan 5th) the temperature hasn't fallen below -6 deg C and infact most of the days it has been positive

K..the main purpose of me coming to Chicago is to attend a conference called Following Christ 2008, a conference for the Graduate students, faculty and professional conducted by the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, USA. My frie
nds at Stanford told that it's gonna be a life changing experience( yes it was!!) meeting people of faith from across the world and getting to listen to some of the best biblical speakers in the world. I will write an other detailed blog regarding the conference..but in this I will focus only on my personal time in Chicago....

Since the conference schedule was a bit tight I figured out that it's better get to Chicago a couple of days that I can get around the city..Although it was a christmas day I chose to fly on 25th as it can save upto 200$ on your flight ticket:-) It's gonna be my first experiences in Snow.. and infact sub zero temperatures... The first time I hit the streets of Chicago...I experienced the freezing temp (-6 C) and the slippery snow on the road.. I chose to stay in a Hostel called HI Chicago..because it was the cheapest I could find..but it wasn't until the next day I realized that this stay would make my stay in Chicago a memorable one with one of the best friend
ship in my life..

I never expected a Hostel to have such good facilities...but I must say that HI Chicago was better in many ways compared to the other HOtels I have stayed in US so for..I got to stay in 6 bed dorm..The Hostel has free break fast, WiFi, a full fledged Kitchen to cook your own stuff and above all it's certainly a wonderful place to get friends form all over the world.... I didn't have any specific plans the next day..but to just stroll across the city...It was the next morning I met this Japanese guy who was in my dorm...He asked if i wanted to join with him and few others in the dorm to go for sight seeing..I was all the more happy because I have always wanted to interact with people from different countries and culture..because I have found it a valuable source for making good friendships and learning.. So we initially started as a group to visit the famous "Field Museum". But after entering the Museum each of us had a different preferences and split into group of two... I paired with the Japanese guy and we started going around the museum and to many other places...

We spent a lot of time just strolling around the Chicago downtown..sharing thoughts about each others culture..He is a senior  undergrad student from William & Mary college in Virginia.. Since his dorm closes during the winter break he visits different places in US until the college reopens...(thats pretty coool!!)  I spent time with him for the next two days..We generally had no pla
ns and kept walking around the city and when we found some interesting land marks we would just stop by and spend some time there...But most of the time we exchanged views about our cultures, economy, the educational system..our personal interests and goals...He is an exchange student from Kyoto University in Japan...and is very interested in business..He is of the view the although Japan is currently one of the biggest economy in the world..but he is skeptical about it's future because of its rigidity towards globalization.. He spoke better english than most other Japanese I have interacted with and I would say he was quite sharp and that kept our discussions very interesting...Those two days were certainly some of the best moments I have shared with a person whom I have met for the first time and I decided that I would choose to stay in hostels during all my make wonderful friends and to learn about different cultures....It was truly the most memorable days....

After all the strolling in the streets of Chicago...I got all set for the conference...I moved into the Marriott Hotels in Chicago...and would follow all the experiences that I had during the conference in my next blog.....:-)

Christmas at US!!

It was the first Christmas I'm celebrating away from home...I was truly excited about it...although I had to study for my qualification exam during the break I made sure that I make the best use of this winter break. Also it gets really lonely at Stanford as the Christmas closes in... To break that loneliness I decided to host a party at my apartment..Although there were only a few people on Campus..I really had fun with my friends both from India and from other countries.. I had a great time cooking some Indian food..trying some Estonian snacks!! exchanging views about the estonian and sweden cultures.. It was truly a wonderful time... I went to the nearest Vineyard Church in Palo Alto for the Christmas Eve Service. It was a candle light service with beautiful Christmas Carols...It certainly was one of the best Christmas I had ever celebrated.....