Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eating Under the Sea at Houston’s Acquarium

Pictures by Giorgina Di Rocco

I loved eating under the sea while fish swam around your table.

Well, I confess I did not have lunch under the sea. However, the gigantic, 150,000 gallon fish tank in the center of Downtown Houston’s Acquarium Resaturant and the store’s decoration made me feel underwater.

The restaurant’s walls resemble coral rocks, the lamps on the roof are little fish that swim between the customers, the seat’s backsides are ondulating sea weeds and waiters are so polite they look like mermaids.

It is incredible to have lunch between sharks, shovel-nosed guitar fish, leopard rays, clown fish, color-changing fish, and flirty fish dressed in blue with large lips, so large they look like models right out of the surgery room.

I hade eaten in places with fish tanks before, but it was the first time I was a guest at a marine feast worthy of Ariel, the Little Mermaid.

I leave you the address in case you even want to enjoy a delicious meal as you explore the sea.

Downtown Aquarium Houston
410 Bagby
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 223-3474 (FISH)

New York: More Romantic and Less Accelerated

I remembered New York as a noisy and fast-paced city, but when I arrived, I found a rather romantic city. Yet, since I was traveling by myself, I had to share Big Apple’s romanticism with myself.

In this occasion I chose to leave aside museums and stunning Broadway shows to enjoy New York in open air.

I strolled down Fifth Avenue while I window shopped in some of NY’s most famous shops, I entertained myself observing diverse and unique individuals, and relaxed walking across the SOHO, China Town, Little Italy and The Village.

At the SOHO and Little Italy I got inspired by paying attention to the decoration of all the petit restaurants and small stores that offered varied, fun, different and ordinary artifacts.

I got momentarily accelerated as I went through Wall Street, the world’s financial center, seeing how business people ran across the street to avoid loosing precious seconds of their valuable time.

I freed myself walking along the shore of the Hudson River while I watched how the tourists’ boats set sail towards the Statue of Liberty.

I was left gasping in the middle of Brooklyn Bridge, an architectonic wonder with an unmatchable view of New York City, where I ran into one of my graduate professors from Spain; a wonderful surprise worthy of my surrealistic life.

I enjoyed myself with ChinaTown’s baubles and got transported to some forgotten corner of Paris or Madrid as I walked down The Village; an area of low houses built very close together in an area of NY that was unknown to me until then.

In Central Park I fell in love with life as I admired trees painted with autumn and joyful skirls that jumped from one tree branch to the other.

It was a short, but incredible trip. It lacked museums, culture and extravaganza, but it was filled with the beauty of simplicity.

It was the trip where I discovered it is possible to enjoy romance without company.

Cómo llegar desde DC:
Bus diario de NY a DC y viceversa

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Gorgeous Arlington Cemetery Cannot Disguise Horrid Effects of War

I prefer peace over war, and funny movies over scary ones. For that reason I was unsure if I wanted to visit the Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC, USA, where they burry all those who represented the United States in some war, or served the American army, naval, and/or air forces; there are currently 290,000 veterans along with their family members buried along the cemetery’s 107 hectares of land.

Despite my low desire to visit the cemetery, the outing was amazing: from afar, the headstones resembled white flowers over an perfectly trimmed grass carpet, and the Arlington House shone as the sun hid behind the hill where the Kennedy family is buried.

As if this wasn’t enough, we had the opportunity to witness the change of guard in front of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; a rigid and meticulous ceremony so structured that it gave goose bumps to its spectators.

While I observed the soldiers’ synchronized movements I imagined the precision needed to undertake military maneuvers and tactics successfully, and I turned uncomfortable watching how these boys slowly became less and less human.

Now I ask myself, do soldiers need to dehumanize themselves to avoid suffering from the psychological effects that war causes people, or are they only acting this way for the ceremony?

I am not sure, but watching this robotic ceremony and the large number of victims buried in this place (approximately 24 people are buried daily), helped accentuate my feeling of rejection towards war.

The cemetery’s park is gorgeous, but it is not beatiful enough to disguise the horrid result of war.

How to get there:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington VA 22211
Estación de metro: Arlington Cementery
Teléfono: (703) 607-8000