A business meeting with Kodak took us to Rochester and then I spent the week end at New York with Shirish and Corinna .It was Shirish’s idea and it turned out to be a wonderful weekend .It’ s nice to have your son host you and take you around !!
I had been earlier to Rochester twice before ,over ten years ago and couldnt recollect much about this small town made famous by the presence of three great companies , Kodak ,Xerox and Boush and Lomb .My earlier visits were to Xerox .Business trips dont leave you with any time to see a city particularly as you get picked up and taken for meetings and dropped off after dinner .On one of the earlier trips I do remember heavy snow and even a blizzard , but we were locked away in conferencing and didnt really get to experience it much .This time it was great to see the snow falling and gradually piling up along the roads and path ways and on the roofs of houses .We also had the sun shine out brightly against the clear blue sky with the ground and trees covered with soft white snow .The scenario was picture post card worthy .
In New York we experienced the first snow storm of the season .It was good to see the streets with out any snow and then the snow pelting down and later in the evenings to see the side walks covered with 4 or 5 inches of snow .We walked around unmindful of the falling snow, as did a lot of other people as it was the week end before X’Mas , and had a great time . The following morning the snow fall stopped and we got to see the growing mess of melting snow .It was experience of the whole cycle .
Snow was something I had little off through most of my life except for fleeting views during visits to Europe and the Us while on conferences; till the visit a couple of years ago in Switzerland where I had the first taste of snow in all it’s glory at the Jungfraujung and Mount Titilis peaks .It was a great experience .And then earlier this year we had the snow paradise at Rukka ,Finland including the rides on snow mobiles ( and the crashes ) .Riding on a snow mobile along the barren snow laden forest tracks was a great experience .In the last couple of years I had all the experiences of snow that my heart was perhaps silently yearning for .
At New York airport I was to take the shuttle into Manhatten but couldnt find my way to the shuttle help desk and eventually made it by a cab .I was accousted by an African American who offered to take me down for a price that matched what I was told would be the cab fare so on an impulse I took it though I was apprehensive for most of the journey and kept wondering if I was being set up for a mugging .This against the back drop of getting my pocket picked in Madrid a few month ago . The driver how ever was cheeerfujl and friendly and originally came from Jamaica so we kept a steady and lively conversation going all the way into town jumping from topic to topic including cricket and all the old West Indian greats . He was thrilled to know I thought well of Big Bird Joe Garner , the 6ft 7ins pace bowler . The only thing we didnt get to doing together was sing the "Jamaican Farewell " .In the end it was a comfortable ride into town in a good car and one that has left pleasant memories .
A quick visit to the George Eastman home , now a museum was a great experience .I kept getting the eeerie feeling that George Eastman himself was at times walking along besides us !!!! It was fasinating to see how he made a fortune out of his passion for photgraphy . Though a very brief walk around this was a memorable part of the visit.