Time’s already flying by, and it’s February now, but I still haven’t shared December Nights, 2015 with you. Must hurry up, or it will be December again. Just my luck! I don’t want time to go that quickly. There’s no rush…..I will get too old too quickly like this – slow down time!
December Nights at Balboa Park in San Diego is always a fun event. It’s a two day extravaganza, and my family really enjoys it. This year we had to go without Niki, my oldest – since she has started college, and moved away. Still, it’s a fun event for kids of all ages, and adults alike, and I think I might love it even more than my kids do!
This year, we went early. Even though the even starts at 12 noon or so, most people don’t go until 5pm, as they like to be there in the evening when all the lights are on, as well as the Christmas tree at the Organ Pavilion. However, traffic is crazy and hectic, and so is parking. A few times now, we have parked at Petco Park, and then taken a shuttle bus from there to Balboa Park, but this time I wanted to park at the Zoo, and combine December Nights with a trip to the Zoo. So, we got to the Zoo at around 1:45 pm, and were easily able to find a parking spot. We spent about one and a half hours there.
We then took the short walk to Balboa Park – an easy 5 or 10 minute walk.
We first saw the Fountain area, close to one of the museums, and had a little snack, then walked past the Botanical Gardens area where the beautiful flowers, and Reflective Pond is; then we went to the Grinch tree, which is by the Old Globe Theatre, and actually spotted the Grinch!
We then went to see some of the performances at the Organ Pavilion, and since Chandra wanted to eat, we went towards the International Cottages area. When I heard Indian music, that beckoned me, and I was so glad I had allowed myself to be beckoned like that – because that became the highlight of my entire evening. I normally enjoy the Organ Pavilion area, and the Christmas songs so much, and enjoyed them again this year, but this time I allowed myself to actually wander away from the performances at the Organ Pavilion to experience more of what was taking place at the International Cottages area, and these are two competing performance areas – one on the big stage, and the other on a smaller stage, but equally powerful in performance. While one concentrates on performances that are mainly musical, and showcases instruments being played, and singers performing – the smaller stage at the International Cottages focuses on dance. The dance aspect is really entertaining, as you still have the music and the songs, but now have further entertainment too. I absolutely loved it, and my little Chandra got up to dance on the stage for the Grand Finale of the Indian dancing!
Here are two videos that I made – one shows the Grand Finale that Chandra was in,
and the other one shows a variety of performances, and dances that were performed. This includes the performances at the Organ Pavilion, and the Scottish Bagpipe Band, as well as the San Diego Chorus, and of course, the Indian dance performances which took place at the International Cottages.
I love December Nights, there is nothing quite like it!
Did you know there’s a place with a magical bathroom? You may have to come all the way to San Diego to visit it though! Just kidding! I think there’s more of these – at least there are in Florida.
The place is called Sloan’s Luxury Ice Cream, and the ice cream is delicious! I’ve switched my tastes lately to frozen yogurt, and resist ice-cream, but who can resist the decor, it beckons you, tantalizes your every bit of sense, and plunges you into temptation – the temptation to indulge in ice-cream or fudge. Of course, there is candy, and I believe all kinds of toffee apples covered with scrumptious coatings of the most exquisite imaginings, such as white chocolate, caramel, and…..well you get it! Then there are toys that entice the kids.
But, then…….there is the magic bathroom. Just be careful that you lock the door, or else everyone will be able to see you while you are in there. See my video below. I actually made this video several months ago in August, before my oldest went off to college in September, but didn’t get to upload it until yesterday. When my kids saw there was a bathroom which was visible from a part of the store where all the stuffed animals are, they were curious because you could see into the bathroom, so off they went to explore. I could not get my son to be part of the video, but he enjoys Sloan’s just as much as all of us.
We went just again this Friday to celebrate my youngest daughter’s birthday. Did I tell you it’s a great place for a celebration?
Here’s my video
*Some companies must stop violating the rights of YouTube uploaders like me – Luchanik. I uploaded a video that I recorded on August 15, 2015 on Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles showing Raveena Tandon and how she was made upset towards the end of the show. I noticed at least four different organizations that uploaded my video who did not give me any credit for the video. That is wrong – plain wrong, in fact it is unethical, and illegal, especially in this country – the USA.
I filed a copyright claim against a certain company who are giants on YouTube and mostly show Bollywood material – of course Raveena Tandon is a Bollywood actress – a mega-star, so of course they might have wanted my material – they have 165,000 or so subscribers, while I only have 137 subscribers or so. Is it fair that they should be able to upload my video without giving me credit? No? Was it the right thing for me to do to notify YouTube? Yes, I think it was the right thing to do.
Obviously, they did not like it as YouTube took the video down. A certain company counter-claimed, and said their upload came under “fair use” because they uploaded less than 20 seconds. I think the video was much more than 20 seconds that they uploaded. I was then given 10 days to go to court to protect my rights, however, why should I have to go to these efforts – YouTube should be able to protect my rights. Obviously, it was evident that I posted the video first – I uploaded it on August 16, 2015 and a certain company uploaded it on August 21st. I responded to YouTube, and said I would not take it to court, and that it is my content, but if they feel they wish to reinstate it – it is up to them. A certain company then filed another counter claim against me, saying that they made the video and not me! This is devastating, and absurd!
Guess what silly thing they did that YouTube let them get away with and no wonder my video got taken down! Their video begins with _g, their full link is (now deleted the reference) and mine begins with =6, my full link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63Quv0W2Scg see screenshots (now taken down the screenshots too) of both videos which are currently down. Well, they claimed their video was my video beginning with =6, how could it be? The link is unique to the uploader, and they can’t now claim to be me – luchanik! No wonder, YouTube took my video down, because they were basically saying it was their video. I think it is a bot or something that deals with these complaints so if someone claims on the Complaint Form that their video is a certain link, the bot is not intelligent enough to say “Hey, you can’t possibly have that link” – this is what should have happened, but didn’t, and they got away with it. So the next thing I knew was on Friday, September 18th, I got an early morning email from YouTube that my video had been taken down and that I had received a copyright strike! If you get three copyright strikes, you can lose your account. This is my first copyright strike, and if I had copied someone’s material, then I can understand that I deserved it, but I didn’t copy anyone’s material – this was mine. Talk about a rude awakening! How can this be? I made the video, I was there in Los Angeles – not a certain company!
As you can see, these people are playing nasty! I don’t like injustice. I like to speak up when someone is unfair. Now, these people “a certain company”, (sorry, but I wanted to delete reference to their website and name again) – are giants on YouTube and I am a small person, so it is the giants against me.
If they are the Rightster, am I the Wrongster, I ask you? It’s like a song….I next want to say – Who Is The Monster? That’s just me rhyming! But really, wouldn’t it make a great song?
Here’s their link that shows their video begins with _g
Here’s my video, which shows my link begins with =6
Here’s a link to a video that I made showing me hold my smartphone with one hand, so that I could record myself in front of the mirror showing you with the other hand my camcorder with the footage of August 15th. It’s just my proof, and I may not have video taped myself in the best way possible in order to achieve my goal of showing the proof, but I did the best I could. I have nothing to fear, I have the footage? Do they have the footage on a camcorder or SD Card? I seriously doubt it. Here’s the proof – or my attempt to show it. I just made a video showing the proof – with me holding the camcorder with the footage playing, here it is:
(video has been removed by me so you can’t see it anyway)
Also, read this link to see just how hard some people have it with Copyright Notices on YouTube. The system needs to improve – a lot. If we upload to YouTube, make it fair for us, not unfair! Some of these people who file copyright claims will repeatedly do it to irritate the complainant, and I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen. I don’t want to spend all my time and energy on this – I have so much else that i can do with my life!
I sent YouTube a different video that is private and just for them to see with the footage from my camcorder on the day when I got the horrible email. I also had to go to Copyright School in order to get some access back to my account, and I had no problem answering all 4 questions because I answered them honestly – the questions were something like “Do you know it’s wrong to steal someone else’s content?” Well, how did the other guys answer the questions? Obviously dishonestly! They must have lied because they obviously copied my content and lied again about the link which caused YouTube to take down my video. I am indignant that I had to go to Copyright School – this whole thing is absurd. Someone, please help me! Or YouTube, please just reinstate my video. If you ever see that it is down again after/if it comes up, remember that these so called “Rightster’s” will probably try to irritate me again. I already am expecting it, and ready to fight them again.
I really hope that YouTube puts my video back up, because this isn’t fair! These big giant companies can’t go around playing unfair games with small people like me, thinking they can get away with it. I also hope that the copyright strike goes away, and what about an apology from YouTube and one from a certain company? I’ve a feeling that’s not going to happen. I guess this is what happens when you make a video that kind of goes viral! You pay the price – not nice!
Update as of September 22nd, 2015 – my video was reinstated! Yeah!!!! So, it should have been, after all it was all mine – 100%. This situation has been resolved amicably, but I wish I didn’t have to write this post and make a video showing proof, which I have subsequently taken down now – there was no point in leaving that up anymore. Is there a point in leaving this post up? For right now, I think it’s educational more than anything else or at least hopefully. In hindsight right after writing this update, I decided to take out all reference of the name of the company that caused me a lot of problems.
* I changed all reference to the company previously named since I don’t want to remain bitter about this any more.
You cannot stay still when you hear Punjabi music! Bet you! You will want to break out in bhangra, and why not! It’s definitely good exercise. Want to see a video that I made when I was in the UK? This video was made at a pre-wedding party, but I just called it Punjabi Dance Party.
I love the songs on the video, here’s a playlist. The timings are listed so that you can go forward and see certain songs without seeing the entire video – but why you would want to do that – I don’t know – you shouldn’t! The whole video is good!
At 19 seconds into the video: Aaja Soniyeh from Foji ft Gurlej Akhtar – Mentah. I just called it Aaja Soniyeh as these words are in it, but not sure what the name of the song is (one of my favorites);
At 1:01 minutes into the video: Aaj Blue Hai Pani Pani from Yo Yo Honey Singh
At 1:55 minutes into the video: I love the song, but don’t know what it’s called or who is the singer, but the dance to it in this video that I made is rather wonderful. This is when the men get together and dance like crazy! The song refers to Jallandarh, a big city in the Punjab – where I have been just once when I was 14 years old.
At 3:30 minutes into the video: There is a ritual dance that is in honor of the groom who will be married the next day (yes this is the party that the boy’s side held). The girl’s side held their own party the same day at a different venue. We were invited to the boy’s side.
At 4:25 minutes into the video: There’s a song that I like to refer to as the “Snake Song”. It is the same music that there was a fabulous dance to in Bride and Prejudice, the “Cobra Dance” that had one of the sisters entertaining the guest Darcy as well as Mr. Khan who was visiting from Los Angeles. Aishwarya Rai was in this movie and played one of the sisters. This was a truly fabulous movie!
At 5:57 mintues into the video, it’s the women’s turn to dance! Again, I don’t know the name of the song, or the singer – but you should tune into to see how Punjabi women dance – they do a dance traditionally known as “giddah” – a traditional folk dance.
At 6:40 minutes into the video, there’s Moorni from Panjabi MC (one of my favorites);
At 6:59 minutes into the video, watch out for the men’s turn again as they dance to the Dhol, and do my favorite – bhangra!
At 8:43 minutes into the video, tune in for nightclub/disco like bhangra!
At 9:04 minutes into the video, tune in for Spanish Bhangra! That’s all I can call it as there is a song that I should know the name to, but don’t and it is Spanish I believe, also popular, and the men love dancing to it bhangra style!
At 9:45 minutes into the video, tune in for the Bhangra finale!
If you love the songs you hear in my video, and want to hear the full version, and see the corresponding video from the artist click on the song links below
Aaja Soniyeh from Foji ft Gurlej Akhtar – Mentah.
Aaj Blue Hai Pani Pani from Yo Yo Honey Singh
Moorni from Panjabi MC
Cobra Dance from Bride and Prejudice, and I know this is part of another Bollywood movie too
Don’t forget with a good Punjabi Dance Party, you need a nice cup of tea, and some Indian sweets, so here you go – just for you! I took the first two pictures below in the USA, but the rest are taken at the Punjabi Dance Party in the UK at Walsall Football Stadium.
My daughter Niki took a selfie of us when we were in the car on the way to Walsall from Northern England.
Here I am at the party before it got started.
I hope you liked my video, and the pictures. Don’t forget to watch some of the other videos of the songs that I really like – they are some of the best, but mostly don’t forget to watch my video. Remember, there’s nothing like good Punjabi music, and especially bhangra!
You know I like to show you pictures? Guess, what instead of putting so many pictures on this post like I did in the last one – I put them in a video. Also, there’s some video footage too. So, come on…..take a look at my video, and don’t forget to like it.
Here’s a brief excerpt description – cut and pasted from my YouTube video – yes, I made this post super quick.
Turkey is so mystical. Enchanting. Intriguing. Have you ever thought of staying in a resort in Turkey? Well, if you are thinking about it, here’s one that deserves your consideration – The Delphin Imperial at Lara Beach, which is in the Antalya region. This video will show you a lot, you’ll even see someone doing a belly dance at one of the shows, you’ll see the pool(s) – there’s many pools, the buffet, the lobby, the beach, the rooms, and the view from the room where me and my family stayed. You’ll also see the coffee shop – did you know you can choose however much chocolate you want from there, and also any of the cakes or two or three! You can also get cappuccino, latte or espresso. Hopefully, you’ll get a good idea about the resort. Guess what it’s very clean – no mosquito problem either!
Continuing with Day Three of my trip to London in July. Wow, has it already been nearly two months since I came back? How time flies?
Okay, fast rewind back to that day. We went for a walk all the way from our hotel – The Trafalgar – to the South Bank. It was a lovely walk, it drizzled just a tiny bit at one time, and other than that it was nice and warm – perfect weather for a walk. Do you know that London is a fabulous place to take a walk? Oh, the parks, the sightseeing, and the architecture! This is some of what we saw as we got closer.
The London Eye – isn’t it lovely?
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – aren’t they just magnificent?
London, isn’t it wonderful?
Okay, I won’t ask you any more questions, I’ll just let you take a look at the pictures.
I don’t know what the name of the castle or palace type building is so I’ll just call it “Beautiful Palace”
Fancy a ride, you could go on this carousel or the London Eye which you might see if you look closely at the picture.
Fancy a walk? London is a terrific place for taking walks. Oh, how I would love to be taking a walk there right now!
That’s my 17 year old daughter’s beautiful hair – it looks even more spectacular with the sun shining down on it!
Time for bubbles!
Have you ever seen such a big bubble or seen one as beautiful?
Wow! Now, it’s really massive! This man is good, and I think he’s magical!
I will always remember the Bubble Blower of the South Bank
So, we left the bubbles to get closer to our ultimate destination – the London Eye.
Now, we are getting closer to the London Eye
Here we are really close, in fact – we are at the entrance of the London Eye!
So, you’ve seen pictures of the entire wheel, you may have seen what it looks like up close – if not, this is what it’s like
and just for you, another picture…..at a slightly different angle.
Well, until next time…..and here’s a sneak peak at my latest video of the South Bank, the Bubble Blower and the London Eye. Let’s just say I love London, and I hope you like the pictures, and the video.
Are you ready to see more of my London pictures? I hope you are! Well, back to London and my continuation of Day Three which was July 25, 2014. Not too far away from Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey is a gorgeous building called Dean’s Yard – I absolutely love it!
So, I took another picture
and again! You’re lucky that I’m not showing you all of the pictures I took of Dean’s Yard!
As we walked away from Dean’s Yard, we saw this building – The Albert Pub – across the street not too far away. The pubs in England are somehow decorated outside quite often with the loveliest flower displays. I think that makes it look rather charming!
Then we saw Westminster Cathedral – I really love the design.
I kind of feel I am in Italy.
Across the street from Westminster Cathedral is this building which houses shops and and you can see the reflection of Westminster Cathedral in the glass building.
I love Victoria Station – when I first came to London, this is the station I arrived at, so I will always fondly remember Victoria Station and the surrounding area.
What a nice elegant building, and it happens to be a theatre!
Here you can see samosas, alongside sausage rolls and cheese and onion pasties in display cases in most newsagents or small convenience stores.
Just another street scene in Victoria
British people like their pasties….and I love cheese and onion pasties. Oh, how I could do with one right now.
This is such an interesting building, and since I don’t know it’s name – that’s what I will call it. One of my pictures shows that one of the bars on the entry level is named “bbar”
This interestingly named pub is on the corner of Buckingham Palace Road and Victoria Street
I had to pause and look at this building – after all – it’s the Royal Mews.
Look at this guard, he is so well-behaved.
So is this one.
Well, even though we visited Buckingham Palace yesterday, it doesn’t hurt to go back again for the second time
It’s a bit of a rainy day
Incase, you want to know what is coming next in my posts, this video might give you a clue! I haven’t made a video for quite some time, so it was certainly time, and I might as well make one on London. Well, until next time!
I knew December Nights at Balboa Park was going to be magical. There’s not a better way to kick-start the holidays than going to Balboa Park, and experiencing December Nights. What is/are December Nights? I wrote about it in my previous post, just click here to see More Info on December Nights (that post contains some external links with more information too).
Now that December Nights (which occurred on December 7 & 8, 2012) are over, there’s still plenty of reasons to visit the Park. The magical tree is still there, and so are the lights and the great atmosphere, and at least you won’t have the crowds to deal with. Here’s some pictures:
First the magical tree:
It gets even more magical – it opens up!
It changes color!
It changed color again!
This one is more fuzzier, because my camera’s battery died and I had to use my I-phone.
This one’s fuzzy too, but I’m including it because I want you to see the spectacle of color that was so beautiful during the December Nights concert.
Here’s the same color for background, but the tree has closed up
Now for a lighter shade of blue
And the last two of the tree at least!
Now for some pictures of the Park in the dark. Me and my family went to December Nights on both December 7 and December 8. Why miss out on the magic?
I believe this church now houses the Museum of Man
Today, I suddenly stumbled on a second picture that I took of the Church at Balboa Park, I thought I only had one like the one above.
Are you ready for more Christmas trees? Here’s another one at the Park, closer to the church shown above
Oh, my gosh! The Grinch was here, but Chandi didn’t want to have her picture taken with him, so I had to take it of someone else instead!
Even dogs like December Nights, this picture was taken with no flash, but it wasn’t very good, however, it will give you an idea of what the lights were like and how it really looked in the dark
The dog also has glasses, more clearly seen in the picture below.
It’s just so nice strolling through the Park, even in the dark!
Balboa Park was nicely lit up for the holidays
There were so many people there, you wouldn’t believe it. I think I read somewhere that there were at least 300,000 people.
Here’s the Botanical Gardens Building at night time bathed in a beautiful blue light
You can’t tell from these pictures just how many people there were in Balboa Park during these two very busy nights.
Of course, there were a lot of delicious choices for food, but I didn’t get to take too many pictures of the different vendors. Here’s one at least.
This fountain is near one of the many museums at the park, and is closest to the path to the San Diego Zoo.
The words “Happy Holidays” lit up one of the museums
Here’s a clearer picture of some people at December Nights
For some reason, I like this picture
I couldn’t stop taking pictures of Balboa Park at night, it is beautiful both at night and day
I didn’t quite get the picture above centralized, see how it looks below, still not right. It would have been perfect if I could have got both “Season’s Greetings” and the lighting on the wall on the right in just one picture balanced out better. Oh, well. I’ll have to make do with two pictures.
Now for where the reindeers are with presents laden on the sleigh
A different angle of the reindeers
Now, there’s the presents at the back (I guess on the sleigh).
Some more lights
Now, some more pictures of the amazing tree from a different angle.
And lastly, some pictures of the performers who entertained us at the site of the magical tree.
Just incase you don’t get the full flavor of what it’s like at Balboa Park during December Nights, I made this video especially for you.
I still haven’t had the chance to take more daytime pictures of Balboa Park, so in the meantime, you can look at these pictures taken by someone who linked to my post previously, so now I will link to his – so you can see his amazing pictures of Balboa Park: http://onecoolthingeveryweekend.com/2012/11/21/picture-tour-of-the-san-diego-balboa-park/
Oh, by the way, I went to the International Houses on the 8th of December and saw various cultural dances there, including Indian dances, but only managed to get a few pictures. Perhaps, I will put those in another post. Anyway, I hope you can see that Balboa Park is so magical when it’s the holidays. If you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas to you, and if you don’t – Happy Holidays!
First some island music to get you into vacation spirit – this was my attempt at making a promo video! Also, as you may be aware – my old website at http://www.bindicruises.com is not available anymore – this all had something to do with the discontinuation of Mobile Me, and my decision to not look for another website host. Also, how many websites can one person maintain??!!
I will not write too much about the cruise itself as there are other posts that I have done on the Splendor, but this is all about Cabo San Lucas. Now for some pictures:
We went into a gift shop, and this was the view from within the shop
Another shot of the same scene but with a different camera (one was taken with the Iphone, and one with my regular camera – a Canon G10)
This is my son in the gift shop
We were entertained by various groups of people
In case you are hungry, there’s plenty of options
Did you see? That “statue” moved! It just might get you, here it is almost getting my daughter!
Now for a look at the marina area of Cabo San Lucas
Family picture time, me with my kids Luca, Chandi and Niki, who inspired me to name my business Luchanik named just after them – Lu-Cha-Nik
I really like this picture taken near one of the hotels
Must get in the palm trees of Cabo
Now for a street scene
Some useful information
You may need to cool off and enjoy the sights
Fancy a large cup of coffee?
Mexico definitely is colorful!
The Carnival Splendor awaits us!
Leaving Cabo San Lucas…..this picture was taken from the ship
On a previous trip to Cabo San Lucas, I took these pictures
I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures I took of Cabo San Lucas. This was the first port we stopped at, and the second port – Puerto Vallarta will be in my next post. Thank you for visiting my blog.
Happy Diwali from San Diego again! This time the festivities took place just outside the Shri Mandir at the annual Diwali Mela on Black Mountain Road in Mira Mesa (about 15 minutes north of downtown San Diego). The 2012 Diwali Mela in San Diego was held on Saturday, October 27th.
First, some pictures:
Incase you didn’t see my pictures of Diwali at Balboa Park in San Diego, here are three more:
Now for a video where I put a few clips together, but there are many dances that I did not capture unfortunately. I also had to cut out a lot from the dances because of background noise. In this video, first you will see a Punjabi dance – Bhangra (one of my favorites – especially since my family is from the Punjab), then you will see a dance from Rajasthan, and then another few clips. At the end of this video, you will see some little kids dancing to Kolaveri Di, which is a cute song that turned out to be very popular, and even my little Chandi sings to it whenever she hears it.
I really wanted to add some more pictures in this post of Indian sweets from a local place on Black Mountain Road, which is a great alternative to going all the way up to Artesia (about one hour and 15 minutes away from where I live). Perhaps, I will add some pictures later on – maybe even on November 13th – the actual day of Diwali. Just fyi – Black Mountain Road is San Diego’s Little India, and Artesia is Los Angeles’ Little India. I really do enjoy going up to Artesia, as there are more stores and Indian restaurants, but I am beginning to get used to our own Little India in San Diego, and love one or two of the places there, such as Ashoka The Great Restaurant, and Surati Farsan Mart (the place where I will get my Indian sweets from this year).
Here’s the video of the performances at Balboa Park in San Diego at the 5th Annual Diwali Celebration on October 21st. Here you will see dances from the many regions of India including Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. You will also see the Diwali Lights display towards the end of the video, and then a finale where everyone dances to Bhangra on the stage.
A new addition to this post – it is now November 12th, and I just got my sweets from Surati Farsan Fart, and here’s some pictures of the fantastic selections:
I just had to get some jalebis, these are yummy and so sweet (actually they have a lot of syrup, and have a great crunch to them)!
These two boxes have mango burfi in one box (second selection from the top left in the picture from the display selection – see above)
The second box has laddoo in them which can be seen more clearly in the picture below. Laddoo are the yellowish round balls in the first big box on the top shelf (on the left). These laddoo are absolutely delicious, and have raisins in them – they almost melt in your mouth!
I hope you like the videos, and pictures, and I hope you will celebrate in some way on November 13th – even if you light just one or two candles. Happy Diwali!