Monthly Archives: February 2017

Trip Report: Three-Day Getaway to Neemrana Fort Palace

At the end of December we took a entertaining, three-day getaway to the town of Neemrana, India

It’s about three hours by car southwest of Delhi, in Rajasthan state on the way to the well-known city of Jaipur.

Our destination: the excellent Neemrana Fort Palace, shown at the top of this post. It’s a 15th-century fort that has been expanded and renovated and made into a comfortable hotel.

Here are some images from our stay. There’s not much happening in the city itself but the palace is great location for relaxing, eating food, sipping coffee or tea and enjoying sunsets.*

The highlight of the trip, for me, was visiting a step well about a 15 minute walk away. Step wells are unique to South Asia; rather than a conventional well, step wells are large and wide and allow people to walk down to the source of the water.

In this case the structure is water-less and seems to be abandoned, but it’s still fun to hike, down and around. More on that below.


On the way down from Delhi. One of the many interesting sights to see on Indian highways.


Entrance to the hotel. 


Blue, blue skies


Inside the hotel


The nearby step well


Looking up toward the step well entrance 


Requisite #StepWellSelfie


Waking Back to the hotel

The hotel itself is spread over many stories, and is fun to explore in its own right; its many alcoves and vistas invite quiet contemplation.

Highly recommended for a quick getaway from noisy Delhi.

*There is also a zipline. I did not try it.

Newley’s Notes 83: Varanasi Visit, Morning Routines, Micro-dosing, Non-Micro Pigs

2017 02 20 moon

Edition 83 of my email newsletter went out to subscribers last week. It’s pasted in below.

To get these weekly dispatches delivered to your inbox before I post them, enter your email address here. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi friends, thanks for reading Newley’s Notes.

It’s been another busy week. I was down in Bangalore, a tech hub in Southern India, last week. I had some excellent meetings and some fascinating chats.

Then last weekend we took a trip to Varanasi, India’s holiest city. It is known for its ghats, or embankments along the Ganges, where people perform religious ceremodies and cremate the dead.

You may have seen some of my images or videos on Instagram or Twitter. I hope to post some here on Newley.com as well soon. It is a remarkable place.

On to this week’s dispatch:

WHAT I WROTE IN THE WSJ

Apple Is Set to Make in India, State Official Says. The story begins:

In a potential boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, tech giant Apple Inc. is nearing a deal with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron Corp. to start making products in the southern state of Karnataka, a senior state official said.

“The contractual agreement between the two companies is on the verge of being signed,” the Karnataka government official who has direct knowledge of the matter said.

The first phase of assembling iPhones will likely start as early as the end of March, and further expansion is expected over the next two to six months, the official said.

As I’ve mentioned before, Apple is keen to boost sales in India. Making devices locally would allow the company to open its own stores here, helping branding.

5 ITEMS THAT ARE WORTH YOUR TIME THIS WEEK:

1) “Inside Chefs’ Fridges, Europe.” That’s the name of a new book that shows how chefs organize their fridges, and what kind of (often exotic, naturally) goods they keep inside.

2) A website analyzing hundreds of peoples’ morning routines. I love this. There are 218 routines and counting described at MyMorningRoutine.com, with details like wakeup times, exercise regimens and more.

3) “I had no intention of owning a pig.” So begins this amusing tale from a guy took in what he thought was a miniature pig. Now it weighs 650 pounds.

4) How tiny doses of LSD improved a novelist’s life. In The New Yorker, Nathan Heller describes how Aelet Waldman was able to find relief from her severe mood swings via micro-doses of the drug. As much as anything, the story is a fantastic display of the adept use of details in storytelling.

5) HaterDater is an (apparently real) app that allows people to find one another not based not on their affinities, but on their dislikes. Among those shown in the demo: “Trump,” “paying extra for guacamole,” and “slow walkers.”

What’d I miss? Send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else! My email: n@newley.com

Thanks for reading.

Love,
Newley

Newley’s Notes 82: H1-Bs, Tim Cook on India, Filter Bubbles, Caffeine Bracelets

2017 02 05nn

Edition 82 of my email newsletter went out to subscribers Thursday. It’s pasted in below.

To get these weekly dispatches delivered to your inbox before I post them, enter your email address here. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi friends, thanks for reading Newley’s Notes.

It’s been a busy week.

First off, earlier today a colleague and I recorded a Facebook Live video in which we discussed the ramifications of India’s new budget, presented yesterday.

Click here to check it out.

So far it’s been viewed more than 35,000 times.

Before we get going, an administrative note: There will be no Newley’s Notes next week. I’ll be back the week of Feb. 13, though. Try not to miss me.

Here we go:

WHAT I WROTE IN THE WSJ

What Tim Cook Said About Apple’s Big Plans for India. The story begins:

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook says India’s move to replace its largest-denomination bank notes with newly designed ones has presented a challenge in India, but the tech giant is still bullish on sales growth in the South Asian nation.

What the White House Said About Its Plans for H–1B Visas. The story begins:

Tighter restrictions on skilled worker visas to the U.S. could come via both executive action by President Donald Trump and via Congressional moves, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday.

Vodafone in Talks to Merge Indian Unit With Idea Cellular. The story begins:

Vodafone Group PLC’s India unit is in talks to merge with rival Idea Cellular Ltd., a move that would combine two of India’s three wireless biggest carriers and catapult the proposed company into the top ranks of the global telecommunications industry.

WHAT I WROTE AT NEWLEY.COM

‘Arrival’: Yes, It’s That Good. Some brief thoughts on this year’s hit alien invasion thriller.

Book Notes: ‘The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century,’ by George Friedman. An interesting read.

5 ITEMS THAT ARE WORTH YOUR TIME THIS WEEK:

1) “Ten Meter Tower.” That’s the name of a short New York Times film designed to “capture people facing a difficult situation, to make a portrait of humans in doubt.” Would you jump?

2) Find of the decade: an antique Ferrari in an L.A. apartment. “If Indiana Jones was a car guy, this would be the plot line for his next film.” What a car. And what a strange story.

3) Reminder: filter bubbles exist. With the momentous stories emerging from Washington, a reminder to visit our excellent WSJ interactive “Blue Feed, Red Feed.” It’ll give you a taste of how events are being viewed through filters on the left and the right.

4) Tool of the week: Facebook, without the addictive newsfeed. Speaking of the world’s biggest social network, with this Chrome extension, you can post items to the platform and check updates, but you won’t be sucked into the FB vortex.

5) Headline of the week: “I tried the caffeine bracelet that promises to be the next best thing to a coffee IV drip.”

NEWLEY’S NOTES SHOUTOUTS

More love for the shoelaces video, which I featured in NN80. Julie M. writes in to say:

I have to laugh b/c I had forgotten that I’d gotten the shoe-tying video from your Notes and sure enough, at my son’s bday party last night, I found myself tying many shoes and I did that trick and it worked!!

Took my brain a second each time, but it was awesome. Now if I could just teach them to do it themselves…

What’d I miss? Send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else! My email: n@newley.com

Thanks for reading.

Love,
Newley

Video: New Delhi Street Dogs are Totally Unflappable 

​I often pass this group of street dogs near our office building in Connaught Place. 

These mutts are totally unflappable. 

Honking cars, pedestrians weaving between them, bicycles, horses, you name it. 

They could care less. 

They just keep dozing, sunning themselves as New Delhi buzzes all around them. 

A level of zen I can only one day hope to attain!

Previously: a super-enterprising street dog I saw back in August.