Posts Tagged ‘City life’
Should have called it “Taste of Italy”….
Find out what Italian food and kinky sex has in common at Perbacco.
If you are going to the financial district of San Francisco, also check out:
Kathi rolls are Calcutta’s specialty cuisine. What is a kathi roll? It is a wrap – the outside is a flaky shallow fried flat bread and inside can be scrambled eggs or sauteed chicken or slow cooked mutton or a combination of meats with fried onions, chutneys and other spices. There are a few shops along the famous Park Street of Calcutta where the best kathi roll makers are to be found – the shops are typically small shacks and the popularity can be gauged by the length of the queue outside the shop.
Hong Kong is a perfect city for short term business trip or vacation. Its multiple neighborhoods and islands offer different culture experience – some more trendy and some more traditional. You can sample this city out in bits and parts over multiple trips. Here is our recommendation based on our leisurely experience during a short stay in Central district.
Any green space in the naturally arid Delhi is always welcome. The Biodiversity park is an artificial wetland created to attract and study migrating birds. It is spread over an area of approximately 450 acres near Wazirabad village in North Delhi.
Park authorities are still learning to cope with visitors and may not necessarily be too helpful. But most scientists love to talk about their work. So if you find one of the field researchers, ask him or her about their work, and enjoy a guided tour.
We have recently returned from a short visit to Delhi and are a little home sick. So a couple of weekends ago we decided to go to the Stern Grove Festival for Kailash Kher’s group Kailasa. The thought of soaking in the coolness of Stern Grove listening to Tauba Tauba sounded fantastic after Delhi’s grueling heat and mugginess.
We were in Tokyo and we couldn’t possibly go back home without making a pilgrimage to Asia’s largest fish market. The only hitch was that the recommended visiting hours are 5am-8am. According to legend and Lonely Planet, the famous Tuna auction happens at 4am, which many websites informed us, is now closed to tourists. We were going to give it a shot anyway. Or not. At 4 am.
Here I was again, stuck at yet another airport in the middle of a San Francisco-Delhi trip. My last long layover was a twelve hour one at Bangkok when I had managed to sneak away to the city. I had the urge to get away again – in a decade of hopping between San Francisco and Delhi, I had never had six hour layover at HKG before.
Here is a recent article on a heritage walk down Chawri Bazaar and Chandni Chowk. The walk focuses on the old havelis – palatial homes of the rich from hundreds of years ago. Contact information of the guide is provided in the article.
Chandni Chowk is steeped in history and chaos. For visitors to Delhi, Chandni Chowk metro station has been the port of easy access to Red Fort and the spice market. Here, once you step out of the cool and modern station, you drown in human activities. From beggars to 200 year old sweet shops to an assortment of temples – Hindu, Jain, Gurudwara and mosque, to modern day internet coffee shops, it is all here. And behind the shops, crowds and the tangles of overhead wires are these havelis. Some look like a collection of loosely arranged bricks – one push and they all come tumbling down….
We continue our occasional series about Chocolate and Coffee with a cafe in New Delhi called Chokola.
The place is done up in chocolate-y colors, the menu is the size of a small book with overwrought foodie descriptions of cocoa, single origin chocolates, and truffles, followed by the standard cafe fare of sandwiches, pizzas, etc.
You are a conscientious visitor to Delhi. You have read your Lonely Planet India, done some web searches, and know that Delhi is an ancient city, the site of seven capitals over millenia. The Red Fort is on your list, as is Humayun’s tomb, and perhaps the Qutab Minar. And then you make your way to the Taj in Agra.
But surely Delhi must have accumulated a few more ruins than what India’s lackadaisical tourism industry would have you believe. Here are just four examples, all of which can be reached on foot from Qutab Minar.
In the midst of being stir fried in Delhi heat, I decided to cool off at NGMA – National Gallery of Modern Art. For a museum that is by no means a world class facility, it houses a handful of world’s finest art pieces. So I found out this trip when I chanced upon a special exposition on Nandlal Bose’s artwork.
I am visiting Delhi for two weeks. I shouldn’t be hankering for crepes in the midst of this heat and mangoes and parathas and samosas and the kababs. But I am. So, I am at Yellow Brick Road, a cute little cafe at Hotel Ambassador near Khan Market. It is painted bright and cheerful with a touch of toy-store feel about it. Judging by the clientele, it is popular with all – eastern and western, young and old, men and women.
It was the eclipse of the century – the longest full eclipse lasting more than six minutes. During the days preceding the eclipse, media’s handling of it was like watching a schizophrenic – one moment all scientific with graphic visualization of solar and lunar orbits and astrophysics the other moment a discussion on fasting and soul cleansing and astrology.
Even in blazing summers, a visit to Delhi is incomplete without a taste of its famous kababs. We had already tried satisfying this craving by eating some sheesh-kababs in the cool comfort of the regal Curzon room in Oberoi Maidens Hotel. Their sheesh was competent, but it had failed to hit the spot.
We were planning a visit to Khan Chacha when we happened to read about Salim’s, yet another tiny kabab corner in Khan market, at “Eating Out in Delhi” blog. It is a rare happenstance to find a foodie proclaim a kabab corner as good as chacha’s, so we were intrigued. On author’s suggestion, we decided to seek out Salim’s kakori kabab and are glad we did.
It is Sunday, the day of rest. Rest from the kitchen, that is. I am at Pindi, a popular establishment in Delhi frequented by visitors and locals alike. It is devilishly hot outside. I can smell grilled meat a good hundred feet from Pindi. It is late for lunch but the joint is crowded. People are tearing apart tandoori chicken with gusto and hungrily sopping up creamy curries with naans. All accompanied by cheerful faces, animated conversations, and sounds of laughter. Very Punjabi indeed.
This monsoon season in Delhi, I tasted jamuns after nearly two decades. As a child, picking ripe jamuns used to be a pleasant way of killing time. It often involved sneaking into a neighbor’s yard when the elders were dozing off in the summer heat. It also meant getting up on precarious fences or branches to reach up the tree for a handful of jamuns. I saw some street urchins doing the same the other day; the girl appeared to be as old as I was then.
What better way to celebrate July 4th than with the most American of art forms – Jazz. And the Fillmore Street Jazz Festival does the celebration with gusto. This year it was spread across eight or so blocks on Fillmore street, four main performance stages, and many smaller performances going on all along the street and in Jazz clubs lining Fillmore.
- Location: Market Street, Financial District
- Coffee: None! Although you can find imported bottled soda here. And magazines …
- Chocolate: Tasting bites and bars - Dolfin, Vosges, Scharffen Berger to new a few …
FCN is not your atypical chcocolate store. It is an atypical magazine shop. If you like to lay your hands on hard to find magazines and periodicals, this is your place to be. Ditto for chocolates. The store fits in with busy life of financial district. Grab a chocolate and a magazine and be on the run…or, grab a soda and a magazine and be on the run … May even be a nice spot to spend ten minutes browsing during the dull part of the day. And to pick up gifts as well.
- Location: Ferry Plaza
- Coffee: Peets’ or Blue Bottle is available a few doors down.
- Chocolates: Truffles, caramels, …
Recchiuti’s is what you would expect a fancy chocolate store to look like. All trim, polished and glittery and that is just the staff. No chairs for shoppers to sit around and look flabby, unpolished and drab. No coffee either to ruin any nice perfumes the staff or customers may be wearing. Their price helps to not overindulge.
Are we sounding curmudgeonly?
Walking in front of “Old Ship Saloon”, you would have never guessed it. Looks like any other brick building surrounded by many other buildings. But this saloon was originally on a ship. How did the ship get here? How did the saloon get here? Well?
Choose a day that isn’t too cold. Start the walk from Ferry Plaza. If you start on a Saturday, you will be able to pick up your lunch from the Farmer’s market. When you are done exploring Ferry Plaza, start walking westwards and stay as close to the bay as possible. Many of these piers offer pedestrian walkways. The route is unmistakable, so there is little to no chance of getting lost. If you are planning on completing the hike, plan on walking about 10-12 miles and spending anywhere between 3-6 hours.
Here is what you will see on this hike – San Francisco skyline from several vista points, sailboats dotting the sea, yachts moored at the harbors, large container ships crossing underneath the Golden Gate bridge, kites doing acrobatic maneuvers by the marina, kids playing in big or small groups, people of all ages sunbathing or jogging, couples of all genders holding hands or kissing, buildings with military architecture – extensions of Presidio. In spring, you will see Crissy Field in a wildflower bloom.
At first glance, San Francisco’s Chinatown appears to be a collection of trinket shops. Only during the Chinese New Year celebration does this place truly come alive and then one has to be prepared to brave the cold winter rains which often afflicts the celebration, and huge crowds.
From a Delhi roadside vendor.