My wintry wandering this year took me to a city, not primarily of painters, poets or prophets but of businesses, industries, and traders. I tried to feel the pulse of the city and ended up with happy vibes brimming with the beauty of a different kind. History draped houses, canals, lakes, and a large port give this city a unique character that settles comfortably into one’s memory and steps forth like old pals at the mention of Hamburg, the Hanseatic harbor city.
Tag: Cities Page 1 of 7
Around 11 am, my jet-lagged eyes saw the October morning brimming with autumnal lights for the first time in Berlin. Summer had trickled into autumn, unlike California, from where I boarded the flight two days back. I treated myself with a cup of coffee and sat down to peep into the city from my hotel window. It almost felt like a Facebook feed because of its continuously changing scenes. Then I decided to open the window a little and instantly the city came alive. The aroma from the Pizza shop, the sound of laughter and conversations, and the people made it real and intimate, unlike the virtual world. The open streets that I could see from above have an allure that’s hard to avoid. Therefore, without wasting much time, I quickly planned to see the ongoing Festival of Lights in Berlin, Germany and walk the history-filled roads of Berlin.
Vancouver is a beautiful city on the Pacific shore of British Columbia, Canada. Cosmopolitan yet close to nature, Vancouver offers visitors many things to see and do. Top attractions include the grand urban oasis of Stanley Park, a must-see with its gardens, totem poles and Girl in a Wetsuit statue. The Museum of Anthropology hosts wondrous totem poles by First Nations and the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers thrills of walking on hanging bridges, big and small. Many more experiences beckoned when we were approaching Vancouver on a balmy summer night.
My Vancouver Diary!
Vancouver greeted us with a marvelous moonshine. After seeing Vallea Lumina, a fabulous artwork of light and storytelling in Whistler, when we reached Vancouver by car, we saw the sparkling sea under a full moon night. If Vancouver had been a man then he could have felt the silent applause of my eyes. The scene instantly instilled in me the desire to see the beautiful vignettes of Vancouver. I opened the car window wide open and felt the balmy night and saw the glassy downtown afar. The next day, after a few hours of sleep, all of us, including our three-year-old daughter, were ready to get the wheels of our car rolling and start exploring.
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In today’s era when technology refutes geographical distance, music helps me to cross the distance within. Music connects me to my inner self. I love spending my evenings sometimes filled with music; only music. It is to me is a tremendous mysterious element, a force of nature that I have to bow before. Recently, I got an opportunity to spend a musical evening with the San Francisco Symphony. I listened to Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and went through layers of emotions within. Remembering a beautiful quote by Charles Darwin,
If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would have thus been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
In this social media and digital era, our minds are increasingly getting saturated with images and videos in different forms. Manipulation, reproduction, and distribution of images and videos can be done within seconds using powerful software that is accessible to all. From my understanding, these have manyfold results. People have the power to express and distribute their work like never before. But, the lack of uniqueness and originality leads to relentless production in order to remain in the top of people’s minds. This overproduction leads to saturation and nothing really registers in the mind of the viewers, good or bad. In other words, the shelf life of such images or artworks has decreased significantly. I being a blogger, who extensively uses various mediums to tell a story, always try to find the subtle balance between art and its commercial and mass appeal, a difficult task in this world of excess. When I heard about the exhibition on the effervescent pop art of Andy Warhol at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or SFMOMA, I turned to the pop art maestro for inspiration and motivation to keep on creating.
India is one of the greatest players in history. All human pasts are still alive in this piece of land. A five thousand year epic continues till today. It’s people, cities, cultures, heritage, and traditions have now juxtaposed with the modern internet era and resulted in a conundrum and yet it remains refreshingly unique. From the vast and diverse landscape of India, I chose to write about Gwalior, a historic city in Madhya Pradesh – the heart of incredible India. During my month-long trip to Madhya Pradesh, I was intrigued to discover not only its world-famous forest but also the charm of Gwalior, India – the home to world’s second oldest zero!
“Train” – is a magic word for me. On innumerable occasions, it has covered distances between me and my dreams. It has taken me to the nearest locations to see the magnanimous Himalayas, the Thar desert, surrounded by sand, space and silence, the waves in the oceans, many countries in Europe and recently the wilderness in the USA. Beautiful steam train rides near San Francisco gifted me exhilarating delights when I saw the curls of silent white steam winding its way through the leaves of the redwood trees.
The rain was pouring incessantly on the sweet Saturday evening while I was inside the beautiful auditorium of the San Francisco Ballet and was reveling in the flow of music, dance, and drama. The on-stage ballet was a welcome break from the constant presence of screens in our lives. Dancers, musicians, background stage sceneries and a spirited audience transported me to a world of chivalry; a world of adventure; the world of Don Quixote. The refreshing cadence of this ballet rekindled a memory and my mind traversed back to Madrid’s Plaza de Espana, which I visited a couple of years ago in Spain. The plaza features a stone sculpture of the author
Miguel de Cervantes and two famous characters of his novel – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.