23 November 2005

Look what I found ...

Even though at times I get super bored of this sleepy town where everything shuts at 5:00 (by which time it's already dark) there are some things that are very nice here. One of these things is people's habit of leaving stuff they don't want at there door so that someone can take it and use it. It's just too expensive to throw away anything because the municipality charges a lot for your trash.

Last week I found a perfectly working vacuum cleaner and this week it was something a bit bigger.

But, I have to say it was stupidly heavy.

Check the installation in the back by Coop-himmelblau.

Although we (my room mate - 'Juan' and me) had great fun taking it half way across Rotterdam.

Mobile Phone OR Mobile Sofa

And as usual my house doesn't have a lift, and living on the third floor made the last 30 minutes of this journey - HELL.

This is how we were able to do this impossible task.

Thank God that Juan's bike was strong enough.

And lastly the greatest achievement of the extremely interesting night was for the first time in two months of being here people on the street acknowledged my existence.

20 November 2005

Google Map tracing my journeys

Finally!! I have been able to use the Power of Google Maps to illustrate my own journeys. I will slowly but surely add more links to the map and to my blog. So Watch on.

Once you click on any of the spots on the map you'll have to scroll down to see images from that place. And zoom in to see places that seem to be clubbed together.

Find out more about how I did this on http://www.google.com/apis/maps

14 November 2005

Blogging - London

Just got back from a great weekend in London. I had been there to meet my brother and to see the greatest city on Earth (actually, I’m not 100% sure cos there always is Bombay).

Heres some of the usual touristy stuff

Here's some random snaps that I took during my One Night Marathon Monopoly Trip of London.

This one is here because I think it's a nice snap.

This Marathon site-seeing session wouldn't have been the same without the company of some resident Londoners – Amrita, Avani and Neha… And boy I had a great time…

But I’ve probably been cursed for making them walk so much. Thanks Gals!!! I can’t wait to be back.

And here's the last one for now. Piccadilly Circus has to be for me the best spot in London. I love the lights; the energy it's like this spot is what runs this great city.

11 November 2005

Crossing the Channel

This morning I caught a ferry from the Hook of Holland (or Hoek Van Holland as they call it here) to Harwich in England to spend an extended weekend in London.

The end of the world (for the dutch i mean)

10 November 2005

I clicked this last night at the lake.

This is probably one of my 'Best Night Photos'.

06 November 2005

Museum Night @ Utrecht

Utrecht - the third largest town in the Netherlands played host to a very interesting event yesterday "Museum Night". We* left Rotterdam in the afternoon and spend a good 14 hours in this great city.

We started off seeing the Utrecht University Campus with its great collection of Architecture and as it got darker we headed towards the City Centre where all the Museums of the town are. On this one day of the year all the Main Museums and Galleries in the town are kept open till 01:30 and they have special shows and events organised in and around them.

Though most of these were quiet ordinary the overall idea/spirit/event was great. People also call it the 'Museum Marathon', because you really have to run to finish all of them in one night.

A few random shot of the Canals around the City Centre (very Amsterdamish) and the bottom right image is one of the Exhibition halls with some Video Installations

We* - Myself and fellow students at the Berlage Institute

@ Utrecht University

As one enters the university campus De Uithof the Minnaert Building is one of the first building you see.

The Campus is full of ‘Highly-Celebrated Buildings’ designed by ‘Highly-Celebrated Architects’.
Here’s two of them-

  1. The Educatorium by Rem Koolhaas/OMA (1997) - A great building which we unfortunately couldn't enter. With trademark - continuous floor plain.
  2. The Basketbar by NL Partners (2003) - This innovative Bar won the Rietveld Prize and is a great success with the student (but sadly only in Summer because of the stupid dutch weather).
The University Library by Wiel Arets has to be the highlight of this Campus. An amazing building with some very interesting spaces. It took over 7 years of designing and building to put this Master piece together, and I should say it shows.
With a simple repetition of a bamboo pattern on its concrete and glass surfaces this building achieves a great complexity its it's surface textures and lighting quality.
The visual flow of the floor plains in this building is amazing given the fact that it use only conventional stairs and voids to do this (unlike in the OMA building across the street where these plains physically flow into each other)

The interior of the whole building uses only three colours - Black, White and Red - but still manages to give a feeling of a very colourful space.

This one is the NMR building - by Ben van Berkel's UN Studio (2001).

With what I like to call the 'typical AA section', where all the corners are rounded.

04 November 2005

Blogging - The Hague

A few snaps from The Hague or should I say 'Den Haag' as they call it here.

All of these are just ten minutes walking from Den Haag Centraal Station.

My First Eid in Europe.

Eid Mubarak !!

Finally after a month of Fasting celebration time is here. This morning I went for my Eid Prayers to the Mubarak Mosque in The Hague (it's some 40 minutes from Rotterdam by Train to The Hague).
Being my first Eid in Europe I was a bit sceptical about what do expect from this experience - also given the coldness of the Eid Prayers of my past few years in Mumbai - but I should say I was pleasantly surprised to be enjoy an interesting prayer sermon which kept jumping languages from Urdu to Dutch - One which I could mostly understand and one that I was trying really hard to understand (but with almost no luck).

As I tried to figure out things amongst the mostly Pakistani gathering who spoke Dutch somebody announced for everyone to go down to the basement for some sweets and here waited for me my best moment of this year's Eid - a bowl of warm Sevia Payasam (Vermicelli Pudding). This Pudding coupled with the warmth of the people surely makes me want the next Eid to be here soon.

02 November 2005

Zuidas - Amsterdam

This is the Master Plan I mean Master Model of Amsterdam's new Business District - called "Zuidas" (which means South Axis).

I am quiet disappointed with the master plan of this district since it's completely Market-driven (sort of like all the stuff we see back in Bombay or in most of the world), now I know I shouldn't expect anything more from these guys.
The only difference I would say is the Aesthetics of the buildings but nothing new or good with the overall planning strategies.
Check these websites for more -

This building is designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects.

But sadly the most interesting element of the design the external fire escape staircase has not been recognized by the fire-fighting department as a valid escape route and is now only an ornament.

01 November 2005

Happy Diwali !!!!

Today is Diwali - the Indian festival of light. Sadly just another day here in the Netherlands. Except for eating a few Indian Sweets from Chintan's big Diwali Box there was nothing Diwali about today.

However the star light from IKEA did add a bit of festivity in to an otherwise ordinary day.

A Google map tracing my travels across the globe

View Larger Map
  • In Red cities where I have lived (more than one month);
  • In Blue cities with entries on this blog;and
  • In Yellow cities with no entries yet.