Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 7

Around the quaint post colo­ni­al streets of calcutta

With over 5 million people inhabiting the colonial capital, one of the largest metropolis and industry hubs in India, if you google Calcutta and you'll read about British cafés, metal bands and festivity amongst the less privileged.

In rea­li­ty, it’s slight­ly more and bet­ter than just that. The capi­tal of the Eas­tern port and West Ben­gal, with half of it being pri­ma­ri­ly colo­ni­al with Anglo-Indian com­mu­nities and tall church­es while the other half being the poli­ti­cal­ly acti­ve Ben­ga­li crowd, this is whe­re tra­di­ti­on meets commerce.

Start your jour­ney around the Park Cir­cus, the cent­re of old Cal­cut­ta, whe­re a seven point junc­tion will gui­de you to liter­al­ly every place worth going to, in the city of joy.

Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 1
Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide

With poe­try slams, litera­ry events and rather inte­res­ting hap­pe­nings every wee­kend, 8th Day Café is loca­ted in a quiet colo­ni­al street, whe­re you could read a book, meet peop­le from dif­fe­rent com­mu­nities in the city and grab a cup of damn good cof­fee. Jute bags, quiet cor­ners and a view of Bri­tish architech­tu­re will keep you delight­ful­ly occu­p­ied through the day, when the heat is at its peak. As you may know, the­re is no such thing as win­ter here.

Head to one of the most cha­rac­ter-jui­ced’ are­as in the city, The Sou­thern Ave­nue. Now most­ly resi­den­ti­al bun­ga­lows along with ado­rable cafes, bars and night­clubs, this is whe­re one can take a walk around, stop and sta­re or just run, regardless.

A short ride from 8th Day Café to Mrs. Mag­pie would have an eerie sen­se of nost­al­gia, both on the streets and on reaching the bak­e­ry. With pink and white inte­riors and a fresh smell of cup­ca­kes and hot cho­co­la­te, Mrs. Mag­pie is one of the prime bake­ries in the city with it’s own uni­que reci­pies and com­fort foods. The best on the menu is the hot cho­co­la­te, tira­mi­su and any of tho­se deli­cious minis­cu­le cup­ca­kes. Ser­ved in almost pris­ti­ne, tiny white cups, nevertheless, if you’re into des­serts, this is the place to go.

Ano­t­her must-go place to grab a good cof­fee is loca­ted in Hin­du­stan Park, cal­led Sien­na, a café/​store.

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Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 3

Star­ted by a young desi­gner who wan­ted to bring out the for­got­ten essence of Indian tex­ti­les (hand-woven cot­tons, silks, etc.) with a modern, young take, you enter the café with a pola­ri­sing out­look, without a doubt. Walls and dis­plays of tra­di­tio­nal meets modern fashion ran­ging from scar­ves, jute bags to sarees (the Indian gown, which is dra­ped around the body), lis­tening to Jazz, no less.

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Walk in through the store and enter the café, if you’ve ever been to Spa­nish cafes, this may remind you of that. A palet­te of blue mosaic stones, crys­tal and wood, this place is ide­al for evenings in solace and pro­bab­ly the only silence you won’t be sur­pri­sed by, in a city as such. Tas­te­ful art and inte­res­ting peop­le mixed yet most­ly qui­te the intel­lec­tu­al crowd can be found here.

Sien­na shuts at about 10 PM ever­y­day, howe­ver, if old school colo­ni­al bars sound intri­guing, then that that tends to be whe­re most youngs­ters and expats hang out post lunch. Fair­lawn Hotel was star­ted in the 1890s, during colo­ni­al times, and has been func­tio­n­ing still.

Blog 1611 Calcutta Guide 7

Head to Sud­der Street, the down­town part of the polar oppo­si­te ups­ca­le Park Street.

Amongst shops whe­re locals dis­co­ver inno­va­ti­ve jewel­lery and arte­facts ( inclu­ding reli­gious hip­pie clothes), you’ll spot Fair­lawn, from a distance. Ser­ving only beer and an open gar­den space as a bar, the lob­by is whe­re con­jus­ted pic­tures from the incep­ti­on of the bar to know, of every famous per­son who’s ever been the­re adorn the green walls. Noi­sy and yet char­ming, it is a hot mess with some character.

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One of the oldest streets of colo­ni­al India, Park Street is now full of dance­halls, night­clubs and old pubs that mana­ged to stay. Once, used to be the morning deba­te venue for office goe­rs, wri­ters and poets, Flury’s is whe­re the tra­di­ti­on that stay­ed on was that of a hear­ty Eng­lish bre­ak­fast and the fee­ling that The brits were here’.

While Cal­cut­ta never had a cul­tu­re of dance clubs, a dis­cus­sion over a drink is the best way to soak in all of it’s ama­zing almost psy­che­de­lic noi­se. Oly­pub is whe­re you could grab a drink without the pre­ten­ti­on that new Cal­cut­ta’ brought. Or? Off­beat, a group that con­ti­nues to pro­mo­te tech­no and pro­gres­si­ve sounds, hosts par­ties at Myx once in two weeks. A tall hall with blue geo­metric inte­riors, whe­re one can dance until sun­ri­se, at these.

A wild card pres­ents its­elf in the form of the first bold club of the city, Bou­doir Cal­cut­ta, which sur­pri­sin­gly is a gre­at place to dance until the ear­ly house of the morning. Ran­ging from dance‑y Bol­ly­wood and other­wi­se all Dance­hall, the latest addi­ti­on to the city­’s night­li­fe has qui­te the over-the-top yet pep­py ambience.

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Over­all? The city­’s a bleak mix of pulp fic­tion and tra­di­tio­nal arti­ness in a cock­tail glass. Espe­cial­ly if you visit around October/​November when it is having a blast with the cele­bra­ti­on of hin­du God­dess Dur­ga and later, fun­ni­ly enough, Halloween.

18 Nov. 2016 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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