Monday, June 24, 2013

Architecture, Lighting and People

 Designing space with lights and multi-functions:

Good building is still a physical building, but sometimes the same space, the physical building or architecture gets transformed and becomes alive.  That can be achieved differently. But the fashion show in Toronto, I attended in the Enwave theater, located in Harbourfront area did exactly the same. The old brick building with the carefully located lights to highlight the texture and color of the walls made people look beautiful. The fashion show was very memorable. Check out few photos, I took-

The Enwave Theater is a multi-use venue ideal for music, dance, and theater presentations, and creates small carbon foot-print.
The theater can be transformed into various seating configurations, from a 350-seat proscenium set-up to a maximum in-the-round capacity of 422 seats. It has two balcony levels and three lobbies.
Enwave Theater-

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jaw dropping ceiling in Palmer House, Chicago

Palmer house- A romantic Story behind

On the last trip to Chicago, trying to find a better concierge service, we walked to next building and  stumbled upon this jaw dropping lobby of Palmer house. Check out the photos-
Palmer House Hotel Lobby

Icons of Water Nymphs and others
I just could not admire its exterior beauty without knowing the history behind it. And I found a Romantic Story.

In 1871, Chicago's businessman Potter Palmer meets French artist and Philanthropist Bertha and gives her this Palmer house as a wedding gift. 13 days later, in the Great Chicago Fire, the hotel got destroyed but both of them managed to complete the building by 1873 and it became the first fireproof hotel in the united States. Bertha commissioned French artist Louis Pierre Rigal to paint canvases in 1926. By the way, he painted stunning 21 panels of various icons inspired by Greek mythology. 
In 1945, Conrad Hilton purchased the hotel, started the renovation of hotel in 1981 and completed in 1996. With the help of Italian artist Lido Lippi, who worked on renovation of Sistine Chapel restored the ceilings of the lobby. So yes, it gives a mini experience of visiting Sistine Chapel. I think, the Lobby radiates majestic beauty of Potter Palmer and Bertha Palmer's Romantic Story.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Join me for beautiful experiences...

Walls adorned with Imaginations-

Do you want to experience something beautiful with me? I am trying a different style of writing to express this. So please bear with me!

We got in to Canadian Light Rail from downtown Fairmont Hotel going towards western side, I fumbled into my purse, found right currency. I am looking around in the bus and for a moment I forgot where am I, people of all ethnicity are in the bus, a refection of a melting pot. Toronto. In few minutes, my friends are getting down and I was disturbed from my senselessly watching outside the windows. We landed on Queen street in a hipster neighborhood, Parkdale.

We were kind of following a guide map and we saw a simple sign 'made you look' Jewellery Studio and Gallery. The name was very unique, "" and I did look and chuckled a little. Check out the sign below.
Photo Credit- Neela Shukla
I suddenly was forced to stop and look up way above and wondering what the hell, what a long Cadillac doing up there. I am not much into car and never notice a Cadillac on the road, but the change of location made me look up and notice it. Interesting!  Check the photo below.

Photo Credit- Neela Shukla
I am crossing the traffic light and just left behind because of this un-usual person on a black wall  in front of me trying to tell something. At the same time, the street sign pole and parked bicycles  in front the wall are telling real people's story. Imagined story by the artist and real life story merged on the wall. Kind of interesting, I hope you find it interesting too. Check it.
Photo Credit- Neela Shukla
I am always behind, I literally have to run or else, I will be taking a cab to hotel by myself. So I run and catch up with my friends, who are already planning for french food for dinner. In minutes, we ended up in this in-fill restuarant looked like just opened a day before. I love the weathering of bricks, creating textures and shades of colors. Great urban design in-fill solution; USA health department and city will give hard time to do this. But here, the street got adorned!
Photo Credit- Neela Shukla
We passed an another block with black painted building, I think, it succeeded in advertising cleverly through painting white stripes in parking area.  I see the projected moving pictures on the dark grey walls, oh no I see a painting, oh my, I am just walking. Please wait for me. I am left behind again. See the photo below.
Photo Credit- Neela Shukla
And suddenly, my friends all are standing and admiring a wall in the middle of two blocks. I see it and became speechless. I gave up analyzing and trying to find out what is painted and what is real. I just enjoyed it. I hope you do the same. Probably the artist wants the same. Enjoy!
Real and Imagined- Photo Credit- Neela Shukla
I hope you experienced a walk in the street of Toronto. See you soon!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mountains of smiles!- Picasso in my dream!

Since last few moths,  I am filled with joy and mountains of smiles, I see smiles everywhere. I believe if I share little joy with my community, It might grow.  Although this post reflects more or less  thinking process of my slippery mind, so if you read it, just smile and enjoy!

 Let me go back in time - few weeks ago, Picasso appeared in my dream. I do not remember the details about it but I still can not get that out of my system. I generally do not  dream much or do not remember dreams.  I am puzzled that this dream is impacting me so much.  If I go back in time and remember what I did on that day, that might give me some answers or a way to dream of Pablo Picasso again.

So here it goes- 

First Encounter-

 Frank Gehry's Pavilion- Just few weeks ago, on my visit to Toronto, I stopped over to Chicago, the city I used to visit every summer, when I was at the University in East Coast. I used to associate Chicago with Frank Loyd wright, museums and art galleries. After few moments of arriving to our hotel, we landed into millennium park without realizing that we were following the monstrous, organic, shiny structure the one we saw from our cab. Urban design concept implemented well!  We were following the thoughtfully placed  Frank Gehry's, $60 million landmark building, Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Check out few photos at the bottom.
Walkway from Hotel
Path following modern landmark, , Frank Gehry's Modern Orchestra pavilion


Second Encounter-

Colorful Tulips-Words can not even express how I felt when I saw colorful field of tulips not only in Millennium park but all along the sides of the Avenues. All  Tulip plants of different colors, different sizes, different species, together created a unique urban landscape. I wanted to transform myself into a Bee for time being to explore and enjoy the beauty of Tulips.  I learned that over 500,000 tulip bulbs are planted each May on the sides of Michigan Avenue and  few other roads in Chicago so that people can enjoy their amazing beauty effortlessly. There goes another salute to City Planners, designers and residents. See the photos below, I am planning to make a small movie of them.

Tulips on the medians of  the roads and where pedestrians are walking

Tulips in Millennium Park in Chicago

Third Encounter-

 Picasso's work-We arrive at Art institute of Chicago across Millennium park and realized that it is our last chance to see a special exhibit on Picasso's sketches and drawings, last three hours to see this genius's work. I knew about his paintings but had no idea about the enormity of his works. We stood in line for an hr to get in the building and managed to push the crowd to glance through his sketches, drawings and few paintings. Many different styles, experiments, but one can see the passion and confidence in his lines and work. I am not an art critic so I am describing them in layman's language, so please pardon me ! AMAZING WORK! I posted few of of the photos below.

Picasso's sketches and paintings

We continued having conversations about Genius Picasso, his life and his work over dinner with my two dear friends who enlightened me about Picasso with their insights. I was on different planet for sure that night. I could not sleep and when I fell asleep, I had a dream. I woke up with little bits and pieces of the dream. One distinct part of the dream had Picasso in it, alive..I have no idea what to think of that but  it has been now three to four weeks and still I am trying to remember more of that dream. Every time, I think of this, it puts smile on my face.