Coliseum, Rome
May 2016 Some of my closest friends and I happened to be in Rome at the same time, for a day. We made no plans whatsoever and spent most of the day aimlessly strolling in the charming neighborhood of Trastevere, laughing uncontrollably, worrying only about what our next meal would be and if we would explode if we had at least one gelato every hour. The struggle was real. We got off the plane perfectly in time for lunch and prosecco and made a beeline for the charming Pianostrada in Trastevere. The place is really tiny and it was packed tush to elbow all the way in. But that’s a good thing; we made friends with the super-fun Norwegian people sitting at the next table and they made sure we drank enough prosecco for all the time we already “lost” not drinking prosecco – aka 8 am- lunch time. The postage-stamp size restaurant is…Continue Reading
Croatia_cover
Croatia – Highlights April 2015 A year ago I embarked on my epic 5-week trip to Milan, Croatia and Paris. It would have an epic five-week SOLO trip to France, but my best friend decided to play “kabab-mein-haddi”/a gooseberry/third-wheel (whatever your drift is) between Paris and me. Nonetheless, the trip was fantastic and so is she, so I’ll let her transgressions slide. Why Croatia? Four weeks before my trip, I asked Sukanya if she wanted to travel with me to Europe and she called rain-check. To be precise, she said, “I don’t have time; I want to save money and focus on getting married in December, Europe doesn’t excite me that much and I would much rather visit these cities in my sixties, blah blah blah.” Me: “Bummer”. Fast-forward 1 week => disastrous yet successful Schengen visa incident. Fast-forward another week. Right after I bought my tickets, she called me…Continue Reading
Duomo
Comedy of errors in Milan March 27, 2015 In an effort to prevent millions of photos from disappearing into a black hole forever, I have decided to start a #lastyearthisday series (Today is Easter, so it’s very symbolic 🙂 ) First up, Milan. Sukanya and I flew into Malpensa airport last year around 10 in the am. Our ultimate destination was Croatia but tickets to Milan were cheaper, so we decided to fly into Milan, explore the city for two days and then hop onto an overnight bus to Zagreb. Quick tip: If you are looking for cheap tickets from North America to Europe, I suggest looking for tickets to Milano and then taking a low-cost airline/train to your intended destination… and thank me later of course. Anyway, Sukanya flew in directly from India and landed at the international terminal and I got into the domestic terminal. When she asked…Continue Reading
Atrani, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy-4
The sleepy and adorable village of Atrani is a hop, skip and a handful of medieval watchtowers away from Amalfi. Whether you are there for a couple of days or just an evening (like me), this button-sized village will charm your pantalonis (Italian for pants dum-dum ;)) off. I like to believe I saw a shooting start. 🙂 Don’t miss Atrani for the world and don’t tell me I didn’t warn ya 🙂 Ciao!
Amalfi beach
December 2014 Sigh! Yes, that’s more than a year ago, clearly Pomodoro is not working out for me. My friends joke that all the photos in my camera get sucked into a black hole. Not too far from the truth, I guess 😛 Winter sunsets in Italy are awfully early. (Boo!) It was 4:30 pm and we drove to Amalfi, (the entire coast is named after this town) from Minori just when the sun was setting the sky ablaze. The sight of the coast at dusk, with the twinkling lights shining from the colorful houses stacked so neatly on top of the other, the Christmas trees, the rocky landscape and the glistening water was simply.. magical. As luck would have it, our hotel was in the heart of the town. NOT. We drove into the city, through the city and kept driving past it. After about ten minutes, we discovered…Continue Reading
french-riviera-featured-image-1
The crisp autumn days haven’t quite descended upon us in the south (of the US). I am desperately clinging on to every remaining moment and memory of summer; which began with a few glorious weeks in the south of France. I was not expecting to fall in love with Nice or the French Riveria, in fact, I almost decided not to go there for I presumed that the glitz and glamor might overshadow its charm and authenticity. I came to discover (after a lot of convincing to go by my friend Lucinda who spends a month in VilleFranche every year) that it’s only a part of the picture. The French Riveria intertwines old-world charm and history with affluence and luxury like no other. It was everything I was scared of expecting and better, much better 🙂 Traveling to France and Italy teaches me to slow down, savor the simple pleasures,…Continue Reading
Chicago skyline, Chicago-1
I’m a firm believer that food always tastes best at the place where it originated. I’m also the kind of crazy/dedicated person who will go to a city just for a slice of pie. After spending an awesome week at Ann Arbor for our annual summer picnic, I jumped on a plane to Chicago to reconnect with my good buddy Krishna from Chennai and PIZZAARGHH. Yes, you read that right, pizza. Good old cheesy Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Also, Krishna lives in Chicago now and creates drugs for a living 😛 It had been nearly two years and it was about time I caught up with both. As soon as I landed, he picked me up from the airport and we decided to put business first and take the Chicagoan bull by the horns. (get that NBA reference?! :)) The fresh pizza of Pequod One of my friends Dennis who…Continue Reading
Green shutters in Menton, France-1
When I shut my eyes sometimes and daydream about my time in Nice, I picture the narrow alleys of the old town dappled in sunlight , the distressed building walls’ drenched in bright cheerful hues and one important detail sticks out. The window shutters. Or volets as the French call them. Mint volets. Blue volets. Volets with laundry hanging in front on their wrought-iron balconies. Volet with flower boxes. Closed volets. Open volets. Partially open volets. The whole nine yards. My first night in Nice, my host bustled into my room, closed the volets stated something in rapid French, motioned to the windows and walked out. I nodded furiously, even though I had no idea what she just said. Turns out that most houses and apartments in the South of France have volets. As the sun goes down every day, so do the volets. People shut them tight after sunset and…Continue Reading
NYC
In a NY state of mind, en route to world’s happiest city. Ever since I landed in New York City for the first time in 2011, 22 and starry-eyed, playing Alicia keys’ “concrete jungles where dreams are made of ” on a loop (corny much?), I have been re-visiting at least twice a year and falling a little more in love with each adventure in this chaotic bustling city with its dizzying skyscrapers, sprawling parks, and delicious bagels and pizzas. The first time I got here, I was here for an interview for an internship with Morgan Stanley. The interview went incredibly well; I kicked ass (Not bragging; this was my first great interview after a series of hysterically-awful ones) and, needless to say, I snagged the internship for 3 months in NYC. But along came another company with a better offer shattering my dreams and robbing me of my stay…Continue Reading
Copenhagen
Day 1 I’m not going to lie; I have high expectations from Copenhagen, the capital of the world’s happiest country and all. I have only been here for a couple of hours and I am yet to fall in love or truly connect with this city. But here are some postcards of things that caught my fancy and top 8 things about Copenhagen/Denmark. 😉 This is my Airbnb in Copenhagen, I’m staying with a Danish couple in a neighborhood called Osterbro and their charming apartment is oozing with hygge. 1) Teach me how to Hygge Hard to pronounce and even harder to describe, Danish hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’) roughly translates to coziness. If you have wondered how Danes manage to keep their spirits high through the painfully long and gloomy winters, the solution to the mystery and key to their happiness is *drum roll* hygge. In essence, hygge means creating a warm…Continue Reading
Le cafe des chats, Paris
The concept of cat café is not really novel; cat cafes have been around since 1998 in Taiwan. While Paris, Montreal, Copenhagen, NYC and other western countries opened their first cat cafés last year, Japan expanded its monkey business beyond the realm of cats and dogs. Today, Japan boasts of goat cafés (no kidding, goat cafés are a real thing), reptile cafes, rabbit cafes and what not. If you didn’t know already, I’m obsessed with cats. I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the company of many whiskered four-legged friends. I fed and befriended all the strays and pets I bumped into, and soon my apartment was swarming with cats of all tail-sizes. When word got around about this in the neighborhood, I was nominated the go-to cat whisperer and was called upon to solve any cat-a-clysms that arose. My parents put up a tough front initially but…Continue Reading
Colarado-8
January 2016 After surviving a night at the “3-star” Ramada hotel in downtown Denver (where we found a note with “Help me” and stripper magnets on the lamps), we hit the road early morning on Sunday, towards Moab, Utah. We drove alongside a nearly frozen Colorado river; past many precariously-perched ski resorts and herds of healthy fat black cows grazing in the wild. (Which I could not get enough of, my friends will testify haha) The wide roads were flanked by massive mountains on either side and dusted with a perfect blanket of white snow. Words/photos cannot describe how beautiful the landscape is but I’ll attempt to show you nonetheless. I hope that these postcards will motivate you to plan a/another trip to Colorado in winter. When you do, just make sure to: Avoid Hotel Ramada downtown at all costs. Have breakfast at the cutest breakfast place, Olive and Finch. I…Continue Reading
Styled and shot by Smruthi
I have always dreamt of being a pastry chef, being lauded for baking exquisite pastries at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, working in a Parisian kitchen dishing out éclairs, macarons, croissants, salted butter cookies, méringues, etc. Basically being surrounded by copious amounts of luscious chocolate, bread, cookie dough, and butter 24*7. Of late, I have realized I’m more into the quality testing side of things 😛 Baking is more of a fantasy and I enjoy eating pastries more than making them. Nonetheless with Christmas around the corner, I thought I’d take another stab at baking. Against all odds (choosing a recipe and buying groceries from TWO different shops) I baked my very first successful cookie -> *drumroll* the world’s best butter cookies. Truth be told, that was the title of the recipe we followed 😀 By we, I mean me and my partner-in-baking Smruthi and sous-cookie-cutters Deep and Shri. When we finished, the…Continue Reading
Sukanya_anand_naru-18
The big fat Dum Dum wedding Day 0 Touchdown Kolkata, India As soon I landed in a fog-enveloped Kolkata for the first time ever, Sukanya’s (bride and best friend) brother Jit whisked me away to their apartment in the heart of Dum Dum. A neighborhood in North Kolkata, Dum Dum was home to the British Royal artillery in the 19th century. One of the resident captains invented a new type of bullet that expanded on impact and called it Dum Dum. That’s how the area got its name and it is called so to this date. Fancy your neighborhood being named after a bullet. Pretty badass, huh? Sukanya is boisterous and animated and we often joke that she is so loud that one can hear her from the moon. She argues the same about me but really I’m no match. Needless to say, I stepped out of the elevator on the…Continue Reading
Atrani, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy-2
The Amalfi Coast is a beguiling stretch of coastline, stretching for 40 knows from Salerno in the west to Sorrento in the east. It is home to a smattering of beautiful little hamlets and a tangle of sun-splashed vertical towns that are peppered around its lovely pebbly coves. I spent ten blissful days last Christmas hopping from one quaint town to the other, falling hopelessly in love with this amazing country, its cappuccinos and cornettos, fresh pasta, limoncellos and its jolly lively people, their culture and traditions. Even though it’s popular mostly as a summer destination, this coastline enjoys moderate weather even in the winter. I delighted in exploring the quaint towns decked up in their festive Christmas lights and w/o the crazy crowds. Never have I eaten as well as I ate or slept as soundly as I slept, and never found myself as happy as I was. “It…Continue Reading
Pizza Margherita, Naples, Italy-2
Touchdown Napoli (Dec 2014) After a 48-hour journey (Jaipur > Taj Mahal > Delhi > Paris > Naples), my friend and I, hungry, disheveled and excited, finally landed in Naples, Italy. I have always had a penchant for Vespas and vintage Fiats and dreamt of road tripping across Italy in one of them. (Me and half the people in the planet haha) So we picked up our bags, made a beeline to the rental car center and rented a funny little Fiat. This car (luckily or unluckily not that vintage) would be our loyal companion during our escapade to the Amalfi Coast. Having watched Roman Holiday a million times growing up and being an ardent pizza lover (and pizza-snob), this trip was more than a dream come true. Our first meal was going to be authentic Neapolitan pizza, at the birthplace of pizza. HELLS YEAH! Since this was going to…Continue Reading