I definitely have this thing with Floors!
I wonder, Why?
I wonder why I never stopped
My feet they took me far and afar!
I wonder why it makes me leer to march
My feet loved the way it imprints and embarks upon.
I wonder why is it so addictive.
My feet were obsessed with the idea of destiny!
I wonder where next.
My feet say, stay at your best the world needs to rest!
~ Yours truly
To all those who know me, Floors & Feet has always been my catch! It has been a long journey since I started traveling for work, academics, and leisure (for real). I have always had this crazy idea of clicking my feet on different floors. Maybe the Architect in me drives me to this crazy idea of understanding, acknowledging, and loving various floor patterns, textures, and colors.
"Travel, Feet, Click and Repeat"
“If you fall, I'll be there” ― Floor
Having travelled across almost 15 countries, which constitutes more than 100 cities globally; Now imagine the number of feet and floor pictures I might be having on my Phone, Computer, or Cloud! 100? Maybe 1000 or 10000? It is not just a picture to me but a footprint of my soul in that place. All those intriguing details, line work, textures, colors, and prints cogitate the character of the place/neighborhood. So, here's to sharing the best of my Footwork across the globe.
Of the mighty American streets
The United States of America, The USA they say! These three pictures I chose are pretty close to my heart. The first one (L) is from my maiden visit to the city of Detroit in Michigan back in 2017. These Boho pair of sneakers were my travel bud throughout my US tour (of course for my academic master's work) and a sketchbook - my forever go-to companion. This picture takes me back to that soulful sketching session I had at Belle Isle Park, Detroit. FYI, the Belle Isle Park is an Island park that sits on the River Detroit which separates the United States and Canada. The one on extreme Right (R) is again from the 2017 trip clicked in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. We were a group of students from India for an international workshop on Interior architecture organized by the University of Cincinnati. The workshop revolved around designing various startup spaces in the Ohio Downtown. One fine day, wearing my Boho pair of shoes I left for the Downtown; it was a sunny Saturday with buoyant Bars, lively cafes, and gleeful Parks to my witness. And the streets got me like Sun, Feet, Streets and Click! The picture in the center is from a very special park in one of the neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York which we documented in 2018 as a part of our Summer school. This SS was about understanding and discussing the initiatives taken by the New York City authorities to bring about Resilient changes in the city boroughs post-Sandy (Cyclone that hit the economic capital of the US in 2012). The Parks and other public places were a highlight of our study in the neighborhoods around infamous Brooklyn Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge along the Hudson River.
For the Love of Europa!
Europa! You have my heart! The bag of beautiful & exquisite memories from the Summers of 2017 & 2018 are still afresh. City hopping or rather Country hopping was such a thing then. The pretty blue skies, lush green landscapes, and those delightful blooms along the lakeside parks, Oh I miss them! The extreme two pictures are from the place where I left a major chunk of my heart back in 2017; It's Lugano! Of all the countless pictures I have of this place, these two are where I spent most of my time, i.e. USI University & strolling around on the streets admiring the modernist wonders by Botta (Mario Botta is a Lugano based Modern Architect). Whereas, my trip to London in 2018 was a special one since London surprised me with a non-rainy but sunny weather, unlike its total BS of gloomy rainy weather. This picture was clicked at the London Bridge on a busy weekday which got me nostalgic about the nursery rhyme 'London Bridge is falling down! Thankfully it didn't!
P.s. If you have seen Spider-Man: Far From Home, the last fighting sequence was shot exactly here.
The Cultural Cosmos
Museums and Theatres are such an integral part of our civilization. The value it adds to a city is symbolic and coherent to the evolution of City, Art, Religious significance, Culture, and of course its people. Personally, I absolutely enjoy exploring the city museums and theatres. That usually tops my list in terms of priorities while traveling.
The first picture (L) is such a pious picture clicked inside a Synagogue at Kochin, Kerala. The Paradesi Synagogue (15th Century) which topically is a word for a foreigner (Paradesi) is colloquially known as the 'Mattancherry' Synagogue. The picture captures the intricacy of the indigo-colored prints on the white ceramic tiles. The prints on it depict nature and landscapes. Those natural landscapes on the indigo tiles and my dolphin printed socks, a coincidence indeed!
It was a weekend show back in 2012 when a friend took us along for a play named "Einstein" at the National Center for Performing Arts(NCPA), Mumbai. It was a monologue on Einstein played by an eminent Indian actor Mr. Naseeruddin Shah. I instantly fell in love with the place purely because of these three factors. Firstly, its location bang across the infamous Marine drive embracing the Arabian sea. Secondly, the curiosity that place exudes with its design and planning, and last but the most significant reasons of all; for its generous contribution in the field of Art, Theatre, Classics, and Entertainment. It has always been my go-to place whenever in Mumbai to witness the curated works of arts and world-class plays (at least once a month). Whereas, every time I went I never failed to click my footsteps on those sharp protruding triangular steps highlighted with bright yellow edges at the entrance foyer. My kinda Happy Feet as I say!
Channeling the inner Bull in me! The mighty month of May is here and this picture fits apt for the occasion. This was clicked at an inner courtyard at the Nelson and Atkins Museum in Kansas City. (R)
Oh! How I love these Greens
For the Love of Greens! Walking on the lush green lawn, who doesn't like it? The very first picture (L) is from my home away from home, as I call it (my best friend's house) in Lonavala, Maharashtra. My weekends were absolutely sorted; just bump into the car, drive through the beautiful Mumbai-Pune expressway and voila! Home! This lovely studio apartment has a lush green terrace garden curated by Neha & Swapnil, that happens to be my favorite spot. Stepping out with my hot cup of coffee on the dewy green lawn in the morning sun amidst the chirpy birds ; there you go a perfect picture!
The picture in the center is from the Godrej Campus in Vikhroli on a windy-rainy day. The drizzly weather made it me forget the actual work I had at the campus and I began strolling around admiring how well the campus has been developed and maintained. The iconic Godrej Installations, small ponds, landscaping elements were absolutely on point. Couldn't stop admiring and couldn't control clicking my feet here!
What do yo do on Weekends Rutuja? This question was often asked to me while I was in Bombay. My answer would mostly be, I have planned a visit to a plant nursery with my super curious roomies. Our favorite place to be, that green happy bubble, oozing out generous amount of oxygen, what luxury! This was my very own gifting shop to buy from. My Go-to place as I feel it! (R)
Passages? Neither Indoor Nor Outdoor!
I feel, Lobbies/passages as spaces have been a little underrated! Do people even consider them to be as important as an important space in a building/complex. So, it's true with the footpaths and walkways.
The first image (L) is from a passage at the Lilavati Library at CEPT University. I have spent hours together in these lobbies than in the core library with my laptop, while working on my thesis overlooking the sun's path. Evenings were absolutely ecstatic as the setting sun would cast beautiful shadows through the filtered glass dodging the vertical wooden louvres. The memory that holds me strong and sane.
Sula Vineyards oh you beauty! This place has never ever disappointed me, of course what can go wrong when one's surrounded by barrels of wine, an extended vineyard accompanied with an ecstatic view of the estate, good food and a glass of Sula Wine (center). The estate's been designed in a unique way to create small pockets and clusters adorned by vibrant Bougainville creepers, planters, creative installations and the Boho chic flooring. There you go!
Strolling across in a new town/city is such an unique experience. The streets of Kochin, Kerala were no different but exciting with a festive spirit of Kochin Art biennale back in 2018 December. The walls and streets gilded with graffities, art works and massive installations around the Kochin fort area were breath taking. What a sight to eyes! A cultural, regional, religious and art amalgamation. The picture (R) was clicked on my way back to our homestay, after a delicious dinner at the very famous Kashi Art Café in Kochin.
From the Goan diaries
GOA! My second home. While researching the traditional courtyard houses in and around Panjim, I realized Goa is way more than the beaches. The cliché that runs around the place is overrated. My has research led me to all the beautiful & hidden treasures of Goa to cherish forever. The first picture was clicked at my go-to place, the Kala Academy along Miramar beach. The Art and Craft Centre is a cultural hub for the local Goans, which is also a heritage structure designed by the legendary late Modernist Ar. Charles Correa. The composition of my feet set on the earthy pathway in Laterite stone amidst the Miramar beach and Kala academy on a windy chilly evening is an emotion! The picture in the center was clicked at the beach of the beautiful resort by Correa at Dona Paula (the suburbs of Panjim) Cidade de Goa at around 4 AM, while sipping a cup of hot coffee and a dry Walnut cake. One of the fondest memories at this magical place. The last one's from the most beautiful and a secret beach my friend Anisha took me to. What a day at the Bagmalo beach! Honestly, that feeling of sand slipping off the feet as the wave retreats is soulful and so pure. One of the cleanest beaches in Goa and untouched by any sort of human indecency (litter/eve-teasing).
We got to be responsible Humans! So, let's just try our bit.
Cheers to these beautiful memories, Travel stories and Feet musing. Hoping to listen to your stories too. Do like, share and subscribe folks! Feedbacks are always welcome.