Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Morning with Calcutta Walks

Kolkata is definitely a city of contrasts, which was reinforced on our early (7:00am!) walk today with Calcutta Walks, a really great collection of people that are trying to promote the appreciation of culture and history in Kolkata.
Most Kolkatans do not really get going until 10:00 to 11:00am, so it was the perfect time to explore the famous Park Street of Kolkata. Our guides told us there is no other street like it in India, there may be shopping districts but no other avenue dedicated to "hedonism." Supposedly Ricky Martin frequents Park Street when he is in town to check in on his charity organization.

One decadent part of Park Street is the confectionery shop Flurys, which is a must visit restaurant in all of the guide books. We got a behind the scenes tour, with a view of pastry in the making.

The city is changing rapidly to accommodate contemporary times, but you can still see glimpses of a grand past - once called the city of palaces - in the older buildings.
and a popular past, a pan (betel leaves) stall.
Related Post: Tour of Kumartuli with Calcutta Walks


Bombay Curry Company said...

Hi There,
No idea how I came upon your blog but I do hope you are having a wonderful time there. As an ' army brat' I went to school ( St Xavier's) there and lived on Short street which is behind the school. Had a great time in Calcutta.
If they are still there go to Jimmy's Kitchen for Cinese, Nizam's for Kathi Rolls, Amber For North Indian. There is also a place which is famous for Rizalla a mutton curry in milk and yogurt I think its called Sabir's but I am not sure of the name.
If you are there Xmas time Park Street used to be amazing, you must post some images of Park street at that time.
OOPs I talk too much.
Best to the family and see us when you return.
Bombay Curry Company, Alexandria, Virginia.

Natalie Buda Smith said...

Hi Bhasin,

What a coincidence. Two days ago I was telling a Bengali friend that he must go to Bombay Curry Company when he moves to Arlington. It is one of our favorite restaurants!

I have heard of St. Xavier's. It is not far from where we live. I hear it is an excellent school, one of the best.

Thanks for the recommendations, we will check them out. The food is so good here and there is so much variety.

We will definitely come visit on our next trip to D.C.

More photos of Kolkata to come!

Anner said...

Love the picture with the little one sideways. She is so cute. Sounds like you guys are getting into a routine over there. Mike and I read your blog regularly.

Anonymous said...

Hey Natalie!
Great post...thanks for the kind words about us. By the way, we did visit the St. Xavier's College, especially the amazingly library inside it as well as the Flury's shop after you'd left.
Since that was the first time we were doing the Park Street walk professionally, I hadn't known that it would turn out so well.
See you on another walk soon.

Natalie Buda Smith said...

It did turn out really well.

We look forward to other walks with your team soon.

Anonymous said...


Stumbled on to CalWalk by accident and then on to your blog. I was born and raised in Calcutta. Used to live off of Central Avenue. Left ages ago. Bhasin's recommendation brought flood of memories. I wonder if Nizam is still there near New Market, loved those Kathi rolls.

Bill in San Jose Ca.

Natalie Buda Smith said...

Hi Bill, We haven't been able to look for Nizam's yet, but when we do I will definitely report back and have a couple of rolls in your honor.