Sunday, January 23, 2011

Listed

And now it is that blessed time of the week when I can again list 3 places that I would want to visit in my lifetime. This is for the week of Jan 22nd - 28th.

The lists for the previous weeks are here and here, but they are as follows.

1. Library Way, New York
2. Ladurée, Paris
3. Hotel Sacher, Salzburg and Vienna
4. University of Oxford
5. Liège, Eastern Belgium
6. Cherry Blossoms in Japan
7. Antarctica
8. Aurora Borealis
9. Magnolia Bakery in New York     

And now for the next 3.... (Drum roll please!!!!)

10. A Souq in Baghdad, Iraq

Giulio Rosati's An Arabian Market
I have always held the most romantic notions about Baghdad. Whenever I hear the name, I can see a timeless market place replete with turbaned men in colourful caftans. The place is of the earth - crafted out of mud, and there is a persistent cloud of sand in the air. The whiffs of myrrh and attar and the pungency of spices intermingle to create n exotic scent that is quintessential Arabia. The sounds from a lone lute fill the air with a melancholy the remains long after the music ceases. And I want nothing more than to wander through these alleyways and by-lanes, the sun scorching my bronzed skin, picking up dates and walnuts and silks and sandals.



11. elBulli, Spain

Ferran Adrià's foam

I don't know why I haven't written about elBulli before. I have been obsessing about it for the past 5 years, since I first heard about it. elBulli is only the most fascinating and possibly fabulous restaurant in the whole world. Here are three things about it that I tell everyone I meet.

1. Restaurant Magazine judged elBulli to be Number One on its Top 50 list of the world's best restaurants for a record five times — in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and #2 in 2010.

2. The restaurant has a limited season and is open for around 6 months a year. Bookings for the next year are taken on a single day after the closing of the current season. It accommodates only 8,000 diners a season, but gets more than two million requests.For the rest of the year, elBulli and its team of chefs experiment in molecular gastronomy and create new flavours and food.

3. The chef who earned elBulli its worldwide fame, Ferran Adrià, is considered to be one of the best in the world and has been described as "the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet".

Now the devastating thing is that elBulli is in its last season and will shut shop as a restaurant in July 2011. And this is what Adrià says about his plans for it, to Jay McInerney of Vanity Fair. “It will be kind of a think tank,” he says. “Not a school exactly, but a foundation. A private nonprofit foundation.” “We’ll have 25 people here, chefs, two or three journalists, tech people. At the end of the day our work will be posted on the Internet. We will collaborate with the world of art and design. It will not be a restaurant. No Michelin, no customers, no pressure. Every year will be different.”

And thus hope lives.

11. Skydiving anywhere

DC Skydivers Inc
As a child, I always wanted to fly. When I grew up and became the realistic, practical person that I am today and found out that I can't grow wings like Tinkerbell, I slyly changed my fantasy and decided that I should paraglide and skydive instead.

I paraglided at Solang Nullah in Himachal Pradesh, India, in 2007 and I can say that it was one of the most exhilarating things that I have ever done. I am guessing that skydiving might top that.

I am soooo jumping off a plane the next time I get the chance!

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