Gateway of India

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bombay Paperie in Fort & Baskets in Mahim

Note: I posted the pictures and accompanying text below on Facebook earlier after debating with myself about which format to post or Facebook photo album.  I thought I'd mimic the same photos/text from the Facebook post in a blog post here, and share it this way as well for comparison purposes.  I think there are advantages to both options, but would love to hear any feedback you may have about which format you prefer or think is better, especially since I'm new to the "blogosphere"...  Thanks, in advance, for any input.


Another day, another adventure last Thursday with Dee, Judy, and Inez, this time on a "paper chase" to the Fort area in Bombay, and then a scavenger hunt in Mahim for baskets.

The Bombay Stock Exchange is in the historical downtown area of Mumbai on a beautiful tree-lined pedestrian street.

Surrounded by mobile tactical units and lots of armed police that are just beyond the periphery of this photo, we remembered that the Indian financial market exists in the same scary world that every other financial hub does too.

And then we found our destination: the Bombay Paperie, right across the street from the Stock Exchange! Dee and Inez visited last week, and after lots of arm twisting (NOT!), they graciously accompanied Judy and me so we could check it out.

The Bombay Paperie is committed to preserving the ancient crafts of paper making by hand and dying.

You can read more about what they're all about here:

Pick a color, any color! 

Many of the hand-made papers, none of which are made from trees but rather cotton waste, are printed on with hand carved wooden blocks.

Cards, tags, statues, lamps, containers, jewelry...the Bombay Paperie is keeping traditions alive by finding new and creative uses for these beautiful papers.

Look for these fun creatures to make their debut at Dee's craft center in an upcoming Mumbai Mobile Creche activity with the kids!

We ventured down the road from the Paperie toward Horniman Circle Gardens and passed the St. Thomas Cathedral.

The cathedral was completed in 1718, and was the first Anglican Church in Mumbai. According to Wikipedia, the name of nearby Churchgate Station refers to this church. One of the gates in the Fort that the East India Company built to protect their settlement was the entrance to the St. Thomas Church. It was called Churchgate, and that is why the whole area towards the West of the Church is called “Churchgate” even today.

Crossing the street, we headed toward this historical building.
This is one of Todd's major competitors....Croma, not the cow!

In search of some mid-day sustenance, we found the Starbucks, right next to the Croma. This was the first Starbucks to open in India, and is now one of several in Mumbai. Honestly, it was probably the coolest Starbucks I've ever been in. After a quick refuel, we were on our way to the second part of the day's adventure.

We've found that a lot of the "adventure" here comes from hearing about something that you want to try/visit/find (a store, a market, an item for which you've been searching, etc.), and then going on what can sometimes be a wild goose chase to find it. So, with Inez determined to find some baskets, and being armed with "sort of" directions from a shop owner we visited the day prior, we headed out of the Fort area and up into Mahim where we were told there was a basket market.

And indeed, there was. Nothing fancy, just some craftsmen and women on the side of the road. Thankfully, Judy's driver got us to where we needed to go, and we found exactly what Inez was looking for. These are the kind of baskets that you'll often see at markets filled with various produce. Some of them, like this basket, had metal strips added in the center to make them stronger.


You don't have to be much of a photographer when you have amazing subjects with which to work!

In process...

Finished product.

This little friend followed us along as we checked out the market.

A treasure from the Paperie adding some color and texture to our living room...

And one of those amazing baskets adding some warmth to the corner of our kitchen.

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