Now, ImageWIS you have brought my mind to this topic, I was looking at your post on the fastest you have driven thread, and it brought about thoughts of a Hampstead in America (which I have never seen), but perhaps South Florida is one. Basically I am saying to everyone that this is a thread to describe the area in which you live, as it will be quite interesting to others to view, below is an example from the Times Of India Travel Guide 2004 by Dev Kapoor: Impressions of India can be varied, some think of the vast slums and poverty, and in all truth they are not entirely wrong for the most part. However, for a complete role-reversal, enter New Delhi. The Indian Capital is a complete contrast to the image of India, a bustling city, with 9 billionaires registered and paying tax, which is more than some Western European countries, and the lifestyle to match. That is not to say that there is not immense poverty amongst immense riches, but the people of the capital know how to live it up. Though the film industry is in Mumbai, the financial industry is in Mumbai, and the fashion industry is also in Mumbai. There is one thing, which is in Delhi, which makes it as lively as it is - that is the government. Now wait right there, I here you say, government, lively party people, not two words you normally would hear in the same paragraph, let alone sentence. But India is different, the Indian government is so corrupt, that if you asked the prime minister to head hunt someone, it would not be unheard-of. Though it is not the MPs, which are the party animals, it is their children. A 15 year old with a 360 Moderna, no wait, a 360 Moderna for the daytime, a 575M for a night out, a Phantom, and Maybach to be driven in, a Learjet to party in Mumbai, and more where that came from, all paid for with daddy's under-table dealings. That is to say, someone wants to run a factory, which is giving off toxic gasses that are causing deaths - bribe to the environmental minister 50 Lakh Rupees (about 60-70 thousand pounds). And that's just small time, bribes of Koror Rupees are more than common (hundreds of millions of pounds). But wait, look on the street, from the window of your Ferrari, which struggles to move due to the state of the roads, and you will see no less than a dozen beggars, dust a mile high, and street vendors everywhere, and you are trying to tell me that billions of pounds are traded in this city everyday. So, where do these people live - well there are three places, firstly for those who have just got into office, there is the Diplomatic Enclave in Connaught Place in central Delhi, where there a vast colonial houses with large gardens, nice area, but the Delhiites soon get fed up, too close to Janpat, and Rashtapati Bahavan, too close to tourists. So the next stop is Greater Kaliash I, in South Delhi, about five minutes from Central Delhi, or G.K I as it is know by the locals, is similar to being in the Upper West of Manhattan, or Belgravia in London, not right in the center, but the place to live, tall houses are the order of the day here. Who can build the tallest house, with the most stories, most reach about six stories, but if you are anyone, fifteen is a bare minimum. But the roads are narrow, and it is where all the middle class people come to shop on a day out, sort of like Kensington High Street, and Kings Road, and these people cannot bear to be near to the middle classes. So where do they go next, why DLF of course, DLF is about a 30 minute drive from Central Delhi, but who wants to be in Central Delhi anyway, It actually is not even in Delhi, it is in Gurgaon, in the state of Haryana, like Surrey, or Connecticut then? No, more like the West-End or Midtown, because where are all the best clubs, bars and shops, why M.G. Road where else, that is the Mehrauli - Gurgaon Road, linking South Delhi to DLF. And to seal the deal, land is aplenty in DLF, so no skyscraper homes, and its not cheap either, so no middle class people then, sounds great for the average Delhi Industrialist or Minister, but they have got to got to work in Central Delhi, but then again, a 10 lane highway, to go just 10 km has already started construction, from DLF, straight to Connaught Place, and you doubted that there was corruption? So what do these people do with all this money in a place with seemingly nowhere to spend it? Those of you, who have been to Delhi, would surely agree with that statement. However, I doubt you have been to GK I, let alone MG Road, A BMW 320 in Delhi, after taxes costs a monstrous 70k, a Benz S350 220k, and a 360 Moderna/Spyder, minimum 600k, and yes that's pounds. Want to ask the question again, thought not, and not just motors, A Tarun Talani Couture dress, minimum 10k, and how much is that LV handbag, basic monogram canvas, 8 Laks (10k pounds). And you wondered why a country with a population of more than a billion, mostly paying tax was so poor. "There is no chance we could possibly increase government spending, the money has to go towards my Gulfstream don't you know, why do we need a highway from Mumbai to Delhi anyway, they should buy themselves a Gulfstream, it's a lot faster." as said by L.K. Advani. Or even better "This year we are making great progress in order to combat corruption in our government, we have received more than 40% of collected taxes, and we hope to spend more than 10% on the people this year" Prime Minister Atul Bihari Vajpayee. I for one wonder where the 60% went in the first place, let alone the 30% later on. It may perhaps even have crossed the tourist to Delhis' mind there is nowhere to party in this place - except the occasional trip to the cinema or restaurant in a five star hotel, so where all these children of billionaires could be going is indeed a profound ambiguity. No, wait, that is unerringly what the Delhiites want you to believe. Did you go to Olive? - Thought not, Fashion Bistro? - Not even likely you imagined a place named such could even exist there, F Bar? - No again, Capitol? - Possibly you heard of that, China Club? - now I know what you are thinking, you are pulling my leg, that one is just a play on the forever iniquitous China White of London, sorry boss, I guess you just missed out. Take for one, Olive Bar and Kitchen; it is in veracity a Bombay institution, which took the jaunt north, to the real hard (or black) funds. Now let us not give Delhi an undeserving repute as a party city, Bombay is the place, Delhiites go to Bombay to party hard at places like Athena. However, by all stretches of imagination, the Delhi Olive is superlatively better than the Bombay dwelling. That means nothing to you, does it? Olive Bombay is up to Attica standards, there we go, and you got it now. At Olive (Delhi), you are transported to an analogous planet, the India of your dreams. Tucked behind a back lane of the MG Road, white stone facades with grey pebbles await your arrival. With LA style valet parking, and creeping ivy and vines over the Mediterranean reminiscent building. A myriad of striking cars stand before your watering eyes, better than the Geneva motor show, a F50, 3 Vanquishes, 2 Continental GTs, and hundreds of S-Class, Ferrari 360, Maybach and Phantoms seem to form a never ending queue of desire, helicopters on the roof, you know you have arrived. Yet more soft large grey pebbles and, the entrance where hanging vines and creepers tumble over the whitewashed walls and you enter to find a lush oasis that is more The Ivy than India. There is a pebbledash garden with low tables and chairs outside to eat or drink at and a restaurant and sunken bar inside where the rest of the glamour set gather. Every cocktail you can think of is served by smiling green-uniformed barmen 'hello Raj' and the menu is continental and classy. Bouncers aptly dressed, guarding the doors, you hear the bass of Arabic infused techno, a la the Parisian Buddha Bar, and London's Opium. You enter, feeling nothing less like Nobu, but with a somewhat strange crowd, 15-21 year olds make up the majority, which are none other than the notorious political children, with the odd glitterati member here and there, somewhat odd though is the frequentation of Lebanese, Jordanian and Eastern European women, and we can but wonder what their intentions could be. Yet when you see such a crowd, you can be sure that big money is near, not once have I seen St. Tropez, Cannes, Fashion Weeks around the world, London bars, and the like not being laced with its fair share of Eastern European, Lebanese and Jordanian women. Beats go down well until sunrise, with names such as Claude Challe, DJ Makadessi, and Tarunesh regarding Olive (albeit the Bombay branch) as a home for there music, it is not hard to see why. Pun on Delhiites colloquialism not intended, but this is the happening place. ----- Something along those lines guys.
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7/21/04 at 4:01pm