Friday, May 28, 2010

Monkey Face

Lady Gaga has got Poker Face well I got Monkey Face. The Other day I went back to Elephanta Island with my two American friends Andrew and Nick They have both Left Mumbai now, but we had a good time while they were here. There is no Denny's or Greek diners here for breakfast so we went to the local veg restaurant In Coloba. I love the orange chairs so retro without trying to be we. Andrew in one of his half trance half goof states.

Stopped by Crawford market Nick wanted to buy some spices, but after the prices they gave us he decided he could get it cheaper in NYC. Crawford market is full of Mangoes I think it the Mango transportation center of Mumbai. I freaked out when I saw puppies in cage until I realized that it was also the pet market, and they were not being sold DUH! Wrong Country Gabi! Not anything like Petco or Petsmart, sad conditions really. The kitty was panting!

Nicky and His pet goat, Yeah Holly he bought it and he's taking it home! LOL just kidding we had it for dinner actually.

The only photo I have of me so far is in the reflection of the pet store window, I really need to get some pics of me to prove I was here.

Tons of mangoes and fruit so beautifully laid out, the colors were stunning.

On the boat to Elephanta and as always the people are so photogenic and if I smile at them they don't mind me making pictures, Its the Bollywood thing!

When we got to Elephanta we just strolled around kinda like the cows there, this guy I thought was going after me but he was just trying to get up a step and I happened to be in his way. This is his backend!

But the real star of this post is Monkey face!! I don't know what he has on his lips but he cracked me up and he was quite a photogenic monkey some monkeys aren't so photogenic so when I find one I go snap crazy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Malabar Hill

Yesterday I went for a wander around a area of Mumbai I hadn't been to before Its called Malabar Hill, its full of pretty old colonial architecture and a few temples, skyscrapers with ocean views that have to look over the slums first. I got dropped of at The Jain temple, Jainism is an ancient religion of India that follows a path of non-violence towards all living beings.

I don't know much about Jains but I wondered in and took of my shoes like the sign said, I should of read the rest of the sign before I entered as well OOPS! It was very pretty and open unfortunately to dark to get very many pictures and since it was a working temple and people were praying I am not one to shove my camera in their faces I restrained myself.

In the entrance there was this gorgeously ornate silver plated carriage.

And Since Elephants are trendy right now I thought he was kinda cute.

As I was putting my shoes on I started to read the rest of the sign, and the one that really stood out was, WOMEN WHO HAVE THEIR MONTHLY PERIOD WILL NOT ENTER THE TEMPLE, Yikes I hope I didn't sully the place. And how would anybody know really??

I walked around a bit really just getting lost in the neighborhood. I did go through this arch but I was told I wasn't allowed in there another OOPS!

So I was desperately looking for a way to get to the sea front when I met this boy and his mother, I was trying to take a photo of the temple spire with the satellite dish sticking off of it when this little boy climbed a railing and got in my picture.

His Mother and I got to talking and she inquired about my chin that was bandaged up, since my fall in the bathroom the other night. She asked me if my husband did it to me? Hmm is that a normal question.

After wards I turned a corner and I found this incredible pool, gosh what I wouldn't have given to jump right in it.

Boys at play I was really envious that they got swim in the pool what a cool thing to have in you neighborhood, But as with ALL things in India nothing is clean.

This neighborhood of new towering private entrance apartment blocks built alongside the slums makes me think of a forest with trees and after the rains a plethora of all kinds of fungi. I found the local laundromat the laundry hanging out to dry with the filth of the street just under it. As I walked around I encountered the mobile water tanker and all the women were lined up for fresh water with their buckets. Indians are unbelievably friendly and egocentric people they love to have there photos taken and its usually upon their suggestions before I start clicking away.

And then I encountered the barber shop I got this fist picture shot before I was noticed and then the Barber got very animated and well just in true form of Bollywood posed for me.

My first sighting of a bird in captivity! I wonder what he thinks of the heat?

And after all this wondering around I found a little road side place where I ordered some samosas and a lassi.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Horniman Park

Horniman Park Yep that's what its called and its pronounced that way too. A park located in south Mumbai in the Fort Neighborhood. It's close to the India stock exchange. What can I say when I found out there was a park called Horniman I had to go investigate. So first I had to pass by the exchange it was quite nice they dont allow cars in front of it. I couldn't figure out why I felt different until I realized no HORNS!!

I entered the park and it was green and lush for Mumbai standards and guess what it was full of LOL!!!! Yep a lot of men. Not much of a park but I guess a place with a bit of shade to get away from the Mumbai scorching sun.

But it is called Horniman park in honor of this guy so it wasn't just a piss take on the name. He even got a plaque.

And here is more men taken shade.... Hmm I don't see Dr. Bombay in there,( Dr. Bombay future posts)

So after that I wandered the lanes of Fort, and slowly made my way back to Colaba this is a view of the Famous rat infested Regal Theater and right across the street the next building you see is my hotel. Behind the tower you see is the Taj Tower part of the Taj Hotel which was attacked in 08.

A close up shot of the Hotel Shabana my home in Mumbai, I put a G on my room so you can see where I am staying. Probably not a good idea for stalkers but I don't have any at the moment.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chor Bazaar

The Chor bazaar in Mumbai is packed full of little shops selling anything and everything, it translates to thieves market. It is called that because during Queen Victoria of England's visit to India, it is said that her violin was stolen off the ship and it was found in the bazaar, so hence the name Thieves market.

I love to wander around there getting dusty looking at all the little odd and ends there. And then when I do find something of interest the haggling starts. You can find old ship parts ,vintage cameras, weird bits. I found a tigers tooth and hippo horn but I wont buy either one on principal. There is plenty of reproduction crap to buy as well you just have to know if its really vintage/antique. I found a really cool stone inlayed skull mug, it caught my eye, but when I smelled and looked at the inside I knew it wasn't old, even when the boy tried to persuade me that it was, I laughed and another guy said no its not old. I bought my Whistles at Chor bazaar and also some of the vintage wood blocks

However the most incredible find so far has been this beautiful old Plymouth with the most retro teal paint job. She isn't pristine, she looks like she has been around the block a bit, but I bet she would be fun to drive around India. Just as long as the cows stayed clear. I'm calling her Christine.

I have seen lots of old musical instruments Tuba any one??

And the old Photography equipment is impressive.

Really if its old its here.

And of course You have to have mangoes and guys with colorful beards.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Brass Whistle That Made Me Turn Red

They are pretty vintage a few are stamped 1960's, when I found them I instantly thought how cool since I am all about recycling history into my designs. So that in turn led me on the Leather cord chase remember my previous post. Well I never found the leather, but I went back to the bazaar the other day and found some vintage Afghan necklace's that I thought would look ideal with the brass whistle's.

So I made them up and then I had to take pictures as you do before you can list a new product for sale. I was raking my brain as how to show that these could also be unisex. In the Hotel Shabana , there is a fellow American staying here. He is a nice young boy from PA. and I thought well heck I will ask him to model for me in the lobby, he didn't mind and I took the snaps.

Later I also took some up close images, but I was up in the air with which image should be my first picture for my items.

So I posted both a pic of the up close shot and a pic of the body shot. The girls on the Artfire forums got a giggle out of the sexy pics and usual banter started. Girls will be girls after all. But then when a dear friend of mine from Artfire Holly of RoyalMetals posted in the thread I dropped my jaw. this is what Holly posted.

OMGGGGGGGGGGGG That boy is 19 years old, lives in Pa., is traveling around India and some other countries, his mother will be there in a week or so to visit him. I know because HE IS MY NEPHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can not believe this!!!!!

So needless to say I was embarrassed for taking pictures of her nephew like that but the whole family got a kick out of it, and so did Nick. I hope to meet his mother when she arrives next week. Holly asked me to look out for him as well and is happy to know that, he isn't completely alone in Mumbai.

What a small world it is, I am still shaking my head in disbelief.

The close up shot

The shot that started the banter

And the shot that I posted to show them he was just a boy and the one that his Aunt Holly recognized him in.

And today I took a few more shots to show off the whistles as hipster and unisex. This is one of the room wallahs Rakesh. I really like the 70's look that's happening.

And of course if you want to buy any of these very cool vintage brass whistles you can find them at my Artfire studio.

Friday, May 14, 2010

More beads and odds and ends

Ok like I said these pics are not the best they are taken while in a store so I try to get them good enough. But let me know what interests you at my Artfire studio I can get you prices and source what you want.


Vintqage Conducters badges

British RaJ Buttons

silver beads

silver and stone mosaic beads

Tigers Tooth and Hippo horn

more old bells

Ok like I said these pics are not the best they are taken while in a store so I try to get them good enough. But let me know what interests you at my Artfire studio