Architecture

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Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila) – Lahore, Pakistan

The next stop on my historic architectural tour in Pakistan was Lahore Fort (also known as Shahi Qila) which is situated right across Badshahi Mosque.  This fort has been inhabited from a thousand years and was reconstructed many times over the years by various empires and rulers. What we see today is the design that was built during Emperor Akbar’s time in 1575. It was built to guard the northwest frontier of the empire. Overtime, however, with different reigns came different additions and modifications to the palaces, lush gardens, meeting places etc. The fort is a mix of different styles that each emperor of the time preferred. There are European, Hindu and Persian influences throughout the designs. One famous structure, Sheesh Mahal was Emperor Shah Jehan’s contribution. This along with the Diwan-e-Khas are my favorite pieces here.  The Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) is a marble pavilion. Basically, this place…

Tomb of Jahangir – Lahore, Pakistan

So basically, my trips to Pakistan consist of spending time with my family and eating amazing food. Since we go after many years and for short periods of time it’s hard to do too much sightseeing. However, we did manage to squeeze one day for it, in the city of Lahore. When our driver picked us up, he assumed we wanted to go to all the biggest shopping centers in the city. When we told him we weren’t interested in shopping and instead wanted to see some historic sites, he was shocked. I think mainly because that is what a lot of people like to do when they go to Pakistan, things are a bit cheaper. We saw four sites in one day (with 2 kids under the age of 4)! My family and I have a knack of squeezing too many things in one day! lol Our first stop…

Washington D.C. Architecture – National Cathedral

I hope everyone who celebrates, had a lovely Christmas! May you’re lives always be filled with love, happiness, laughter and delicious food! 🙂 Today, I am going to be sharing photos of a new place I saw during my visit to Washington D.C., the Washington National Cathedral. As an admirer of architecture, my friend suggested we check it out.  This Gothic style cathedral was finished in 1990 and is the 2nd largest in the US and the 6th largest in the whole world! It really was massive and we could see it from really far away which makes sense because the top of its tower is the highest point in D.C. It’s located on top of Mount Saint Albans in Northwest Washington. Once we got to the area, we saw Olmsted Woods and noticed a pathway to through it called the “Pilgrim Way” and decided to take that up to the Cathedral.…

Exploring US Cities – Grand Rapids, Michigan

Do you know what’s great about having lived in multiple places? The fact that I’ve made a lot of friends who are now themselves living in different places, giving me a chance to visit them. Which means I also get to check out new places I’ve never been. About a month ago, I had the opportunity to visit such a friend who lived next door to me for a while when I was growing up in Maryland. She recently moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now, I’ve been to Michigan before (and visited Ann Arbor, Detroit and Dearborn) but this was the first time in Grand Rapids for me so it was exciting! Grand Rapids is about a 3 hour drive from Chicago so it ended up being a mini road trip which was fine because I had two other awesome friends with me. So we began this journey at 9am and got there…

Open House Chicago 2016 Series – Part 4

This is my last post about Open House Chicago which I attended a few weekends ago. If you’ve been following along, you know that this one is going to be about the home and studio of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I was the most excited about visiting this space because I studied a little bit about him in my interior design classes. He was a modern architect who wanted to steer away from European style architecture and build a distinct style for America. This style was known as the Prairie style. His home and studio in Oak Park is considered to be his first architectural masterpiece. This style emphasized homes with low, pitched roofs and long rows of casement windows which were made with local materials. The wood was always unstained and unpainted to focus attention on natural beauty. Unfortunately, on this tour, we were not allowed to take photographs of the inside but I did manage to take…

Open House Chicago 2016 Series – Part 1

Last weekend there was something called the Open House Chicago which I participated in and it was AMAZING! Basically what it is, is that the city of Chicago opens some beautiful architectural land marks to the public for FREE! Everything about this event was screaming my name. Although I’m not a practicing interior designer, I’ve always had a love for beautiful architecture and well designed spaces. Chicago has so much architectural history that I could not pass up this opportunity. While studying interior design in school, one of the big names that came up often was Frank Lloyd Wright who is from Chicago! His home and studio was on this list of places to see too! He essentially is the one who started the Prairie Style Architecture which is the style of the houses in Oak Park, the area that I chose to visit. In this post I will show you…

An Evening in Annapolis, MD

Another city I had the opportunity to visit this summer was Annapolis which is the capital of the state of Maryland. I lived in Silver Spring, MD for 9 years and I never made it out here before! So I decided it was about time that I went since I visit my siblings in the east coast all the time anyway. It is such a cute town and fun to walk around in. Our goal was to go inside the State House first thing but we didn’t make it in time to do that which is okay because I can always go back another time (hopefully). This building is actually the oldest state capitol that’s been in continuous use dating back to 1772! How cool is that?! We walked around this area and then wandered off to Main St. which was pretty lively at the time (even though it may…

Dearborn, Michigan

Our final stop on this reunion weekend was Dearborn. My friend had been talking about an amazing place to get kababs from and it only seem fit that we go! So this place is located in a butcher shop. It’s called Dearborn Meat Market. Basically, they sell meat in the front and then in the back there is a small room in which they BBQ kababs! So you know you’re getting fresh ingredients! Being amateurs, we ordered like 2 or 3 orders. But apparently that’s not enough, even for three people. I don’t remember how many orders we got, but here is a picture of all the kababs! And of course, there is also hummus and tabouleh! Yea…it was pretty great. And even though we left feeling satisfied, we couldn’t leave Michigan without having custard because apparently it’s a thing there. And so, we went to The Custard Hut. Okay,…

Madinat Jumeirah – Dubai, UAE

Imagine being able to stay in a place that takes you back to ancient times. The hotel, Madinat Jumeriah does exactly that. It’s designed to make you feel like you are in a traditional Arabian town and I absolutely loved it! I came here solely to check it out as I did with so many other hotels during my UAE travels and I think this ended up being my favorite one. You will know why as you continue to look through the pictures! We walked in from the entrance and through the hotel to the back. (I don’t even know if it was the back or not because it has so many different areas.) Regardless, we came to the part with the canals which have boats that take you on a tour of the hotel. You even have a good view of the Burj Al Arab from here! Honestly, I don’t even…

Atlantis Hotel – Dubai, UAE

A lot of you have probably heard of the Atlantis Hotel. It’s pretty famous and I had the opportunity to stay in the one in Dubai (there is one in the Bahamas as well). This one is situated on the iconic Palm Jumeira Island in the middle of the Persian Gulf. It has incredible views of the Dubai skyline and the gulf. Also, I just want to point out that the service and hospitality here was so good! When we were checking in, we hadn’t paid for the skyline view room, but they gave it to us anyway! Here is our room: There was a wooden sliding door that opened up to the bathtub in the bathroom. There was also a balcony with amazing views which we sat on every morning to have breakfast! Now for some more hotel pictures! This sculpture is located in the lobby and is made from hand blown…

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