Snapshots of urban life

For something different I though I’d share a few photos of urban India, 2013.

I spent 24 hours passing through Delhi on my way from Orissa to Uttar Pradesh.

Across India trees are both protected and hunted. There is a growing movement to protect trees in urban areas as an anti-pollution measure. Delhi even has a Tree Ambulance that roams around helping trees (supposedly). However, deforestation still occurs across India as land is converted to farmland or used for mining and rural households search for firewood.   At the nice hotel where I stayed in Bhubaneswar I woke early one morning to see a poor woman cutting down one of the branches from a large tree in front of the hotel – she was there at the crack of dawn before the guards arrived.



AC units on a building in Delhi



A common scene – motorcycle parking lot. More and more vehicles “ply the roads” of India- many of them motorcycles.


This Jeremy Scott collection seems utterly out of place at the Delhi Adidas store. The idea of wealthy Indians in India wearing clothes styled after the totem poles build by pacific northwest Native American (“Indian”) cultures (like this and this) is so strange.



View of Connaught Place, Delhi, against the ever-polluted sky.


A relaxing dinner solo in Delhi at Sidewok.


Delhi now boasts a few Starbucks – a the only coffee shop in India I’m aware of where I can add soymilk to my drinks. It was mobbed… but a delightful treat for a vegan in a foreign land – and a very attractive place to rest and work, too.






Yesterday we came to Lucknow for meetings (a 1.5 hour drive from the TERI guest house and office in rural Uttar Pradesh). Here’s a classic view of a cow walking though a very busy urban street. These cows generally survive by eating trash left on the street. I find this to be a ridiculous double standard for a culture that believes the cow to be a very sacred creature.



And finally, a reminder of home – Durham, NC


4 thoughts on “Snapshots of urban life

  1. Love the photos! Tree Ambulance! Some Americans enjoy Indian (East Indian) prints, so I guess India-Indians can be encouraged to purchase prints from another part of the planet.
    Poor city cow! Does it learn to stay on calmer streets? Or trash-filled streets?

  2. awesome pictures! who do these cows belong to? do they have homes or are they poor little ‘stray cows’? I would think cows would be valuable critters!

    i also love the pic of you in starbucks!


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