Posts Tagged ‘walking’

Walk to Ranga Shankara, 091018

October 9, 2018

My walk to Ranga Shankara, in terms of smells.
The ground coffee from the darshini.
The heady aroma of the Akasha Mallige.
Frying onions from an unknown source.
Agarbathi or dhoop fragrance from a nearby window, part of the evening worship. A waft of strong perfume from a lady whizzing by on the back of a scooter. Punctuating all these, and vitiating them, the stench of accumulations of garbage.
My city is a nasal smorgasbord.

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Sounds…

July 26, 2018

My walk home from my daughter’s, in terms of sounds:
the burbling, liquid sound of the Red-whiskered Bulbul and a couple of Tailorbirds, then the harsh cawing of crows.
The rasping of two coconut brooms that a pourakramika uses to clean leaf litter and trash.
The clank of the bucket and mug, that maid wields to wash the front the house.
The echoing call of “soppu!” from a pushcart vendor.
Cars, two-wheelers and the whine of autos as I cross the main road.
Snatches of conversation as I pass people, some of it very intriguing.
The monsoon wind soughing through the branches of a large Gulmohar tree.
The Venkatesha Suprabhatam from the phone of one walker who has apparently not heard of earphones.
The “ha-ha-ha” of the Laughter Club.
The honking horns of impatient motorists rushing to work.
Mukesh’s “chal ri sajni” from an open window.
A program on Ambabai, on Amurthavarshini channel, in my own ears.
My own footsteps as I climb the four floors.
Finally, the key in my front door…

Walk home, 310118

January 31, 2018

My walk home this morning.

Newspapers flying through the air to land in sometimes wet front driveways. Vegetable vendors offloading from autorickshaws. Sunlight slanting in motes of dust, through the branches of trees. The still-lingering nip in the air that makes me–almost– forget that I am still limping, 9 weeks after the knee surgery.

Steaming, tiny cups of chai and kaapi at various corners. Rangolis that are much smaller than they were last month. A little boy reluctant to get off his mother’s two-wheeler, at his school. Beans more tender than a child’s finger, and a cauliflower with a caterpillar smiling up at me…that makes me decide to buy them (no pesticides!) Smiling at several people whom I don’t know but see regularly.

I arrive home, feeling peaceful and happy. Surely, this is a perfect life.

Another surgery..and back home again

November 24, 2017

2 weeks after the surgery that I described

here

the knee injury that I had sustained in Madhya Pradesh (a young man boarding the train to Bangalore in a rush pushed me from behind, and I fell with my knee hitting the corner of a tin trunk, leaving me in excruciating pain) flared up again, and I could not even move a few steps.

I realized that the “settling” of the knee problem with antibiotics in September had not really solved the problem. So I went to the orthopaedic surgeon in Fortis while I was underoing the follow up after the surgery.

This surgeon did not give me any feeling of confidence, so I went back to Dr Ananda Murthy, the orthopaedic surgeon I had consulted in September.

I went only with the idea of having physiotherapy to clear the inflammation, but I soon had to change my mind. Dr Ananda Murthy clearly explained that I had a meniscus tear in my knee, and there was some other growth that he could see. I also mentioned the

Plica syndrome

the Dr J V Srinivas, the orthopaedic surgeon at Fortis Hospital, had found, and he said he would take care of that, too. He explained the process of

arthroscopy

clearly to me.

The decision made, I felt there was no point in delaying, and suffering. Friends took me to Shanthi Hospital which he asked me to go to, and was admitted. At noon, the arthroscopy was carried out, and I was discharged the next day (23rd November). The bill, by the way, was half was what Fortis would have charged! The hospital was small, pleasant, and quiet. Very clean, and a lovely private room with a view of a mango and a jamun tree! Good nursing staff, and good food (at reasonable rates for visitors,too).

With some amount of pain, Anjana took me to her home, but I found my knee progressing really well as the day wore on, and late that night, she drove me back home. I put some of the stuff away, let the others lie, and zonked out at 11pm…waking up only at 7.45am today (24th Nov) instead of getting up early and crossing the road to Dr Ananda Murthy’s clinic and being the first patient when the clinic opened at 7.30am!

I managed to cross the dangerous Bannerghatta Road and went to the clinic, where the doctor saw me and pronounced me fit to carry on normally. Both he and the physiotherapists at Shanthi Hospital and the clinic made the same statement:

“At your age, we usually have to tell people to walk more, and take the stairs, but we have to give you the reverse advice. At the outset, don’t walk more than 2 km per day, and be a little careful. After that, you are fine. We are impressed with your level of fitness..it’s closer to a 40-year-old.” That’s the kind of compliment that is very reassuring!

I underwent some physiotherapy, made the dangerous crossing (the road!) back home, and the compressive bandage having been removed, I felt such a sense of relief.

I had the hot-water bucket-bath of a lifetime,cleaning away all the plaster and bandage gums (oh how affectionately they cling!), tender massaging of the various stitches. This was followed by a self-pampering full-body moisturizing-cum-massage (done by me!)

I look at my body. Perfection in looks? No! So many bulges and bumps. So many places where the call of gravity is being heeded. So much efficient storage of fat. It doesn’t look anything like Miss World’s. But there is one great thing about it…it’s alive, it has carried me through 63 years of healthy life.

It has bounced back–fast– from so much that has been thrown at it, and it houses me in great comfort still.To me, this body is perfect. I will pamper it with a good lunch and a siesta now….or should I walk 2km to my daughter’s home and be with the grandchildren?

3rd Sunday outing, Turhalli, 180617

June 21, 2017

It was still rather cloudy and overcast as several of us met at Vajrahalli Gate, on our way to the Turahalli Forest Trail, where a few more nature lovers from the nearby areas also joined us.

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It was heartening to see that several children had joined the walk too! Keerthana had brought her friends Anvitha, Krishna, and Sahana; Subrahamanya C N and his wife Neha had brought their son Shreyamsh along. Many of the children kept meticulous notes in their notebooks.

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Ulhas introduced himself and talked a bit about the Turahalli forest, its earlier range and present confines. Prasad, too, joined us, and shared his knowledge with us.

As we slowly walked up the trail, Deepak decided that rather than go uphill, we would take the path skirting the base of the hill.

Ulhas and Deepak (centre left, and right)

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The usual gang of suspects, as we like to call the birds that one expects at a birding spot, turned up one by one…White-cheeked and Coppersmith Barbets, the Green Bee-eaters flying around as they hawked insects in the air, those who were more experienced pointed out the birds to those who were coming on an outing, or seeing the birds, for the first time.

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Nor were birds the only creatures of interest. Several of us were interested in the plants and trees that we passed; Ajit, Subbu and I looked at the tiny, beautiful flowers of what Arun Kumar N later told us, was the Byttneria herbacea, or Herbal Byttneria.

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Some species of Clerodendrum,

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little blue Evolvulus flowers at our feet,

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Spider lilies

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the children (and some of us adults too!) having fun watching the Touch-Me-Not (Mimosa pudica) close up its leaves when we touched it….all these added to the walk. On the trees, the summer flowers were slowly giving way to the monsoon greenery, but here and there, the Jacaranda still held on to its purple blooms. Tiny wild jasmine flowers starred the path and added the magic of scent to the sights and sounds.

The sounds, too, were plenty. Ashy Prinias and Tailorbirds “marked attendance”. The sight of a peacock with a full “tail of a thousand eyes”, in the branches of a Peepal tree,

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held us riveted at the beginning, and we kept hearing them throughout. The songs of Oriental Magpie Robins floated liquidly through the air, and we heard the harsher call of the Shikras even before sighting one.

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All around us, the butterflies dotted the air as they flitted about, and a fair amount of the walk was spent observing these winged beauties.

Crimson Tip

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Common Gull

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Zebra Blue

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Cotton Stainer Bugs

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Spider, Turahalli, 180617 Plexippus paykulli, Salticidae spider

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Finding some caterpillars,

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a large Cicada, and other insects, also kept our interest from flagging.

This Yellow Pansy was caught in a spiderweb, and the eternal dilemma…should we intervene or not? solved itself as the butterfly suddenly freed itself and fluttered away.

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The heavy, moisture-bearing clouds slowly gave way to the fleecy cotton-puffs (insert scientific names like Nimbus and Cumulus here!) that heralded bluer skies and bright patches of sunshine. Several walkers and cyclists shared our path.

Subbu and Nandini, who live in Turahalli Forest View, informed me that the Indian Rock Eagle Owl can still be seen regularly in this patch. We were not able to see too many raptors, though, probably because of the cloudy weather; we were content to see Brahmin and Black Kites, and an Oriental Honey Buzzard.

It is one of the marks of an interesting walk that even after many of us returned to our starting point, we were still observing and enjoying ourselves, and rather reluctantly pulled ourselves away

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to go off to a late breakfast at Adayar Ananda Bhavan (A2B)!

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Birds:

The eBird list, compiled by J N Prasad, is

here

Birders (as far as I can remember)

Adnan Raja,Ajit Ampalakkad, Amit C Javgal, Anil Bhatta,Anirudh
Bhatta, Anvitha, JN Chandrashekar,Deepa Mohan,Deepak Jois, Harish
Chandra, Janhvi Vyas, Lata, Keerthana ,Krishna,Lata, Nandini, Neha,
Padma Ramaswamy, Prashanth M Badrinath, Raji Hari, GS Ramaswamy, Rupa
Rao, Sahana, Sarrah , little Shreyamsh, Reshamwala,Sathyan, TS
Srinivasa, Sriram Prabhakar, Subramaniam Kumar, Subrahmanya C N,
Tamanna, Tara Jayarao from Hyderabad,Tarachand Wanvari. Uday
Kumar,Ulhas Anand, Vijay Krishnan. If I’ve left out anyone…put it
down to my famous memory (or lack of it) and forgive me!

Butterflies:

Baronet
Blues, Various
Blue, Tiny Grass
Blue, Zebra
Brown, Common Evening
Castor, Common
Cerulean, Common
Coster, Tawny
Crimson Tip
Crow, Common
Cupid, Plains
Emigrant, Common
Emigrant, Mottled
Gull, Common
Jezebel, Common
Leopard, Common
Mormon, Common
Orange Tip, White
Orange Tip, Yellow
Pansy, Lemon
Pansy, Yellow
Pioneer
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger,Dark Blue
Yellow, Common Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass

I have put up my photos on an FB album

here

Let me leave you with my “shadow selfie”…

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Morning walk back home, 050417

April 5, 2017

This morning’s walk back home:
Women dotting freshly-washed front yards with rangoli in the making.
The carpets of Honge, Copper Pod, and mahogany flowers on the roads.
The smell of onion cooking as a lady makes morning palya at a mobile cart.
Walkers with their morning filter kaapi, exchanging notes and spreading newspapers.
Sunlight filtering through the trees, haloing the head of an old man as he walks with difficulty but determination.
No school buses or sleepy-faced students.
Milk packets and newspapers on mopeds,being distributed.
A young girl stopping for a minute in front of a small shrine, her eyes closed over her hands folded in prayer.
Cut watermelons making red stars.
I reach my home, content, looking up at our resident bulbuls as their burbling song pours liquidly over the lawn.

The heights a job can take people to…..Gurgaon, 111214

December 11, 2014

I went for a walk today, and was awed by the size of the highrise buildings all around me in Gurgaon, Haryana…now a suburb of Delhi, the capital.

As I climbed back to my sister-in-law’s 19th floor flat (boast, boast…I can do 19 floors after an hour’s walk!), it suddenly occurred to me, as I crossed the 7th floor, that I could take a pic of the view from each floor and make it into a movie. So here’the 7th to the 19th floors:

I saw a few garbage collectors doing their jobs on each floor; I didn’t photograph them out of sensitivity…I don’t think they would have liked it.

While on my walk, I saw this incredibly tall fire-fighting crane:

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It belonged to the DLF Firefighting Service (apparently each Phase of this residential complex has one, this is Phase Five)

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I imagined a firefighter, high up on that small platform on top, going to the rescue of residents in apartment buildings, quite high up.

Then, I found something that I didn’t have to imagine. A speck on the building opposite me caught my eye.

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Can you see the window-cleaner?

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I zoomed in:

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Dangling by that rope (though it seemed a safe piece of equipment, it certainly gave me vertigo), he was busy with his work:

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I walked home, musing that those in “high places” in the pursuit of their jobs or careers need not always be the object of our envy. I salute people like this, who take up “high-level” jobs where they live with danger every working day, and take it in their stride.

Forest Park Forever/St.Louis Audubon Society, Bird Walk, 041014

October 8, 2014

It was a nice chill morning as I set out early to Forest Park.

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The rising sun lit up the grasses:

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A pair of
WOOD DUCKS

were my first sighting:

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A
MALLARD

couple also appeared:

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The Mallard male is a bird of colour!

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The beauty of Forest Park never fails to enthral me.

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I enjoyed the perky

HOUSE SPARROWS

while waiting for the walk to start.

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Mark was leading the walk, and we set off.

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It was great to see a female

KESTREL:

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Scopes and cameras were trained on the raptor.

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Notice that fall apparel is being worn!

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Three

MOURNING DOVES

made a nice composition:

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I liked these flowers, too!

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This ground-cover plant (I’d like to know the name) makes for a carpet of tiny pink flowers:

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We gathered on the bank of the creek as we watched a

BELTED KINGFISHER:

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An

EASTERN PHOEBE

delighted us in the Prairie area:

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Mitch Leachman ,

as always, was a fount of information about the birds.

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He told us how watching even the everyday, backyard birds, and learning about their behaviour, would be very satisfying; something I agree with, heartily!

We spotted two

GREBES

in the water.

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When a bird sat high up on a tree, giving the Deepa Mohan pose, it took a while for me to realize it was the

AMERICAN ROBIN:

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We had such a lovely time that the walk extended quite a bit!

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A migrating

MONARCH

alighted on my sleeve, and I realized, looking at its damaged wing, that it would not make the full journey…

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I think this was a

SAVANNAH SPARROW

but I am not sure:

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We saw the Kestrel again, eating a quick breakfast:

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We also sighted a mating ritual:

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Here’s Mitch, in front of the Muny, sharing his knowledge:

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We wound up looking at the

RED-EARED SLIDERS:

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I bid good-bye to yet another Monarch as I set off home:

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click here

for the bird list on eBird.

All the photos from my FB album are

here

A very enjoyable morning, thanks to the efforts of Mark for FPF, and Mitch for SLAB!

A walk and a climb in Highrisegaon, 260314

March 26, 2014

Yesterday I was far too knocked out by the migraine, but this morning, I did wake up in time to leave for my walk by 5.45 am. It was the lovely “ushat kAlam” ..the pre-dawn darkness slowly glowing into ambient light.

I went down the stairs…and it was dark enough that after a few floors, I had to go back to the lift and take that down to the ground floor. Out I walked, and with the tall buildings looming on every side, I walked along, being careful to get my various co-ordinates so that I would be able to find my way back through the Redwood Sequioas of Gurgaon.

Several things caught my eye. One thinks, perhaps, that each building is a compact “village”…but that is not so…most people living in the apartments are strangers to each other…they just share the cocoon, and the sense of camaraderie is pretty fragile. After I got no response to my third or fourth “good morning”, I stopped wishing anyone.

I went out of the apartment building I was staying in, and walked out to the “downmarket” area that I could see from the 19th floor balcony…from which the maid, who works in the apartment, comes. The area is divided by a “nullah” (sewage canal), with all sorts of filth in it, in which several huge-looking pigs (some actually having back-bristles like boars) were rooting around. What a difference between economic strata, separated by a road and a ditch! And yet, the residents of the building depend deeply on the denizens of this “pocket sector” (as one of Anjana’s banker friends in this area described it) meant for the “EWS” (Economically Weaker Sections). The drivers, the maids, the “ironwallahs”, the many domestic and menial services provided to the residents…they come from these “pockets”.

I noticed the early morning services in operation. Milk, in plastic sachets that were stacked in hard plastic crates, was being unstacked after being unloaded from the vans, and being delivered. Newspaper vendors sat in groups, with the day’s several papers in front of them, folding deftly, and inserting the various leaflets that make them a few extra rupees every morning, as well as the supplements of each newspaper. Maids and servants were walking to work, some with a shawl over their torsos, against the early morning’s slight nip. I was cheered to see some maids (yes) on cycles. In fact, at one place, I found several cycles, and the security told me that I could borrow a cycle if I wished, and return it after going around. That made me very happy!

I came back from the open road, and decided to walk along the buildings themselves. Between the high-rises were some even more opulent “low rises”…in this region of high real estate values, to have a bungalow or a low-rise building with just two or three floors must mean sky-high cost!

The spaces between the buildings were plentifully planted with trees and plants…and I was happy to see that not all of them were stunted and pruned to human domination…there were quite a few trees that supported a lot of squirrels, and birds…and as the sun rose, butterflies flitted along, too, as (did dragonflies. There were assigned walking paths, but I could walk along the entrances of the various grand apartments, and look up at the incredible variety of the architecture…some of which was pleasing to the eye, and some of which was…otherwise (“Neo-Gurgainyya”sums it up best for me.) The anonmyity of living in such apartments is, I suppose, both a comfort and a discomfort sometimes…but the greenery helps one in adjusting to this kind of city life.

I watched Bulbuls, Sunbirds, Pigeons and Wagtails; in the ditch, Lapwings looked incuriously at me; I saw a few Flowerpeckers in the Bottle-Brush trees, and did my chanting (108 names of Anjaneya, kanakadhArA stOtram, and some more slOkA), meditated in peace, watched some ladies doing yoga…by this time nearly two hours had elapsed.

The weather was just warming up by now, but I climbed the 19 floors to the terrace with ease, and was only slightly huffy and puffy when I reached the front door. I was happy with my morning walk, climb, observations and thoughts…

I walked into the apartment to greet everyone, especially the two children who are now the center of my universe. They ran to me and hugged me; the younger one showed his two teeth in a happy grin; the elder had some anecdote to relate….I was back in my present world..and I left behind the world of Gurgaon, the High-rise Village.

Buildings, heritage, neighbourhoods, and thoughts

June 12, 2013

I take the same route on my walk every day, and the variations I make are now very limited, because time is a constraint (today KTB started yowling well before I got back, and ruined her parents’ sleep.) But I feel that every day’s walk is different..I see different things, or see the same things differently.

The

Pulaski Bank in De Baliviere”> Pulaski Bank

is a beautiful, heritage building…I once went to a talk on heritage buildings in the area, and this building and its features took quite five minutes in the talk! This time, I was walking on the other side of the road, and in the windows of the Da Vita Dialysis building, I found Pulaski Bank again:

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Here

is a guide to the De Baliviere/Skinker/Lindell Blvd. areas. (I’ve walked past each and every one of the buildings, and even that lane, in these photographs. Until I read this, I didn’t realize just how much walking I’ve done in these neighbourhoods! And the photo of the student housing, after the words, “Some of the nicest in apartment buildings in the city” is actually the building where DnA lived for a while!)

I mused on the people inside both buildings, as I walked. Two buildings with one major aim in common…to serve people, to ease their lives, and make money while doing it. One lets them manage their money, another lets them manage the very difficult (and without treatment, fatal) condition of kidney failure. That led me to the thought…what happens if, after your kidney fails, your bank also fails? Where will you get the money from, to pay for dialysis, once, twice, or thrice a week?

Buildings…are made to house people, but they often seem to take on personalities of their own, especially with age, and loom large over the people who are using them. Sometimes, of course, the lack of people to use them causes their decay…and they are rescued with efforts at rehab…

here is a report

about the Sun building, which I photographed on my walk in the downtown area, while DnA watched the Circus with KTB. The building is in bad shape, but still beautiful:

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Here’a detail from the building:

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However, a thought that strikes me is that a building, by definition, is a structure that excludes some people, while giving access to others. Staff at the Pulaski Bank would certainly not be happy with a tourist, interested in heritage buildings, taking up their time; people working at Da Vita Dialysis would prefer that I have business concerning them. Each building, then, has a purpose, and is meant to keep out those who do not have the same or allied purposes. I must muse more on this concept of the inclusivity and exclusivity of a building….right now, my thoughts are rather amorphous.