aesthetic sensibility, banyan tree, Beach Luxury Hotel, biryani, Bohri Bazaar, bouncing castle, cobbled space, consumer convenience, face-painting stalls, Ferozabad thaana, fine dining, Food Street, Food Street of Karachi, gazebo, Ghaffar Kabab House, gola ganda, gola kababs, green belts, Gulf Market, gustatory exotica, hara masala tikkas, Karachi, Karachi real estate, Karachi specialties, Karachiites, KPT flyover, live jazz band, mehndi, Mr Burger, Napier Bridge, Pakistani standards, Pakistani staples, palmist, Paposh Nagar, Port Grand, positive reviews, private parties, Ramazan, reshmi kababs, sculpted figures, seafood restaurant, Soha Ahmed, strictly pedestrian area, sushi bar, tree-lined avenues, valets
Just this once, ‘grand’ doesn’t seem like overkill. As in most sprawling cities, every square foot of Karachi’s real estate has been the site of fierce contestation. The first casualty of these daily battles was aesthetic sensibility; the second, consumer convenience. The city reconciled itself to having bazaars look and feel like Bohri Bazaar, Paposh Nagar and Gulf Market. And along came Port Grand.
The big surprise is the scale of the project, which extends from behind the Beach Luxury Hotel to Napier Bridge, with plans to utilise the space under the KPT flyover. But most Karachiites will be left gobsmacked by how this space has been used. The gates open to a huge expanse of cobbled space with tree-lined avenues and green belts – which appear even larger since it’s a strictly pedestrian area (cars are whisked away by valets at the entrance). And, given the number of benches and cosy nooks in and around the gorgeous gazebo supported by sculpted figures, loitering is encouraged here.