Kolkata – once ‘Calcutta’ – has earned many sobriquets over its lifetime, including ‘The City Of Palaces’ or ‘A Dying City’. The city is definitely not dying. It remains one of the most interesting and vibrant cities of the world. The skyline is rapidly changing beyond recognition. The empty spaces have been taken over by upmarket contemporary high-rise buildings housing residential and offices complexes, shopping malls, hotels, entertainment centres and more. The major thrust of expansion has been to the east of the erstwhile city centre, around the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. The contemporary makeover has also nearly transformed Salt Lake. Now, Salt Lake has become an alternative downtown – self-contained and swanky. The recently constructed ‘Infinity’ building, the spanking new City Centre Mall, and much else is as good and better than elsewhere in the city. There is the Hyatt Regency in the area, an excellent hospital, Suraksha; Sector V is becoming the hub of infotech with leading outfits such as TCS. Add to these the first mall in town, Charnock City, and recreational facilities like Nicco Park and Nalban. Salt Lake has got it all. Kolkata was notorious for its slow pace of life. Things are improving with a number of flyovers having already come up and others on their way fast. Once, the Maidan was a major attraction in the heart of the town with its great expanse of greenery. The maidan was truncated with the construction of the Metro Rail. Now, there are plans to have a ‘city forest’ in the area. There is a drive to make the riverfront much more beautiful. A great attraction is bound to be the Floatel, the first floating star-category hotel in India. It is expected to be functional in 2004.