New York Times on Bucharest
November 20, 2010Posted by on
“Friends visiting from Boston yearned for an urban adventure. Where could they go for a long weekend that hadn’t yet been subjected to the centrifuge of globalization? “Bucharest,” I replied, and they laughed out loud. “Bucharest!? Is there anything to see there? And what about the hotels and the food?” “Trust me,” I told them, and wasn’t surprised when they returned three days later raving about the delicious strangeness of Europe’s sixth largest city (if you don’t count Istanbul and leave out Russia), which is a three-hour flight from most western European capitals.
Oh, and if you want to make friends and get on with the locals, heed the slightly exasperated but well-intentioned advice of a good-natured young waiter at Hanu Berarilor Interbelic: “Please don’t tell us how surprised you are that Bucharest is a nice city. We know that. You’re the ones who think it’s on Mars. Please skip the Dracula jokes — Bram Stoker’s blood-sucker is probably the least interesting thing about Romania. And please bin your old donkey-carts-and-gypsies image of Romania before you come.” All of which is to say that it’s a better idea to wait and riff on this intriguing city’s exhilarating strangeness once you get home.”
Read the whole New York Times article here.