Is it true, does Belgrade rock?

I have always said so, but now Seth Sherwood, writing in the Newspaper of Record, shows people how to find the answer for themselves. The prize quotation comes from Anton:

On stage, the Partibrejkers tear through a succession of Stooges-meets-Kiss anthems while the throng pumps its fists and yells "Oh, Yeah!" Having endured more than two decades of the vicissitudes of their homeland - the post-Tito comedown, the wars of the 1990's, the economic and political uncertainty under the new leaders - the Partibrejkers are perhaps one more inspiring symbol of Belgraders' endurance. "When you have a strong link to the source of life," the group's guitarist, Nebojsa Antonijevic, said before the show, referring to his passion for music, "the outer situation can't deter you."
I think this is the first big travel feature on the town that NYT has done in my memory. Too bad he gives away the locations of my favorite restaurants.

Update: La Lara isn't sure whether it matters what rocks or not.


coturnix said...

Ah, nostalgija!

Anonymous said...

Finding Ben Akiba marked my transition from novice to journeyman Belgrade crawler, so I'm impressed that this reporter managed it. I'd also agree with his recommendations WRT Dom Omladine, Idiot and Anderground.

Eric, is Zaplet one of your favorite restaurants? I always found it overpriced and full of creepy gangster types.

But anyway: first Serbia gets "World Bank's Most Improved for 2004", and now this. One could almost feel a dim, hesitant flicker of hope.

Doug M.

Eric Gordy said...

I find every place that isnt a cevabzinica full of creepy ganster types! But I do like Zaplet, it's run by the crew that used to run Hajduk, and it's just around the corner from us. The best street food used to be the Nislija grill stand by Palilulska pijaca, but I don't seem to do as much niski cevap wrapped in paper at 3 AM as I did in my younger days.

DarkoV said...

Is this article the "official" dispensation given to S&M that they've been accepted back into the human fold? The length of the article (with the always when-writing-of -the ex-Yugoslavia-components Rebecca West mention) was pretty impressive, each succesive paragraph adding a lighter shade to the darkness that was Beograd.

Eric Gordy said...

Darko, I think it is! Check out the captions on the photos in NYT's slide show for further confirmation. But then you know there's always light in the darkness and darkness in the light. Which doesn't keep me from whacking my toe into the table leg when I get up to go the bathroom at night.

Anonymous said...

darkov, if you need the new york times to welcome anyone back into the human fold, you've already thrown yourself at their feet and accepted rebecca west as master guide.

a more critical stance might make you aware that the new york times is not that different from politika nowdays: a fashionable newspaper that seems cool only by comparison to the radikal right-wing rantings elsewhere.

but that shouldn't deter you from calling it like it is: nyt is generally crap. and this article isn't an exception.

Eric Gordy said...

I don't know, but I think if somebody is going to characterize something by calling it a name, they should post under their name.

Anonymous said...

I don't know either, but asking people to post their names also seems a bit strange.

Eric Gordy said...

Maybe it is. You probably know that the Blogger software lets people decide whether to allow anonymous comments or not. There are some sites that even require registration (at least under a pseudonym). I've kept it open, partly because I want this to be an open space for dialogue and partly because I know that a lot of the readers here are people who use dialup connections with an hourly charge. There have been a couple of moments when I have thought about changing this, either because I thought people were abusing it to send insults (this has not happened often enough for me to care) or out of a principled idea that dialogue is better when everyone knows who the participants are (usually my moralism and vagueness pass pretty quickly). The only thing I have done is brought in the annoying gibberish verification, to stop automatically generated advertising messages. But I would at least ask people to take the time to come up with a clever argument rather than just dismissing something as "crap." Although it did help me to find this new (to me) information about the person to whom the generation of the word is usually traced:


La Lara said...

Somebody might want to check this text too: http://www.newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/travel/columns/travel/11652/index.html

Eric Gordy said...

We know that guy!

The comments on B92 are also interesting (many along the lines of "of course a doreigner would like it"):


And also the comments on Lara's blog.

DarkoV said...

To whoever Anonymous is, unless that is your preferred ID:
My comment about NYT and being accepted in the human fold was a bit sarcastic. Perhaps if you read it with your foot off of the caffeine pedal, you may catch my drift. Unfortuantely, when you're big (and the NYT is not just big, it's huge), your proclamations are big. Are these proclamations revelatory? In most cases, no. But the NYT has long replaced the London Times as the newspaper of record for WHAT IS. Is that bad? No, I don't think you can term it bad or good, it just is the way it is. This summer, NYT proclaimed Croatia to be the "New Riviera". For folks who have been going there a while, this was not news. But to most of the rest of the world, who have no clue where or waht a Croatia is, it was. IS the NYT a rag, as you say? Possibly, but if it is it's made of silk incomparison to the majority of the alternatives.

Anon, I'm assuming you're on the young side. Take some advice from someone older and lighten up; it helps in digesting one's meals.

R Byrne said...

Thanks for noticing La Lara... I've been on the "Belgrade Rocks" beat for four years now... NY Press; Boston Phoenix; New York. Let's just say I saw a more than glancing familiarity to my work in the Times piece (and to Mr. Gordy's as well...)

Rich Byrne