Random observations from a visit to Belgrade

There will certainly be talk of nasty things (read:politics)from Belgrade in this blog. But just having returned today from a visit, some talk of less nasty things.

  • A top graffito of the trip: The long-closed store by where the Cinema Odeon used to be, which for years has had the sign "Objekat u renoviranju" in the window. This time passing by, I noticed that somebody had crossed out "renoviranju" and written "raspadanju."
  • Most tempting graffito: Somebody must have been well paid to paint "Sloboda za Caneta" on many prominent walls, because really, who cares? It took a tiny bit of effort and a good deal of laziness not to add "i Antona."
  • A question for my culinarily savvy Belgrade friends: Is the restaurant in the Ruski dom any good? Will they serve me the stuff my grandmother used to make?
  • Still the best thing about Belgrade (and every other city in the Balkans): Sitting in the outdoor cafes, which are everywhere.
  • Smallest surprise: JAT (now called "Jat airways" or if you prefer "ejrvejz")? Still atrocious.
  • Blogocentric moment: A fine evening spent drinking beer with Viktor (Belgrade 2.0) and Dejan (Anegdote), followed by pljeskavice in a wind tunnel.
  • Most zaslužan građanin: Radovanović, the person behind the wines. Also, whoever is behind Greenet. Sidney Greenstreet, one supposes.
  • Person and party inspiring the best and stupidest jokes: Krkobabić and PUPS.
  • Biggest disappointment: Leaving at such a moment that it required missing the concert by Nick Cave.
  • Greatest discovery: You'll hear about it. We have to get some grant applications together.
  • Imperial moment: Across from where we live there used to be a perfectly okay bakery and a samoposluga about which the most you could say was that it was conveniently located. First the bakery was taken over by a fancy (and not at all bad) pizzeria called "Piazza Artigiani del gusto." Now they have taken over the samoposluga too. Is the name meant to imply that they will expand all the way to the pijaca?
  • Nicest surprise: Seeing my high school friend, in town with her husband to do research.
  • Greatest reassurance: Bukovače (always excellent) at kafana Proleće.