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Fondest memory: You’ll notice an abundance of advertisements all over the city buildings, as if installing huge posters became a local hobby. If you pay more attention, you’ll notice that brand new, glass-covered office buildings do not bear any advertisement, while some historical buildings are proudly showing laptops or underwear on their hundreds old facades.
Although I cannot recognise any merit in this, it seems advertisement helps paying the bill for the buildings inhabitants, while the authorities turn a blind eye thanking for the extra money they get on the expense of the city’s past.
Written Jul 10, 2006
Favorite thing: Despite municipality’s efforts in the last few years, one can still find no-mans’ dogs in the streets, especially off-beaten streets and in the suburbs.
Explanations for their existence and number is varied – from lack of preoccupation from the part of the authorities in the lat ‘90s to the demolitions in the mid ‘80s which lead to many dog owners leaving their dogs on the streets when forced moving from houses (with courtyard) to small apartments in blocks of flats. The reality is as follows: while there still are no-man’s dogs on the streets, virtually every private courtyard has its own dog, barking from behind the fence when someone crosses by.
My advice on dogs in Bucharest is as follows:
- although a sudden load bark from behind a fence may be scary, “courtyard” dogs cannot jump over the fences. However, don’t provoke them,
- street dogs are usually indifferent to your crossing by within a few meters. Should they begin to bark, I use to stop walking immediately, look at them and talk to them by whispering – in this way, they get confused, as only people they are friendly with use to whisper to them.
Written Jul 10, 2006
Favorite thing: Cultural events and festivals:
There are a number of cultural festivals in Bucharest throughout the year, in various domains, even though most festivals take place in the summer months of June, July and August. The National Opera organises the International Opera Festival every year in May and June, which includes ensembles and orchestras from all over the world. The Romanian Athaeneum Society hosts the George Enescu Classical Music Festival at various locations throughout the city in September every year. Additionally, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the Village Museum organise a number of events throughout the year showcasing Romanian folk arts and crafts.n 2005, Bucharest was the first city in Southeastern Europe to host the international CowParade, which resulted in dozens of decorated cow sculptures being placed at various points across the city.
Since 2005 Bucharest has its own contemporary art biennale, the Bucharest Biennale. The current (2006) issue (curated by Zsolt Pétranyi) will go on until the end of June, the next edition will be in 2008.
Bucharest is the most important centre of education in Romania, even though other cities such as Iaşi and Cluj-Napoca contain a number of prestigious educational institutions. The University of Bucharest is the city's largest and most well-known higher education institution, and, opening in 1694 as the Academy of Saint Sava, it is Romania's first university.
Other major universities in the capital include: the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, the Academy of Economic Studies, the Carol Davila Medical and Pharmaceutical University, the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, the Technical University of Construction, Bucharest, the Romanian-American University and the British Romanian University.
Fondest memory: Media:
Bucharest is the most important centre for the Romanian mass media, since it is the headquarters of all the national television networks as well as national newspapers and radio stations. The largest daily newspapers in Bucharest include Evenimentul Zilei, Jurnalul Naţional, Cotidianul, România Liberă, Adevărul, Gardianul and Gândul. During the rush hours, tabloid newspapers Libertatea and Ziarul are very popular for commuters.
A significant number of newspapers and media publications are based in Casa Presei Libere (The House of the Free Press) a landmark of northern Bucharest, originally named Casa Scânteii after the Communist-era official newspaper Scînteia.
English-language media became available in Bucharest in the 1990s, and has become increasingly prominent since 2000. There are two daily English-language newspapers, Bucharest Daily News and Nine O' Clock, as well as numerous other magazines.
Academia Caţavencu, the usual array of commercial magazines one would find in any European capital.
Bucharest is the host city of the fourth edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2006
Portrayal in film and fiction:
* The Romanian-language film Filantropica ("Philanthropy", 2002)  gives a satiric portrayal of the city and of many strata of its life.
* The English-language film The Wild Dogs (2002)  gives a more uniformly bleak portrait of the city.
* The English-dubbed film Entre chiens et loups (2002)  features various parts of the city, suburbs & nite-spots as a backdrop to a French action movie.
* Wesley Snipes starred in 7 Seconds (2005), an action flick filmed entirely on location in Bucharest.  The film features the city's varied architecture.
* Historic Communist Bucharest was depicted in Jack Chick's first comic book, "Operation Bucharest", first published in 1974. It is loosely based on a Baptist Ministry called "Couriers For Christ" based there.
Written Jun 13, 2006
Favorite thing: Casa Scânteii (or Press House), is a large white building constructed in Stalinist style, housing many news agencies and publishing houses. In front of the building stood a statue of Lenin, dumped on the Mogosoaia estate in 1989.
The "Press House" was built in keeping with the will of the former communist power, which wanted to imitate as closely as possible the Big Eastern Neighbour. The destiny of the Bucharest Palace has witnessed the reverse condition: it has become the Free Press House, which houses the editorial offices of the most important Romanian publications
Updated Jun 9, 2006
Favorite thing: Since the first decades of the 1800's, Calea Victoriei was the street that best signified the European ambitions of Bucharest. From the Senate Place up to Victoriei Square, swank hotels, luxurious shops and famed restaurants.
Written May 23, 2006
Favorite thing: Blvd General Magheru, the southern foot of which is called Blvd Nicolae Balcescu, is the main street in central Bucharest. It links Piata Romana with Piata Universitatii, a central focal point close to the National Theatre and Hotel Intercontinental
Updated May 23, 2006
Favorite thing: Few paces NW from Piata Unirii there is the "Historical quarter" actually there is a dirty and collapsed neighbourhood with (there is a good point) a good place to make some shots, maybe the best in a wholle collapsed city
It was mid afternoon and the sun was setting it was a pale light in the sky and quite coldish and windy ..it was first days of october
Our fast sight to Bucharest had to expire because we had to come back to Gara du Nord where Eddie's train left ... so we took a fast stroll looking at the buildings and streets around theis quarter and some areas ahead and back through Piata Universitati and Regina Elisabeta, Bratianu boulevard coming back to the metro station
Written Jan 21, 2006
Favorite thing: One of the most important academic institutions in Romania. Founded in 1864 the University of Bucharest has had a major contribution to the development and modernisation of Romanian education, science and culture
Written Aug 16, 2005
Favorite thing: In the last 15 years University Square has proved to be a popular railing point at the time of national crisis as well as celebration: people gathered here during the 1989 revolution and the sad events of June 1990 and they continue to gather here every time the national team wins a soccer game (which unfortunatelly doesn't happen very often these days). If you see a lot of people loitering around the underground passage entrance in front of the National Theater is because it's probably the most popular meeting place in Bucharest. It's a place buzzing with crowds and traffic, a true center of activity. The square is surrounded by interesting architecture starting with the University of Bucharest building on the square's northwestern corner. Facing the university there are four statues of illustrious pedagogues and statesmen. On the other northern corner, adjacent to the Intercontinental hotel, is the National Theater of Bucharest. Opposite it lies the beautiful building of the School of Architecture, behind a little square with a small fountain where people stop and sit when the weather is nice. On the southwestern corner of the square, the Bucharest History Museum traces the city history from the beginning to modern days and across from it lies the neo-Classical building of the Coltea Hospital and its lovely church. In the middle of the square, in a little island, there are ten stone crosses that pay homage to those killed during the 1989 revolution. Below the square there is an underground passage with shops and eateries which allows pedestrians to cross to from one side of the square to another and also leads to the subway station.
Updated Mar 29, 2005
Favorite thing: As soon as I get to Bucharest I try to find out what is going on around the city. For that I try to get hold of a copy of either "Sapte Seri" (Seven Nights) magazine or "B-24-Fun" magazine. These weekly magazines are offered freely and you can pick one up in cafes, bookshops, restaurants and hotels all over downtown. They will tell you all you need to know about the movies that are currenly running, theatres, restaurants, pubs, clubs, art events, concerts and many others. They're rival publications but in general they have the same information so either one will do. B-24-Fun has some cute articles, but they are in Romanian. Some of the information is in Romanian, some in English. I do think there's value in picking one up even if you don't speak Romanian. Sapte Seri also has a website at www.sapteseri.ro (which has an English version). Another good source of information (but harder to find) is the monthly Bucharest in Your Pocket available on the web here:
Updated Mar 28, 2005
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