Wednesday 6 March 2013

Bucharest is the most interesting city in Europe even now

Bucharest is the most interesting city in Europe even now, despite the satanic malls.

Another great picture which could be of almost anywhere in the town (for it is more a town than a city despite its two million inhabitants):

Image may contain: plant, tree and outdoor

I walk past this every day - there are so many scenes like this. When I tell Romanians that being in Bucharest makes me happy each day they think I am crazy or am lying and am here for the girls (who are very handsome).

Bucharest has been so cleaned and tidied up in the fifteen years I have lived here that I forget how sui generis it still is. These pictures bring that out. Paradoxically, and everything in Romania is a paradox, Bucharest is utterly uncool and yet the coolest place there is.

A film noir city.Where people still smoke in restaurants (Romania is still a free country) and where there are still femmes fatales (legions of them). Men here are men and women are women and everyone is happy about this. The most interesting city in Europe. You could almost say it is the last European city. 


  1. Is anyone promoting a film industry.Many of these photograhs show what could be scenes of haunting beauty.

  2. Every foreigner has thought there is a film noir to be set in Bucharest - I think a novel but no-one writes it though so many intend to. Glad you see the haunting beauty which I do very clearly.

  3. I assume you're not including Russia, but that still says awful things about Europe. Jeremy

  4. Oh well. I knew my film industry idea wasn't very original. I was just trying to help the economy. Besides I don't think hauntingly beautiful is very popular in films anymore.Oh does anyone make films anymore? I guess just movies. I hope you'll write the novel that you intend.

  5. I am not quite happy about the photographer's point of view regarding the "spectacular decay" of the old architecture. To me it seems more like a crime against culture and civilization to let these beautiful and valuable buildings fall apart. How would you feel if your English monuments were left in disrepair? Not so spectacular anymore?

  6. I feel the same way about Serbian "cities".
    Rhonda Lusty

  7. it's interesting to be chased by stray dogs...but not necessarily pleasant :)

  8. indeed - though they were killed more than a decade ago - the ones now are far fewer and never seem a problem

  9. killing dogs as a solution for a city makes it anyway i don't know if interesting but for sure terrifying. As almost everything that goes on in this city, for the amusement of distant observers.

  10. Thank you for this link, Paul. It really strikes a chord with me. When I was still living there, I was secretly suffering every time an old building in Bucharest was done up - although I know that's the way progress works. I also like Bucharest's soviet-style periphery districts with their blocks of flats which a lot of people hate. There's a lot of poetry in them actually, believe it or not.
    Antonia Oprita

  11. Thank you - I sometimes feel guilty but I hate it when they do buildings up - especially when they do them badly as they always seem to do - people in Bucharest had great taste before the war but now.....

  12. Could not agree more with Paul and Antonia. A "film noir" city? I like that.

  13. Congratulations, Paul. You are so sensitive and also accurate.

  14. nicely written, i too wish some aspects of bucharest (including the "freedom" to smoke in bars) were there to stay, but i guess i have come to be influenced by my 6+ years of living in the west and consequent nostalgia for the east.
    reminds me of the rammstein song about moscow ("diese Stadt ist eine Dirne [...] ich kann ihr nicht widerstehen"

  15. Paul Wood.... Thank you for an excellent article.
    "When I tell Romanians that being in Bucharest makes me happy each day they think I am crazy or am lying and am here for the girls (who are very handsome)."
    It is good to see that I am not the only strange person.
    I regularly tell my friends of the wonders of Bucharest and Romania and a sarcastic reply is the best I usually receive! Admittedly, I have shown them plenty of facts to support my fixation, so I am sure the sarcasm is actually tinted by the remorse, regret and disappointment that I discovered Bucharest before them!
    I could extol the virtues of that jewel of a town constantly... and often do.
    I will also admit the gorgeously beautiful women are another reason you and I agree. But despite my many attractive female friends there... the love of my life is the most important! She lives in Sector 3 between Parcuri Titan and Tineretului. :-))
    I will always holiday in Bucharest... but I would prefer to live there.

  16. Paul, you said that:
    << You could almost say it is the last European city. >>
    Please be kind and help me to understand what you really mean by saying this. Mihaela,

  17. hello, i live in Pitesti and really i don't like that city for living, maybe 4 shooting...

  18. bucharest is shit hole - that is reality, any glorification is not worth the effort one is putting on it.
    there is nothing positive about this place, let me just run through a few things one would actually appreciate:
    buildings/architecture: run down, detached pieces, in ruin
    food: tasteless and unoriginal, its like eating shitty middle eastern or north eastern EU food
    People: just dealing with taxi drivers tells it all, fair enough the older ones are ok, yet that is not the current generation thus not relevant, deal with a young driver and you get two kinds imo: the one rips you off right through, or the one that tries to rip you off and I shall not mention the other dumb fucking kind - else ok some chicks are nice - but looking at people the big majority is thug like, its clearly visible, psychologically Id say its due to their aggravation, they are clearly mad at life and I get it, their lifes are shit and they live in shit hole with an average salary of 6keur a year for educated people, while having a a growing population getting very rich from europes' subsidies... its logical - they are pissed and have no future, yeah yeah I read about bucharest is going places bullshit discussion, not for the next 50 years its not, thus these people will die as they are.... sorry, thats reality!
    entertainment: to be fair they have three nice clubs, in the center there is one place that moves right, every thing else is not worth the bother
    hotels: if you're the 5start kind, prepare to pay way more than what you will receive for any service in the best hotel they have, ok - the rate of the room it self is fine.
    night clubs, chick sort of joints: prepare to be ripped off old school, god forbid you take a taxi to those place, the driver would collude with them to try to rip you off really old school...

    what else, ah yeah parks and all that sort of shit, come the fuck on who goes to places to see parks, unless its the fucking amazone....

    yeah you get the picture, I truly do not like this fucking place, its really one of the most horrible places I have ever been too... and I travel a lot - hey how about this for a comparison, I've been to manilla which is way poorer, guess what I hated less! that says a lot IMO.

    voila Im done with this bull shit

  19. Hi Paul, all,

    Why don't you check my Facebook page "Secret Bucharest" if you want to indulge even more into the discrete charms of this city, for certain people the inheritor of Byzantium.