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This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bucharest's contrasts

The Sala Radio is one of Bucharest’s best-kept secrets – with great acoustics and the recitals broadcast on the radio. Its Radio Chamber Orchestra kept us on our seats last night with first a Romanian composer (Toduţă)’s charming piece - violin Concerto No.1 for String Orchestra. Then JS Bach : Concerto no. 1 in A minor for Violin and Orchestra, BWV 1041 F – with virtuoso soloist CRISTINA ANGHELESCU; and then a rollicking Mendelssohn : Symphony No. IV in A major, op 90 – Italian. 
The young conductor - Mattei POP - cut a gangly but effective figure on the podium

Pensioners can get a 3 month season ticket for 35 euros – that’s about 1 euro a performance! Little wonder they are such afficandos! And one of Bucharest’s ancient trams (number 24) takes you right there (from Piate Viitoreii). 
About time Bucharest’s dreadful butcher mayor took time off from destroying the past and looked at the spanking new trams Sofia is adding to its fleet……
Romania's best classic station - Radio  Muzical - is playing here now

At the opposite end of experience are the Bucharest shopping malls – I thought the Sofia ones were bad but the gargantuan Cotroceni one just across the Gara de Nord area is a really aggressive slap in the face. Typically, it has no information desk or display and is a therefore a nightmare to navigate. 

We had walked then bussed to see Robert Duval in the film The Judge which gives a nice portrait of small-town America and also has great performances from Robert Downey Jr and Bob Thornton. On the way home, in the heaving bodies and dark, we mistook a number 11 tram for a number 1 and had to retrack at the spaghetti junction around the equally offensive and gargantuan Carrefour. At this station, the tracks run at two levels – and, typically, there were no signs to guide us to the upper track….The journey was therefore completed with a combination of foot, bus and foot….Hats off again to Mayor (butcher) Oprescu! 

The drawing is Daumier's Gargantua!

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