Travel guide from Oana

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About Oana

30 years, Artist

I'm a journalist, translator and musician (read the interview with Oana's band, Poetrip).

I'm glad I finally learned to be as forgiving with myself as I am with other people. It's a relief.

Love/Hate Bucharest:

Hate:

That everybody's always in a hurry and we can never find time for all of our friends and all the events we want to go to and sometimes you don't see a friend for almost a year, although you both live in the same city.

Travel tips from Oana:

FOOD: Oh, God. Now that I think of it, I realize that most of the times I've eaten out in Bucharest these years have been at Cantina Sf. Gheorghe. It's open non-stop and as my lifestyle forces me to be out at night, usually on the run, it's perfect for me. Not to mention it's cheap as fuck and I already made friends with the nice ladies there. But my favourite kind of food is Indian food, so when I don't cook it at home, I go to the next best place that cooks it – usually Haveli. It's a nice place, but I have no other particular reason to go there except the fact that the food is DELICIOUS! Oh, and I also like Toàn's, the Vietnamese fast-food on Magheru Bd. It's yummy and they also offer you free jasmine tea. 

DAY: Hmm, to be honest, I don't go out much. I prefer intimate parties at friends' houses or at my place. But I like going for a tea, a beer or a soup at Dianei 4. It's cosy and informal, people are friendly, the music is always nice, and they have several cats. :)  Zappa is another little place where I like to have a glass of wine and a chat with a friend from time to time. It's discreet, cosy, pretty cheap and I like the photos and old psychedelic rock posters on the walls..

NIGHT: Damn. I don't go out much at night either. :) But when I do, I usually choose Control Club for a good dance session that exorcises all the demons in me, I choose Londophone and Question Mark for the interesting cultural events and experimental gigs and on my way home, I might stop at Dianei 4 for one last beer which can sometimes turn into three beers and two glasses of wine.

SHOPPING: Ha. Shopping and going out, two things I'm not good at. I'm very rarely in the mood for shopping. But when I am, I only go to second-hand stores, flea markets and garage sales, the only places where you can find interesting, cheap stuff. Most of the clothes in malls and brand stores are not worth the money they cost and whenever you see something nice, you know it's going to become a uniform in Bucharest in the next months. So what's the point in even entering such a place? My favorite shopping place ever is not in Bucharest – it's the gipsy market in my hometown. Oh, and if we talk about books and trinkets, I love shopping in Cărturești or Librăria Bastilia. I'm absolutely fascinated when I go in colorful bookshops that smell nice and sell all kinds of toys and little notebooks and teapots and photo albums. I'm like a monkey, I just look around gasping and I have to touch everything.

CULTURE: One of my favorite cultural places in the whole Bucharest is the Czech Centre. They have so many good events that I end up going there more than in any other pub or club. Great concerts, the lovely Documentary Mondays, when they also have free Czech beer, really good movies and exhibitions (such as Film Poster is not Dead, with film posters made by Romanian and Czech students). I also like the events at Pavilion Center, the place where you have to be if you want to find out what's cooking in the local and international contemporary art scene. At the place where Stefan and I live, Carol 53 (which is also a cultural and entertainment center), my favorite event is Contrapunct, a night where professional and amateur musicians from the whole city gather and improvise together and each one of them inspires and stimulates the others. And the great thing is that the music never turns out to be that usual fucking blues jam that happens at jam sessions. It's always surprising, it's fresh, creative and fun.

ROMANIAN MOVIES, BANDS, ARTISTS ETC.: We already talked about bands. So... Romanian movies. Hm. I liked Mungiu's “După dealuri” (Beyond the Hills), I absolutely loved „Felicia înainte de toate” (First of All, Felicia), Radu Jude's “Cea mai fericită fată din lume” (The Happiest Girl in the World), „A fost sau n-a fost?” (12:08 East of Bucharest) and all the other films of Corneliu Porumboiu, actually. I love Igor Cobileanski's films. As for artists, I'm a fan of Mitoș Micleușanu, he's multi-talented: music, photography, painting, writing, film, comedy. And he's a genius in all domains, in my opinion. 

BUCHAREST DISCOVERY: I discovered together with some friends a deserted place on Esplanada Unirii, the favorite spot of many graffiti artists. You can enter the area through a hole in the concrete wall. It's actually a sea of concrete, but it's very colorful because of all the graffiti art, and it has some green spots and a few trees. You get the isolation you need right in the middle of the city, so it's not creepy - perfect for a beer and a cigarette on a sunny day.

 

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