Thursday, 24 September 2009

Aging gracefully

Bucuresti (or to most of us, Bucharest) is a Medieval city with history dating back to the 15th Century when Prince Vlad Tepes established his court here. Who's Tepes? He was reportedly the inspiration for the stories of Count Dracula. I don't think most of the buildings here date back that long. But man, if you want to see old gorgeous buildings, you will get lots of them in Bucharest. Many are still elegant and well maintained, especially the public buildings such as museums (there are 37 museums, 22 theatres and 18 art galleries). I wanted to visit at least 2 or 3 museums yesterday. But in the end I visited none.  On the first day after checking in and resting a little (after being "on the road" for 24 hours), I hit the streets walking through a park just down the road from the hotel. Yes, Bucharest is blessed with a series of very lovely parks. On that walk I saw this elderly couple taking life in small strides. The lady uses a walking contraption (what's it called?), one step at a time, very very slowly. And the man patiently waits for her to take each step, pausing to "keep up" with her. Then yesterday at the Herestrau Park, I saw a healthier old couple, walking hand-in-hand. It's a blessing to see old people on the streets in the city. What with half the marriages in U.S. ending in divorce. Everywhere else is catching up. And if they don't get separated prematurely, many don't live to see old age.

But is the city itself aging gracefully? I walked the whole day yesterday, meandering through the streets, letting the unexpected sights draw me in. The city feels very safe. But it is obvious that many buildings have become abandoned. People don't live in them anymore. Some have moved to more modern apartments, others seemed resigned to the decay of their homes. But I also see signs of rehabilitation as living quarters; only just a few. So guess what most of the restored buildings end up as? Beautifully restored as restaurants and cafes! Is there no better used for heritage buildings?

Ah, I got to run. Will continue this conversation later. In the meantime, I thought you would enjoy these photos. They don't reflect what is being down with heritage buildings. They are just reminders that they are many idiots out there.

Will show the really beautiful stuff later. Ciao. Gotta go justify my trip here.

p.s. Of course George Town has got it's share of idiots too. (hhm, can I be sued for violating professional ethics? Calling other professionals "names"?)


omid said...

Every where there exist some carelss experts who do act such as idiots. Your photos are compelling keep it up prof.

Anonymous said...

agree, we hve this kind of building in georgetown. Wawasan University is a great example.