In my post “I Heart Beograd!” I talked about many of the things I really love about this city. Lately I’ve been realizing even more how much this city is really alive, especially in the evening. Many of you may know that Belgrade was voted last years as the top city in Europe for going out. This is not surprising once you are here, however I think this title could be a little misleading. Sure there are a plethora of techno clubs and similar, and I’m sure those can be fun once in a while. But for the rest of us, those who can’t afford to party every night to repetitive techno/trance because we have an adult schedule during the day, or perhaps we just crave a little more substance, Belgrade has much to offer.
Every night I have been here, I could choose from a handful of cultural events to attend. You want a documentary on Chinese architecture with Serbian subtitles? Belgrade’s got it. A photography exhibit about Serbian Soul? Belgrade’s got it. A classical music quarter set in an intimate studio setting? Belgrade’s got it, and its free. You want to see local artists displaying handmade goods in a charming warehouse downtown? Belgrade’s got it. Want to see a communist style bar with live Balkan music? Belgrade’s got it. Attend a dance lesson? Take Pilates? Walking tour of the city? Check, check, and check, Belgrade has it all.
This is one of the many things I really love about Belgrade. When I’m back home, many times I will go for an evening stroll, and though the homes I pass on my walk are gorgeous, expensive, and perfectly set up for entertaining and lounging, there is rarely anyone home. Or rather I should say, there is rarely anyone alive. You might catch a glimpse of a blank faced couch potato, sunken into the couch cushions, eyes glued to the blaring TV set. Outside his window sits a charming garden set, inviting flickering lanterns, and a huge modern gas grill, but it’s never used. Yes, the streets are empty, and the people are isolated, locked up inside, wasting their precious lives away. I haven’t seen much of this in Belgrade, and I think we should take a closer look at this and perhaps try to do as Belgraders do. To be fair, we should note this:its much more difficult to get out in the States. Most of us can’t just walk outside our apartments, down the street, and into a jazz club. No, we first have to go online, search for local events, find maybe 1 out of 3 or 4 that’s close to affordable, within the next few days hopefully, and close enough to drive to. Then we have to go the parking garage, drive there on some big highway, and answer the blackberry the whole time from work calls. Yes, its more difficult in the states in this way. We have less cultural events in a more spread out setting. And they are definitely more expensive. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to do as the Belgraders do. Get outside, get involved, and go Do Something! Live, Learn, Meet, Explore, Create! Before it’s too late.
Do as the Belgraders Do! Do it Now!