Category Archives: Romania
It looked almost like a funny coincidence that a guy from an old Commie country reads about life in two Commie countries, one ex and one actual, on May First in the KGB Bar in East Village, the perennial heart of the left wing movement of New York. What else did we miss? The Black Maria waiting on 4th street?
Any way, I want to thank to all who came for the reading and for all who sustained me on all social media avenues that still represent a mystery for me in their convoluted ways. My reading as well as the other authors’ readings were fun, exuding a joyful atmosphere and it looked that everybody had a great time. Hopefully we’ll do another at one point grace to our publisher Nava Renek and New Meridian Arts.
And for many who could not come but emailed me that they would have died to be there – actually I made this up – please click on the image that would give you a little excerpt from the reading, but this time with a – very, very, very rough – edit of scenes from Havana. Or click here
New Meridian Arts and FlyingMonk Films are proud to announce the launch of a fascinating literary journey through today’s Cuba as discovered by an author and filmmaker who lived his youth in another Communist system, Ceausescu’s Romania, half a world away.
“When I planned to go to Cuba, I never thought even for moment that I would land in a place that resembled the world where I lived as a youth. In my mind, that type of world had vanished and been completely replaced by new heads of the same hydra, as authoritarian and inhumane, and labeled creatively for the new generations.
Probably because of this state of mind, my first contact with Cuba was shocking. Amusingly, Cuba unveiled my forgotten youth in Romania, with the entire repertoire of senseless propaganda based on the same script that had been written in Moscow a century ago, with the same people’s complete dismissal of the authority, and even identical in the long forgotten street sayings, replicated in a world decades apart.
But besides all this, I discovered Cuba as a fabulous live museum, a place where history was forced to halt for a moment and take a long and refreshing breath. The cars, the architecture, the people’s spirit, the lack of Internet and even their antiquated leaders looked like they all crept out from a time that refused to advance, a time that you may find only in the yellowed pages of old newspapers. I also witnessed Cuba waiting feverishly for President Obama’s visit, an unexpected visit for the Cubans but their greatest and only hope in the last 60 years. All these elements compose the effervescent charm of Cuba, a country that lives with fervor and passion in an incredibly uplifting atmosphere that transcends time and space. The phenomenal resilience of Cubans in their will to enjoy life to abandon, with music, dance and rum, in spite of their daily hardships, looking almost like a rebellion against their oppressive and inept government, form the core of all the stories I have written in this book.”
Radu Polizu aka FlyingMonk
A first reading from the book will happen on May 1 at 7:00 PM at KGB Bar in East Village – 85 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003, USA (map)
Romania bade farewell to its last king, King Michael, in an impressive royal ceremony attended by numerous crowned heads of Europe. The national funerary lasted three days, declared as national days of mourning. The government, formed by the followers of the ones who blocked the king to return and chased him out of the country after the revolution/coup that toppled Ceausescu, was more than eager to offer all honors to a monarch that was always a role model of integrity and morality that could inspire nothing but fear in their corrupt souls. It was the king’s decision to switch sides in the WW2 and bring Romania to fight against Hitler’s forces, just to be pushed out of the country three years later by a bunch of Communists shielded by Stalin’s tanks. We all learned in school during the Communist times that the king fled the country in a train filled up with all national treasures but luckily we still had grandparents who whispered to us that the king left with nothing and the country’s wealth was spoiled by the incompetent Stalinists and further, as we were able to see with our own eyes, their sons and daughters who followed them after the revolution/coup. Eventually, after the 1996 election that brought Romania’s first center-right government, the King was permitted to return to Romania. Now, after the King’s demise, his role can be easier commended including his major influence in the negotiations of stirring Romania to join NATO and shielding it in this way of the menacing neighboring Russians. God bless the King!
Considering the short time I had in Bucharest I felt quite lucky to be there during an event I kept hearing about, “The galleries’ night”, a time when many of the art galleries in Bucharest are open all night, or at least till late hours.
I did not have a lot of time to walk around but I was able to descend upon “The Journey to the Navel of the World” of Ion Barbu together with an impressive collective of talented and creative artists that I found to be astounding; funny, clever and deeply connected into the social fabric of the country.
Strolling with a good friend who is a well known Romanian painter I walked in several studios of his own friends, a world of spectacular creativity and unbound talent.
I always found Bucharest old town packed by tourists and locals. The winding streets and narrow alleys towered by a superb, but still decaying, architecture, are most of times so full of people that it’s hard to get a seat at a table no matter what hour you visit. So in a very brief and very rushed visit to Bucharest I decided to take a stroll late in the night and found the old town quieter that many other times when I visited.