As we are getting closer to the middle of February the days although cold, are brighter and longer. We feel the urge to get out and stop praying that March comes faster so we can defreeze and be more social and out there.
Absorbing the sunrays and charging up like Superman we take the subway all geared up with mittens, hats and scarves and meet up with friends to go for some drinks and catch up with everything that happened during hibernation. The day is young and so are we, so we will take our time to pick the perfect place to hang out.
Bucharest is a city of culture during the day, and a city of sin during the night. An ever changing picture where bars and pubs appear like mushrooms after rain taking the place of some unlucky investors that didn’t have the right product for the crowd. The Old Town is the place to go if you have no idea where to get together with your pals or coworkers, or if you want to have a nice meal.
We start off with the newest face in town, that bares an old name: Carturesti Carusel. The Carturesti libraries have always provided good books, good records and good tea, that’s why we expected something good at the opening. And good it was…Located on the Lipscani street in the middle of Old Town, Carturesti Carusel occupies the space of a historical building constructed in 1860 and confiscated by the communists in the 80s. The building is actually the Chrissoveloni Palace, the home and office of the oldest banker families in Romania. It’s last heir of the Chrissoveloni family won back the property in court, invested over 1 million Euros in restoration and waited for magic to happen. The bookstore is indeed magical, a carousel of culture set on 6 levels with over 50 000 books, and 5000 records, a bistro and much more to come. It is just what the bar infested Old Town needed to smart up.
Speaking of historical buildings that got new makeup this winter, Hanu lu Manuc (Manuc Inn) is now hosting the biggest and coolest Starbucks in Romania. Just what the doctor ordered to go with the hip fashion, a rejuvenating face of the 207 year old inn. The Manuc Inn is still functional although the hotel is still in renovation. When it will be finished it will be the jewel of the Old Town, as it is in the heart of the city and it is why not, a heart that never stopped beating.
The same day that we get to witness the opening of a cultural attraction like Carturesti Carusel (12th of February), Bucharest turns into sin city and gives us La Sarpe-carciuma de lux (At the snake-luxury pub), an alley pub that brings back the gypsy vibe, a place where you can drink and listen to music that comes from the soul with friends or alone.
And if you feel hungry for some real food Taverna Covaci (Covaci Tavern) is the place to go. This traditional Romanian tavern was also opened this winter and it brings a great variety of Romanian specialties that will satisfy your buds and fill your guts.
The Old Town in Bucharest is the right place to have a nice walk on a sunny day, and although the cold bites we have all this brand new beautiful places to warm up with a cup of coffee or a shot of brandy, depending on what your heart is asking for.