Saturday, May 12, 2007

Beach culture in Bercsényi

Berceni is a district (quarter, cartier in Romanian) of Bucharest . Berceni este un cartier situat în sectorul 4 al Bucureştiului. The hussars of Bercsényi were first mentioned after the suppression of the Hungarian Kuruc War led by Francis II Rákóczi (at beginning of the 18th century). They settled in the neighborhood of Bucharest. The 4th district of Bucharest is located in the southern part of the capital city, at 26° 5'45'' eastern longitude, 44° 24'49" northern latitude. 25 km2 of its total 32 km2 is built-up area (capital's total is 228 km2), and it has a population of 335,000 out of the capital's 2,027,512.

If we take the density of the population, the 4th district exceeds some of the economically most important municipalities like Bacău (population: 209,689), Braşov (317,772), Brăila (234,648), Craiova (312,891), Oradea (223.288), Ploieşti (253.414), Râmnicu-Vâlcea (119.340), Târgu Mureş (165,534), and it is a little beyond Constanţa (344,876), Cluj-Napoca (332,792), Galaţi (331,360), Iaşi (348,399) and Timişoara (334,098). Primaria sectorului 4

In his paintings Nicolae Comanescu makes the switch from the flâneur to the beachcomber.
His hatted characters may look like the legendary gentlemen stroller of the streets, but his demeanor is more accustomed to the heat waves, crime waves and the usual surf of daily life in Berceni. Berceni is a neighborhood in the Southern city of Bucharest. The pedestrian environment is not appropriate anymore. In the summer the streets become more and more beach like. The dust of the plains becomes the sand of the Bucharest concrete jungle.
Drifting is still an option, better still you can start to gather all the driftwood that comes your way. Driftwood in the form of colors, heat, car lights and car mirror reflecting each other in a frenzy.
Nicolae Comanescu is deeply immersed in a Bucharest cityscape drenched in giant billboards, beauty product ads, giant blockbuster posters and luxury cars transformed into furnaces by the 12' o’clock sun and traffic jams. Historical cross-overs push the Great Age of Geographic Discoveries into the present age of the Las Vegas-style maritime extravaganza. Eastern Europeans are the last wave of tourist exploring island paradises. They where the last wave hit by cheap flights, a rise in corporate salaries, and agencies with special offers to Thailand, Greece and Spain. The modern “reconquista” of Spain entails that a lot of the best European beaches are slowly being conquered by tourists (or emigrants) from Poland or Romania.
The Romanian Black Sea resorts are always too full, too expensive and galore with bad service and bad vibes. That is why you must choose between going en masse to Bulgaria or staying in Bucharest, sun-bathing in the chocked traffic and the melting asphalt. A lot the recent paintings by Nicolae Comanescu act as heat maps. The cars and characters suffer under severe sunburns, sensitive to the tropical set up of a city grounded in the bed of an ancient Sea.
Waiting for the rains to come. And when they come, the whole city gets submerged. People knee-deep in water and sewers spilling over like fountains are here to stay. A Water World scenario were you have to change your skate board for a surf board. Berceni becomes then a lagoon. A lagoon where beachcombers like Nicolae Comanescu start wearing their Hawaiian shirt and Panama hats.


Irina said...

Ce zic oamenii astia despre Bucuresti este foarte adevarat, uneori! Si de asta pe mine ma apuca frica in fiecare an cand incepe caldura. Dar bucurestiul poate fi si frumos... in special seara... :)

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