Interview with Alex Olteanu (Bucharest Spotter)

Alex Olteanu, Bucharest

Today an interview with Alex Olteanu, Spotter for our Bucharest cityblog.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I will start by saying that I’m very much interested in sports and for this reason I train myself on a daily basis. I’m very passionate about mountain biking and I’m actually buying a new bike these days for the new season. I love travelling and especially visiting places which aren’t that touristy. On a professional level, I am a ‘Business Studies’ teacher.

How do you like being a Spotter?
I enjoy it very much even if I often find myself wanting to write about very nice spots which are outside the city. While travelling in the country I find many nice places which are worth mentioning but I must stick to writing about Bucharest. At first it was very difficult and I had a slow start but once my articles were uploaded everything got a lot easier. Now I just keep my articles updated and I upload a new article once in a while. I just had to take one spot offline as ‘Miss Deya Pastry Shop’ changed the menu fundamentally and I cannot recommend it any more.

Why Bucharest?
Well, I am a genuine Bucharest inhabitant. I was born here and I lived all my life in Bucharest, except the period where I went abroad to Switzerland to finish my MBA. I truly believe that each city has powerful meanings to its natives. Bucharest is the city where I first fell in love…

It is a must to visit a few of the landmarks that the city has, like the Houses of Parliament, The Arch of Triumph or the old city centre. On the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend visiting the outskirts as nothing can be seen besides grey blocks of flats

Which prejudices about Bucharest are true? Which ones are not?
I can honestly say that it is true that it has some grey parts, especially the outskirts, as mentioned before. This is an outcome following the long communist era. What isn’t true is the fact that it is dangerous. One can have a walk in the middle of the night almost everywhere in Bucharest without being afraid of getting mugged. The city is full of light and a safe feeling accompanies you everywhere.

What do you know about Bucharest which no tourist will know?
It is funny you ask. Obviously I know many things about Bucharest which can’t be known by a tourist. But, the first to mention is that I can easily get from one point to another without any difficulty. I know all the subway stations and all the connections by heart.

Thinking of something else that no tourist will know, I can say that some spots in the city which meant a lot to many of us have been demolished to make space for new office buildings or hotels. For instance, ‘Berlin’ restaurant was a place where former communists had fancy dinners and parties. The restaurant had a correspondent in Berlin which was called ‘Bucharest’, also very luxurious and intended for communists. No matter who were benefiting the place before 1989, the building was a very beautiful one and shouldn’t have been demolished. This is something that I know and no tourist will know; not even many Romanians know.

What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Bucharest at this moment?
It is a trend these days to move to new residential neighbourhoods. Even so, I must say that the ‘Cotroceni‘ neighbourhood is still one of the most expensive areas in the city and also the one which hosts the ‘Cotroceni’ Palace, the residence of the Romanian President. In regards of popularity, many people move to the centre of the city where cheap rent can be found in very old buildings with inter-war atmosphere.

Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
Wednesday is one of my favorite days because I go to the cinema and take advantage of ‘Orange Wednesdays’. So I would start with a great movie at ‘Studio’ Cinema followed by a late lunch at The Harbour. Later that day I would walk towards Bistro La Taifas to enjoy a cup of tea or a coffee together with a cake. Needless to say the area where all the above mentioned spots are located is beautiful and nice architecture can be observed and obviously I would delight myself with the view.

Is there something else you want to share?
I’ll be sharing what seems interesting to me through Spotted by Locals. ;-)

Check out all articles by Alex Olteanu and our other Spotter interviews.

Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)