Sitemap

Serbia Is A New, Unlikely Oasis For NYC Residents Fleeing The City

More...

Kyungshin Cable Opens Factory In Smederevska Palanka

The Korean company Kyungshin Cable held a...

Serbia And EU Sign New Support Package Worth Over 86 Million Euros

Officials from the European Union and Serbia...

Prevent Hate Speech Through The Media In Serbia

The media have powerful impact on Serbian...

Europe Day Celebration

On the occasion of May 9, Europe Day, as every year for the last two decades, the Delegation of...

Marking the 10th anniversary of the Istanbul Convention in Belgrade

The 10th anniversary of the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as...

Prime Minister Edi Rama Wins Third Mandate In Albanian Elections

Albania’s ruling Socialist Party (SP), led by Prime Minister Edi Rama, has won Sunday’s election with 48% of the...

New Project To Support Innovation Driven Economy In Serbia

Serbia Innovates will create the first Serbian Supercluster to bolster country’s competitive advantages on international markets ICT Hub, as a...

Von der Leyen And Borrell Call For Rule Of Law Reforms In Serbia During Vučić’s Brussels Visit

President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell called for positive...

An unlikely oasis has emerged for travel-starved New Yorkers who crave a change of scene: Serbia.

“It reminds me of Williamsburg circa 2010,” said expat Davis Richardson, 27, who was looking to escape NYC a few months ago and wound up putting roots down in the capital city, Belgrade.

“I now pay half what I paid in New York during a pandemic to live out of a suite overlooking all of Belgrade. It’s a no-brainer: Either I pay double and live with more restrictions, or I pay half for more amenities and experiences with amazing people who want to go out to restaurants and talk about things other than politics,” said the communications specialist.

Richardson meets up with friends for coffee, goes out to nightclubs and hookah bars, and even hits the gun range while living out of a boutique hotel called Mama Belgrade.

Belgrade Serbia
“If things keep going the way they are in the United States with social unrest and lockdowns, I think more and more people will come here,” Davis Richardson says of Serbia. , Courtesy of Atousa Farahani

“The Serbian mindset is very proud,” he said. “They don’t see a virus as getting in the way of their success and happiness.”

With no quarantine requirement for Americans, the formerly war-torn Balkan country’s hip Belgrade has been a big draw during the coronavirus pandemic. Air Serbia announced 34 flights to JFK in October, far surpassing the 24 routes from October 2019, even in a plagued year for traveling.

But Monday, the US Embassy announced that thanks to 3,482 new COVID cases, the Serbian government has ordered “all services, including bars, restaurants, cafés, stores, supermarkets, shopping malls, theaters, and cinemas” be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., from Nov. 17 through “at least” Dec. 1.

Yet even with the thumping nightclub scene along the river tamped down, New Yorkers are taking in the sights: The Temple of Saint Sava, the Nikola Tesla Museum, Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park.

“This city has a magical way of healing you: You can explore hidden underground fortresses, observe traditions going back centuries and have conversations with nuance,” said Richardson, adding that the new restrictions won’t change his views. “If things keep going the way they are in the United States with social unrest and lockdowns, I think more and more people will come here.”

That’s what lured Yoni Yosef, a 35-year-old event planner from Williamsburg, to Belgrade in September.

Belgrade Serbia
Williamsburg resident Atousa Farahani visited Serbia last month., Courtesy of Atousa Farahani

“Over there, I didn’t have the pressure of COVID,” he said. “It’s like going back to the way things were before the pandemic.”

Others are reticent to share their discovery for fear of being judged.

Atousa Farahani, a Williamsburg resident, said she largely kept quiet about her visit to Serbia in October.

“I’m fully aware of how it seems to people to travel during a worldwide pandemic,” said the 36-year-old who works in online operations. “People are either happy that I’m still traveling and doing my thing or say, ‘You’re putting others at risk.’”

Farahani said she follows mask rules, travels with hand sanitizer and appreciates establishments that enforce health regulations.

Courtesy of Atousa Farahani

Katka Lapelosová, a 33-year-old from Bed-Stuy, fell in love with the city after visiting in October.

“I went there initially just to get out of NYC but I ended up buying an apartment in Belgrade,” she said. In January, she’ll be moving into her $55,000 “tiny, cozy” one-bedroom on a street she likened to Park Avenue, perplexing some of her kin.

“My friends and family didn’t know where Serbia was. They thought I was going to Siberia,” said the content manager.

Courtesy of Atousa Farahani

“Some of them think that Milosevic is alive and kicking,” she said, referring to the former president who died in a prison cell at the Hague in 2006, while being tried for war crimes.

Instead, she said she found a sophisticated country where she met a disproportionate number of local doctors and lawyers.

But, “it’s not all peaches and cream,” said an anonymous Upper East Sider who visited earlier this month. “The pollution was appalling … with nasty, acrid air.”

According to AirVisual, the air quality in Belgrade landed it in the top five most polluted cities for October. In 2019, it scored 16th in a list of the world’s most polluted cities.

Still, the social scene is nothing to sniff at.

Last month, Jennifer, a 36-year-old from Hell’s Kitchen, took a whirlwind three-day trip to Belgrade via Air Serbia from JFK to celebrate her birthday. Her four-star “hotel was just $50-a-night,” and she exulted over a dinner party at a greenhouse-style restaurant called Franš. She plans on going back this spring.

“The men are very handsome — tall, dark and handsome,” she said. “I think I have to go back just to find a husband.”

Source: nypost.com by Doree LewakNovember

Related Articles

Government, Freelancers Associations Reach Agreement On Paying Taxes

Today, the government of the Republic of Serbia reached an agreement with the representatives of the Association of Freelancers and the Association of Workers...

EU Delegation and Council of Europe Office Welcome New Rules Aimed at Preventing Undue Influence on Judges and Prosecutors

The Serbian High Judicial Council (HJC) and the State Prosecutorial Council (SPC) have adopted on 15 and 19 April 2021 decisions with the ultimate objective to...

U.S. Announces New USAID Development Cooperation Strategy With Serbia

On April 12, 2021, the Ministry for European Integration and the United States Government officially extended their development partnership which has now stretched for...

22,000 Foreigners Vaccinated In Three Days

Director of the Office for Information Technologies and Electronic Administration Mihailo Jovanovic announced that more than 22,000 foreigners were vaccinated in Serbia in three...

Air Serbia Flies To Rome Again

Air Serbia will recommence direct flights on the Belgrade-Rome route on 30 April. The flights between the Serbian and Italian capitals will be operated...

Population Census In October This Year

The government adopted the Bill on Amendments to the Law on the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in 2021. Due to the epidemiological...

Digitalisation Of Traffic Monitoring To Increase Safety At Highways

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic expressed her belief that the Centre for Collection and Processing of Traffic Data on Highways in Serbia, which was opened...

European Trademark Of Geographical Origin And For Products From Serbia

In the third quarter of this year, we will compete for three products – Arilje raspberry, Fruska Gora linden honey and Pirot cheese, and...