30 Oct 2013

Tbilisi, Georgia

The Presidential Palace neighborhood posesses some interesting contrast

Abandoned buildings amongst the occupied but deteriorating residences

Hotel for $30 per night including (almost always) running water

A quiet street

Kardanakhi Turn

Not as much contrast, but it's still there

"41" was the winning candidate of the October presidential election

One drab, deteriorating complex after another

Yet, they are very well designed, and must have been excellent when new

Our building on Zakaraidze Str

From the 7th floor

Over the years each flat has been altered by its residents

From ground level

One of the numerous exterior stairwells with semi-enclosed lifts

When I mention the consistent failure of American cities, I am referring to the ones I am familiar with. I know there are very good metro/subway/underground systems there, but I've never had the advantage to experience one firsthand.

Sent from my Olivetti Lettera 22


  1. Looks like a neat place. Seems rather cramped to live there though. I really got spoiled when I lived in the country and where I live now is more city than I can happily tolerate. I like visiting cities, but being so constrained would drive me crazy.
    One thing I do like about what I see on line and read about European cities is the good way they have for bicycles and pedestrians. The place where I live is adding more and more multi-use trails where I bike, but most are not separated from traffic like many places in Europe. Oh, they are not in traffic, just not protected by rails or walls or anything.

    Hope you enjoy your trip. I look forward to more reports.

    1. I, too, grew up in the country, and I still love it and wouldn't mind living there. But I think I'm happiest living in a moderately-sized city (in the US, about 200,000, but Tbilisi doesn't seem as large as it is).

      I haven't seen any bikes here, and some areas are definitely very pedestrian-friendly, while in others people just walk where they please in the street and take them over from the cars.

  2. Enjoy your trip! I hope you'll have a chance to interact with Georgian people too. Because I believe that when you go past the messines and decline of the urban architecture you'll find some warm and friendly hearts. And don't be afraid to try their food and alcohol (for the latter maybe some moderation would be advisable ;) ).
    And you have one bad-ass looking Lettera in B&W :)

    1. I'll be getting to my opinion of the people soon. ;)

      All I've eaten since arriving has been their food and I'm going to be sad when I get back home...!

      Letters seem to always look better in black and white...contemplating stripping the green paint I used and painting it glossy black instead. (Or just finding another to paint black)

  3. I love this post. The photographs, and your discussion. I too prefer to explore lived places, and meet people rather than just plod through a series of tourist traps.


    1. I'm lucky to be able to stay for a month in a normal flat with a local resident grandmother to cook and clean for us. ;D

      Though, Tbilisi is delightfully devoid of tourist traps. All I can think of is overpriced restaurants (Americans might think them a good deal but here food is extremely inexpensive) and one or two attractions. All of the rest seems pretty honest. And of course, I find their apartment complexes, automobiles, and metro to be just as fascinating as any other aspects of the city.

    2. Oh you got so lucky with that grandmother cooking for you... :)

  4. It looks like you are in your element. Thanks for sharing the experience!

    1. That's a pretty good observation. I wouldn't have thought of it that way myself, but indeed.

      When you think about it, the typosphere is centered around sharing the experience. :)

  5. Thanks for the update. I like cities with an old and new, a lot to explore.

    Yay, L22!