Davin Ellicson a brilliant young American photographer wrote this to me today, which is worth sharing.
I went to the night of the galleries last night and it was as if the Bucharest I knew is long gone. It was a shock. Bucharest is unrecognizable these days. Romanians have transformed themselves in every way. Since around 2011, Bucharest hit a new period. Romanians look different now, they carry themselves differently, they've traded BMWs for bikes. The city looks different with new streets, no wires, no dogs, bike lanes, all sorts of hip cafes and bars (even no smoking ones). Everyone has cameras and wears the latest fashions, many have the iPhone 6 and Apple laptops. There's an altogether different spirit about the place as if Bucharestians are finally reclaiming the city that Ceausescu took away from them for so long. At the route level it's about economics it seems to me. Money doesn't just buy new cars, it can buy a new found confidence. Many have traveled widely and globalization seems to finally be hitting up Bucharest, albeit in a sophisticated way. Bucharest is transforming itself in a way and at a speed you never witness in the West.
Calea Victoriei was also shut down for the light show and I had never seen so many Romanians in the streets except for the Rosia Montana protests. Romanians are taking back the urban environment that for so long was stolen from them. It's becoming their city again.