15.5.12

Graffiti Be Gone?

Just a little note to our readers: We try to stray away from political topics on our blog because:

1) This is our story - not a local politicians campaign blog.
2) We know that the Balkan history is sorted and painful resulting in a lot of political unrest. 
3) Everyone has their own opinion(s) when it comes to politics.
4) We really are not interested in offending anyone or even starting a discussion on the matter.
5) Ohhh yeah, and we can't understand Serbian well enough to follow what's going on in politics. 
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
All of that, and now I am going to briefly talk about something that may be considered "political." Last week, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was in Belgrade, Serbia, and once he left, the image of Subotica started improving just a bit. Coincidence? Perhaps. But maybe, just maybe, one former politician had the words and suggestions to bring about positive change for another country. Serbians may not believe that he has any right to speak to them about improvement for their country, but he does have a proven track record in America. That's just my opinion.

As most know, Giuliani stands out as one of America's most memorable (former) Mayor's for his response and dedication to console and cleanup after the September 911 attacks. He also cleaned up the image of New York prior to those attacks by attempting to eradicate graffiti in the sprawling metropolis. He saw graffiti as a symptom of urban decay and he put actions behind his words. 

Now days, Giuliani has his own consulting company (along with several other personal businesses) and while he says he visited Belgrade on "personal business" and was not paid by any political party, some in Serbia have their own suspicions and ideas. It is campaign season in Serbia. 
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in Belgrade, Serbia.
These are the posts in the center of Subotica, Serbia - covered in layers of Graffiti. 

When we first moved to Subotica, I was shocked by the graffiti that covers almost every building. Walls and windows are vandalized with gang tags, political bashing, hateful phrases, and a whole lot of words that I (luckily) cannot understand. From the outside, even our apartment building looked like a ghetto, but once inside the cozy, remodeled flat, you forget how derelict the exterior appears. I secretly wanted to take a bucket of paint and a brush and freshen things up a bit. . . 

New paint!!
. . . . But as soon as former Mayor Giuliani left Serbia, this guy (above) showed up and gave our building a fresh coat of paint. It's amazing how much better the center of the city looks now. I have no idea if Mayor Giuliani's presence in Serbia and his stories of New York improvement had any impact on Subotica painting over some of Her graffiti. Maybe there is no connection, but regardless, any improvement is good improvement.