FIRST BIRTHDAY IN MY NATIVE CITY IN NEARLY HALF A CENTURY

A HAPPY BIRTHDAY” MUSICAL GIFT FROM HOLLAND

I just got this lovely musical “happy birthday” gift from my longtime friends in the Netherlands (see below). It’s about a dozen wonderful renditions of the (simple) “Happy BIrthday” song ion various famous composers’ interpretations.

The lovers of Chopin and Liszt, the two contemporaries in the early 19th century that I associate the most with, can find their renditions at 1:25 min of the second video. I especially enjoyed Liszt’s Gypsy-sounding version performed in his famed virtuoso style.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laPhvAZ_2m4 [ragtime]​

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-V34nUqoes [classical]​

My Dutch friends wrote: “Happy Birthday to you”, wherever you may be!

To which I replied:

I am actually in my native city. The last time I celebrated my birthday in Belgrade was two generations ago (49 years ago – in 1969).

​How much the world has changed since then – both for the better and for the worse. But but I agree with Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr and King Solomon.  It’s mostly it’s about the same. ​

“The more things change, the more they stay the same” (Karr, 1808-1890)

“There is nothing new under the sun” (Solomon, 990–931 BC)

Here are some photos from the morning in Brestovik, and the afternoon and evening in Belgrade.

IMG_4982.jpg


UPDATE JUNE 3, 2018 – Evening

MARVELOUS BIRTHDAY DINNER, SURPRISING GIFTS KEEP COMING

This has been one of those birthdays that just keeps coming and getting better and better. This evening, Stasa, Nina and I went out to dinner at a lovely vegan restaurant near the Kalemegdan Fortress and Park. The owner of the 5-star restaurant joined us at the table. She is the daughter of my future landlady here in Belgrade.

We had a marvelous time and enjoyed our meal very much and the company even more. Here’s the info about the restaurant with our hearty endorsement:

The restaurant has outstanding reviews – see https://goo.gl/7jdg1f and 
 
Radost Fina Kuhinjica
Pariska 3, Belgrade 11000
+381 61 604 4445 
They open around 2PM and serve food till after midnight – this https://foxnomad.com/2017/08/03/best-vegan-restaurant-belgrade-serbia/

After the main course, we walked to a nearby part of downtown Belgrade where we also had delicious “palačinke” (crepes). When it comes to desserts, I would rather have the crepes than a birthday cake any day and twice on Sunday. 🙂 Last year I also have the same in Granada, after a visit to the magnificent Alhambra (see JUNE 3, 2017: ALHAMBRA – A PERFECT SETTING FOR A PERFECT BIRTHDAY).

Back at the hotel, we arrived at a real zoo. A big prom party was just getting started in the big ballroom of the Hyatt. Luckily, all is quiet in my room.

Speaking of which, that’s where I found another wonderful surprise. This chocolate cake from the Hyatt with an edible Happy Birthday sign. Alas, I am so full now that I can only look at it. But maybe by breakfast, I might find room for some of it.

I leave Belgrade for New York early tomorrow. Hopefully by the end of this long day, I will find myself back home in Phoenix.

It’s been a marvelous trip all around. And I will cherish every single day of it.

Bye from Belgrade!


UPDATE JUNE 4, 2018

From New York

MORE THAN HALF WAY HOME, BIRTHDAY KEEPS COMING AND COMING

Greetings from New York! I am back in the US again. After a long flight from Belgrade (9 hrs), a long layover at JFK, God and Jet Blue willing, I should be back home in Scottsdale before midnight tonight.

I had initially intended to go into the City and maybe have lunch at the Tavern on the Green in Central Park. But the forecast I saw last night was calling for a 100% chance of rain in New York today. So I had changed my plans and booked a lounge at JFK.

Well, take a look at the weather I found as we were landing. And also check out this free Starbucks happy birthday drink that awaited me at Jet Blue’s terminal 5 at JFK. It seems my birthday this year keeps coming and coming.

And that’s all she wrote from this wonderful trip.

 

3 Replies to “FIRST BIRTHDAY IN MY NATIVE CITY IN NEARLY HALF A CENTURY”

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