Sunday, 19 October 2008

a new park in Yerevan

On the background of the disappearing parks (pressed by countless cafes) in the center of Yerevan, this is a big event !!! We have a brand-new park! On the place of the former "Pushkin park" located on top of the "Marshal Baghramyan" metro station (where my granny used to take us for carousels in my early childhood), a new one was built, with totally new landscape design. It was under construction since 2005 and the opening ceremony took place on October 17 with the participation of the president of Armenia and many foreign guests. Now it has a new name - "Lovers' park".
As the official site states:
The Lovers’ Park Landscaping and Design Project is an initiative undertaken by the Boghossian Foundation in collaboration with the Armenia Fund. The project is not merely a reconstruction initiative; it is a renovation project which also insures the sustainable maintenance of the park.

Japanese traditional landscaping has been a major source of inspiration for the Lover’s Park Landscaping and Design Project.

The design for the reconstruction of the new Lovers’ Park has been created by Pierre Rambach, a well known landscape architect based in Switzerland and the author of many books and articles on Japanese and Eastern gardens.
The best lighting specialists have worked on the park. As well as general lighting throughout the park, there will be decorative lighting to highlight stone compositions and sculptures.
Some facts and figures.
The park has:
  • 4 waterfalls
  • 370 trees
  • 16 felled trees (3 dried trees have been kept for decorative purposes)
  • Amphitheater with 215 seats
  • 26 stone compositions
  • 214 lights
  • 83 garbage bins
  • 5 shaded pavilions
  • A public toilet
  • A small pool for kids
  • The park has been designed with the needs of physically challenged people in mind.
I was walking there with my friend, exploring the park, noticing details and trying to criticize. Both me and my friend have been to different parks in Europe and have been dreaming to have something similar in Yerevan too. One of the shortcomings is the restriction to step on the grass. We would like to be able to sit or lay there and read a book!
We were walking there around 7-8 in the evening and while it has been already quite dark for half an hour, the lights weren't still on, I was even wondering if they had the lights there at all, since they weren't noticeable. But when we were about to leave it, they turned them on! It was very beautiful, as you can see in the photos. Luckily I took my tripod so I was able to make these shots.
Also, we didn't like the fact that it was too much crowded and it was hard to walk there. Well, it's understandable - only the 2nd day, and the rumor had it. Hopefully the crowd will decrease in the upcoming weeks. One more thing is that, in my humble opinion, it wasn't that "green". I would like to see more trees there, bushes, flowers... as it has a lack of privacy for lovers :)
However, this is a very nice park to come sometime in Sunday mornings and have a small picnic with friends :) (at least)
I Yerevan !

Friday, 10 October 2008

"Rock the borders" regional rock festival in Yerevan, Armenia

September 28 was the coldest day in Yerevan since the March I guess… It was raining round the clock and stopped close to the evening of Sunday. Luckily it stopped, because the rock festival that was widely advertised - had to take place in a park, under an open sky.
Bands from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey and Italy, and Armenian bands like Stryfe, Dogma, Vortan Karmir, were announced to be playing. In my memory, this was the biggest ever event of this type in Armenia. Italian band "Sadist" was among the most anticipated ones, since they are quite famous among metal music fans.

I haven't been at rock concerts for a while… some 4-5 years ago I wasn't missing any :) during this one I realized how much I did grow up since then :D
Most of the attendees were teenagers - under the influence of emo, gothic and other subcultures like these. To me it was unusual seeing this much Armenian teenagers with tattoos and piercings. Some years ago these people were quite rare and they were getting much more attention than these young people now. Alternative culture is becoming more and more popular here year by year… When it was my 'age' of attending rock concerts, the 'weirdest' people were guys with long hair and girls wearing large and rude boots, a lot of

Outstanding was fact of the presence of Turkish band "Northern Lights", taking into account the fact of a long-term Turkish-Armenian conflict, and the absence of diplomatic relations between the countries. This was unprecedented event and was interesting for watching the reactions of the public (there are certain masses in Armenia that are against any Turkish presence).
Not surprisingly for me, the audience was welcoming and I didn't notice any display of intolerance. I was wondering if it would be the same with any other concert, especially if it was pop. Yep, even when rock fans are more anti-social, I personally think, they are also more open-minded.
I heard that all of the guest bands wereastonished by the Armenian hospitality which wasn't a surprise for me ;))
It was really cold there and people who liked the music and were dancing had an advantage. Since heavy metal is not my preferred style, I was freezing and left the concert for a hot tea in the middle of performances missing the Italian band, but it was becoming more and more crowded there.
 Performance of the Turkish band "Northern Lights"