Thursday, August 23, 2012

Batumi Article Up over at the Huffington Post

Georgia's Black Sea Playground

Two years ago, the port city of Batumi, Georgia's pastel-colored playground on the
Black Sea Coast, was hardly postcard-worthy. The cobblestone streets were almost uniformly obstructed by rubble, the splendid art nouveau facades hidden beneath layers of scaffolding, plastic sheeting, and an ever-present coating of grime. The few high-end hotels dotting Batumi's main boulevard, which juts out onto a flotsam-dense and particularly oily attempt at a beach, seemed designed for the well-compensated mistresses of oligarchs, a seedy ethos that trickled down to the more economical accommodation options: No sooner had I left the lobby of our ramshackle courtyard hotel than my boyfriend received -- to his superbly Anglo-Saxon befuddlement -- an impromptu lap dance from a member of hotel staff. I warned all my friends and acquaintances passing through the Caucasus that Batumi's place on the international resort roster was just below Blackpool. But this summer, I find myself issuing a complete retraction.... Read more at the Huff


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