Archive for February, 2013

I have opened a new companion blog on this account–the Georgia Photo Philes.

While researching historic structures and landscapes for my work at ICOMOS here in Tbilisi, I was always frustrated by the lack of images online with accurate names, dates, and credits. There are tons of really interesting historic photos of Georgia/the Caucasus all over the internet–except that you can often only find a handful of them hidden away on abandoned academic webpages, a local NGO’s facebook account, or an old news story. On top of that, most of them are not captioned or cited, so you might not know where or when a certain photo was taken.

Portrait of a Cossack in Alexandropol by Dimitry Ermakov

Portrait of a Cossack in Alexandropol by Dimitry Ermakov

I hope this blog can address that in a small way, and allow those interested in regional history and culture to get an idea of what they’re looking at. Please send me a message if I make any mistakes attributing photos, so I can correct them.


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In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some romantic places to go and things to do in Tbilisi, “the city that loves you”


  • Sulfur baths (Abanotubani district). Book a private suite; things are steamy enough as it is, but it’s a good place to relax sans clothes.
  • Historic district walks (Sololaki, Ortachala, Mtatsminda, or Vera districts). Walk the quieter side-streets of Old Tbilisi–Odzelashvili, Chonkadzi, Barnovi, Vertskhli, or Asatiani. Neighborhoods like those around Gudiashvili Square and Betlemi Church in Sololaki are both quiet and architecturally interesting.
  • Try the wines at one of several “vinotheques” along Leselidze Street–tastings are usually affordable (under 20 GEL) but generous
  • Go shopping at Dry Bridge flea market, where you can find everything from antiques and the requisite Soviet kitsch to used books and pirated software.

Restaurants and Cafes:

  • Shavi Lomi (The Black Lion). 23 Amaglebi St., Sololaki district. Georgian, dinner.
  • Tartine. 22 Abashidze St. (Maidan Square), Sololaki district. French, lunch and/or drinks.
  • garden and terrace at O Moda Moda

    garden and terrace at O Moda Moda

    Il Garage. 26 Mosashvili St., Vake district. Italian, dinner.

  • Mandari. 11 Mosashvili St., Vake district. Georgian fusion, dinner.
  • O Moda Moda. 64 Barnovi St., Vere/Vake border. Georgian cafe, any meal.
  • Moulin Electrique. 28 Leselidze St., Sololaki district. Georgian cafe, lunch and/or drinks.
  • Gruzbek. Corner of Erekle II St. and Ivereli Lane, Sololaki district. Uzbek dinner.
  • Chaikhana. 14 Grisashvili St., Abanotubani district. Azerbaijani cafe, tea and snacks.
  • Luca Polare. Leselidze Street (Sololaki district), Pekini Street (Vake-Saburtalo district), Mrgvali Baghi Square (Vake district). Gelato/hot drinks, pastries.
  • Puris Sakhli. 7 Gorgasali St (Sololaki-Abanotubani district). Georgian, dinner.

Makeout spots:

The following scenic locations make nice settings in which to flout Tbilisi’s completely ineffective crackdown on PDA:

  • Metekhi platform (across the river, next to the statue of Vakhtang Gorgasali overlooking Maidan Square)
  • Betlemi platform garden (next to the churches directly below the Kartlis Deda statue)
  • Tbilisi Botanical gardens (up behind Asatiani Street and Narikala fortress), or the hills behind them (up Grisashvili and right on Mirza Shapi)
  • Narikala fortress (medieval fortification overlooking Sololaki district)
  • Kartlis Deda (Mother Georgia) platform (accessible as of summer 2012 by gondola, which runs fairly late)
  • 9 April Park and Aleksandrovi gardens (behind the National Gallery on Rustaveli)
anti-makeout sign on Metekhi platform. yeah, whatever

anti-makeout sign on Metekhi platform. yeah, whatever

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