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December 3, 2019

Amra: Ode to Abkhazia

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Tbilisi -- In Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, there is an old pier with a sorrowful rusting shell of a café poking out over the Black Sea. What had been a dining room is a vacant space that mostly seems to serve as a public urinal, while upstairs a kiosk-sized café serves Turkish-style coffee, beer and snacks with plastic tables and chairs for locals who bitterly recall when the café was one of the most happening spots in Sukhumi.Read more
Tbilisi -- In Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, there is an old pier with a sorrowful rusting shell of a café poking out over the Black Sea. What had been a dining room is a vacant space that mostly seems to serve as a public urinal, while upstairs a kiosk-sized café serves Turkish-style coffee, beer and snacks with plastic tables and chairs for locals who bitterly recall when the café was one of the most happening spots in Sukhumi.

Georgians and Abkhaz dined, drank and danced together at the café, called Amra, until war erupted in 1992, and these friends and neighbors began killing each other. Within a year, much of what had been the capital of the Soviet Union’s “Red Riviera” was destroyed and as the Abkhaz advanced, some 250,000 Georgians were forced to flee their homes, not realizing they would never be able to return.Read more
November 18, 2019

Tartan: Take-Out Wizards

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Tbilisi -- You are motionless, stuck in a traffic jam after a long day at work while your stomach growls. You know the rest of the family will be hungry when you get home and that the fridge is empty and sad. Shopping and cooking is out of the question, so you turn onto a Vera side street, zig-zag through one-way lanes to Tatishvili Street, double park, and run into a tiny gastronomic oasis that has been saving lives like yours for nearly a decade. Its name is Tartan. Read more