Top 20

21 December 2017
The things that made our lives better. In 2017.

The weekend escapes
Instead of waiting for a miracle to happen so that we can hav time for travel adventures, we started making time - arriving with a suitcase at the office on Fridays and back with a bag of memories from a new hut, dam, village, city or even country on Mondays. Your year was the same, we saw your stories!

The magazine
Svema, that is with heavy in weight and in meaning. We owe it to photographer Yana Lozeva, who sensed the need of an independent publication outside of the box - first two editions are already in our collection, which has previously been extended only by foreign sources.

The engine
We wandered while trying to find this the first time, but we can never miss the entrance to Generator - the place on the 5th floor of Vitosha factory that in July promised to collect new ideas and generate creative processes in July and has been keeping that promise ever since. It's energizing.

The children's literature
The little guys are now reading Virginia Wold and James Joyce, they have The Book of Everything to navigate their lives with and I Want My Hat Back to learn how to laugh at life's jokes. High five to the new children's books, that treat kids like future meaningful adults.

The check point
Since it opened in May, every day we pray that the guests in town check in Gifted first - too the works of young artists, products from our brands and the hidden places in the alternative tour, that assemble the portrait of today's Sofia. We even wish we weren't from here, to get to know our city their way.

The secret concerts
We turned the smarphones off, stopped talking and gave ourselves entirely to the music at Sofar Sounds' concerts. Without knowing where we are going, nor who we are going to, we travelled around city roofs, offices, shops and now we want to invite them home (we have glasses for guest, you don't have to bring your own).

The podcast
It's not the first one and it's not the only one, but Govori Internet (meaning Internet Is Talking) grabed our attention just when we were starting to dig deep into smart podcasts, instead of playlists. 39 episodes later, we're sure that the genre is well represented here. Who's talking next?

The homecoming
Ivo Dimchev, kan Wakan and Galin Stoev are entertaining us with their art from abroad, but this year they all came back home to create it here. Welcome and, please, stop by often! And tell the others that with them being here, our culture can may beat that other thing that has been keeping them away.

Rehearsal of Delhi Dance with director Galin Stoev Photo: Guergana Damyanova

The new corners

San Stefano Plaza looks like a cake with lavish glaze to us, too, but around it the whole neighbourhood bloomed and became more tasty - with roasted ribs, happy menu, Proshekovo pivo and a new Rainbow, for now. The only thing we ask for is that someone takes care of the six overloaded garbage containers across the street, we're at a table, after all.

The sequels
Is there anything worse than a sequel to a favourite movie that sucks? Thank Lynch, Boyle and Villeneuve for the fact that 2017 will be listed in the archives as the year in which Twin Peaks, Trainspotting and Blade Runner came back, without breaking our memories, but creating new ones.

Science: Up-Close
We're still getting the to know Science, but at least we're already not complete strangers to it. Thanks to Ratio and the always-packed gatherings Skeptics in the Pub where we talked (and laughed a lot) about complex and dark matters in simple words. It's not devaluating it, its humanazing it.

The rap wave
Tha tide with strong lyrics and carefully crafted beats is not from yesterday, but got higher this year - from Gena and Grigovor's Falstart to Prim&Nerve's Wings and Padlocks. Strugare also declared "Rap is cool", as long as that is your kind of sound. If it is - dive deep, the bottom is nowhere near here.

The new genres
Experiment, in which the artist acts on the script a prima vista or a play, written entirely by the audience? White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and The Happy Beckett widened the niche around classical drama with two new concepts. The need? Still with capital "N".

The Happy Beckett Photo: Yana Lozeva

Today it's here, tomorrow it's not

What is it? Correct answer - it's the shops and events that burst for one-two-five days and they are not something new, but with them we're getting to like the foreign word "pop-up". Especailly when it comes to art and design, the excitement and thrill of rushing is two-thumbs-up.

The good example
The European cities shine with ex-industrial buildings that have been transformed into art halls that give stage and courage to independent artists. It is still dark here, but we can see a light just behind the National Palace of Culture - after an open competition, the Heating plant is goint to be "like in Berlin" someday. We believe it, because we want to.


The zebras

Not only the colorful ones, that catch the eye, but the others, which have marked our natural ways of getting through the city. Walkways have been placed at Fridtjof Nansen Blvd. and Shishman Str., after years of illegal crossing and that is exactly how a smart city follows the logic of the people in it. We hope it's not just a flashlight.

The photo books
We've been collecting them from abroad for quite some time now, and the new platform PUK! has just brought them here. And along came the imaginary archive by Tihomir Stoyanov with whom we got to know found photography and even shook hands with Jean-Marie Donnat


The plants

2016 cleaned our apartments to bare minimalism and placed terrariums and - the word of 2017 - succulents. Then came the indoor jungles of giants, like the Philodendron or Monstera - not monsters, but monster jewels, which we'll keep alive for the humans after us.

The sustainability
Our weekend shopping is headed to second-hand bazaars more and more often and that is the right direction - to decrease the massive production on this planet by increaing the life of the clothes. A simple detail is a little itchy, though: the labels with prices that are more suitable for a "discount" are not what sustainability means - this is plain trade. And it feeds the same monster: vanity.

The voices
After 20 years with no records The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices sent us to Space with Petar Dundakov's compositions featuring Lisa Gerrard and Skiller. The vinyl with all that has just been released and the concerts in Sofia and Plovdiv are sealed in our memories forever.

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices Live EPK from TMOTBV on Vimeo.


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