36 hours in Zagreb

Alex Crevar, a New York Times correspondent, spent 36 hours in Zagreb and wrote an article about his impressions and experiences.
"The Croatian capital is in the midst of an identity crisis. Geographically, Croatia is indisputably part of the Balkan Peninsula, but call a chic Zagrebian Balkan and prepare to get an earful. While Zagreb’s vibe is indeed more Vienna than, say, Belgrade, it can also be deliciously rough-and-tumble. Zagreb is haggling with thick-fingered, green-market farmers and wee-hour clubbing with boisterous Slavs — both just beneath the mammoth spires of the city’s cathedral. It’s a leggy, high-heeled blonde visiting a bloody-aproned fishmonger. And it’s the construction of a new Museum of Contemporary Art — due to open by year’s end — and the avant-garde validation that the city hopes it will bring." You can read the rest of the article here.
I can't blame Crevar for believing that the new Museum of Contemporary Art is due to open by the end of this year. It was due to be opened by the end of last year, the end the year before last year, and so on. I bet Croatia will have joined the EU before we can finally see some modern art in Zagreb. The location of the museum is in Novi Zagreb, behind my back from where I took the picture above.
To spend 36 hours in a town as a journalist is not too short. Zagreb's problem, however, is that the average tourist doesn't spend more time either. One or two nights, and that's it. I can think of many ways to keep tourists much longer in town, but unfortunately the Zagreb Tourist Board (ZTB) suffers from a complete lack of imagination.

As I wrote before, Croatian media closely monitor foreign media. If a foreign paper writes something about Croatia then that's considered news. (Of course, I wrote about the NYT article too, but with all respect for my blog, I would not call it media).
Javno fabricated a conclusion that is clearly meant for Croats who've never visited the Austrian capital: "Like Vienna - only more chaotic"
Jutarnji list writes: "NYT: Zagreb goes through an identity crisis" and Večernji list reports more or less the same.
Meanwhile readers started discussing whether the Croatian papers have correctly conveyed the message from the NYT. Somebody urged the editor of Večernji to find a Croatian journalist who understands English, as the English article is "way more positive" than one would think reading Večernji's interpretation.
You see, navel-gazing is the popular pastime here.

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