Facelifts and tradition

Although Skopje’s lords and masters continue to give the city a facelift, not everyone is happy with the result. Progress takes many shapes and forms and what might seem like a huge step forward to some, is an equally huge step backward for others.

My bitch with progress is that all too often it comes at the expense of tradition. In our haste to move forward, we cast aside things that no longer fit our new world. This isn’t always a good thing. Ways of life die out. Traditions that have been in families for centuries languish without heirs. Crafts die when the last craftsman takes a final breath. That makes me sad. Our shortsighted craving for immediate gratification in terms of bigger, better, faster is delusional.

IMG_1849 (800x600) (800x600)One tiny – and for many a very inconsequential – example of this is Cičko Stoicko, a fast-food joint that has been operating in Skopje since 1953. Cičko means uncle and this particular uncle was shot dead, by mistake, about ten years ago but the family has carried on grilling for the city. Yet this business that has been going strong for more than half a century has about two months left to run. Not because business is bad, or patrons are deserting it in favour of the city’s trendier restaurants. No. It’s only fault is that it stands in front of a building that is being treated to a brand new facade. Mostly like Baroque.

IMG_1822 (800x600)The Enem building to the right  is getting a facelift, one which probably make it l0ok more like its neighb0uring arch. I don’t need much excuse to go back to Skopje – I was quite taken with the place. But if I did need one, to see the ‘after’ to this ‘before’ would be it 🙂



4 replies
  1. ola66
    ola66 says:

    My take on the fast food joint is not to be sad at its demise………we have to hope that Mr Stoicko will be well compensated for his move which will enable him to set up a better ‘fast food joint’. A city cannot stand still, there is always movement up and down. Hopefully what replaces him will be an asset to the city and he will move on to another upcoming area ( which is what premises like his do in cities……..I accept that a 50 year turn around is rather more than the norm!) and become an asset there until property values in that area hopefully move up and then the cycle will start again.

    As for HRH his lack of imagination would stop him from enjoying the joke! 🙂

    • Mary
      Mary says:

      Mr Stoicko is dead – shot by mistake ten years ago. And can you compensate for a way of life? Am struggling to see how a new face on an old building will add to the city. And although I know there’s no stopping progress, I hate to see the little quys squeezed out.


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  1. […] I’m quite partial to a decent re-do. I like it when old buildings get a facelift. Not the Macedonia-style facelift where they’re built new to look old, but the genuine thing. I was quite keen to see what the […]

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