Restaurants are literally popping up on the scene in Lviv. Everywhere you turn there seems to be a new dining establishment. They are replacing banks and mobile phone stores ( as these used to all the rage in town) . I guess people are banking on the fact that tourism will just continue to grow and that there will always be a need for new restaurants.
This latest establishment is very appropriately named for Lviv- Mafjia! This restaurant is immediately next to McDonalds just off the Prospekt Schevchenko. the location is ideal.
This restaurant specializes ( what else?) – Pizza and Sushi. they might as well hit two birds with one stone.
The decors ( as with all restaurants in Lviv ) is lavish and very trendy. this Restaurant Mafia has even installed large chandeliers on the exterior of the building – very attractive. One has to wonder where the money is coming from to create such massive renovations and decors?
We at Lviv Apartments are thrilled to recommend a wide range of resaurants to our clients. The choice is endless.
The Christmas window displays in Lviv today rival all the glitz and glamor of Sasks Fith Ave. – New York.
This phenomenon of Christmas trees, balls, artificial snow, garlands etc.. Is fairly recent to Ukraine. I would say that this tradition began approximately 4-5 years ago. As Ukraine struggles to join the west by hoping to join the European Union , it embraces many cultural traditions along the way. for example , it is common ( in the last few years) to celebrate St. Valentina's Day and even Halloween.
fortunately, the old Folk traditions have not been lost and hopefully the new generation will have the culture and intelligence to preserve them. the inserted photo shows plywood cut outs of folkloric figures symbolic of the characters popular with Children. Fairy Tales at Christmas. so bright, colourful and definitely original and unique.
We at Lviv Apartments hope that the old traditions will live along – side by side – with the new ones.
Recently, at the Halutsky Bazar ( a downtown farmers market) I saw vendors selling American Style Christmas trees right beside the traditional local trees that were made of sheaths of wheat- how wonderful!
Lviv is a peace loving cultural centre. it is a very quiet and and pacifist society. I have never once felt threatened there. Quite to the contrary, one feels very relaxed there and regardless of your attire or skin colour the locals never stare or ridicule . they are very accepting of everyone and more so allow everyone to express their individuality.
Of course the citizens of Lviv have expressed their political opinions lately concerning their Governments refusal to join the European Trade Association. Mainly students have protested quite boisterously against a corrupt regime that refuses to listen to their demands.
The youth of Lviv deserve a life that leans towards European standards of Democracy and freedom.
From the inserted photo, one can tell that the protests ( what remains of them now) were very small in Lviv compared to the activities at the Independence square in Kyiv. many activists in Lviv are camping out in Kyiv.
Lviv is now flooded with tourists who want to witness their great Religious holidays and traditions. it is a very safe environment for foreigners. I encourage everyone to promote the Tourism in Lviv at this time as it’ s economy highly depends on it.
Lviv will continue to struggle for it ‘s rights to a better life – it will do so in a peaceful and civilized manner. We at Lviv apartments hope that the authorities in Ukraine will have the sensibilities to respond to their legitimate demands.
“Slava Ukraina” .
Cross at your own risk! This was ( and often still is) common practice in Lviv as pedestrians prepared the life threatening ordeal of crossing the street. Cars still are the macho power symbol here and pedestrians rights are constantly obstructed – Shame . . Even to cross on a green light one should check for speeding vehicles in defiance of traffic lights. as well, traffic lights often fail to work which creates total mayhem for pedestrians.
I remember waiting at crosswalks ( a relatively new concept in Lviv) where crowds would wait until there were no vehicles in sight before they dared to cross . This was because the locals refused to believe that car drivers would respect pedestrians. Also they understood how old habits die hard.
Crossing at crosswalk signs one always expected road rage drivers coming to a screeching stop- very frightening and uncultured.
Time heals all! With time , locals insisting on their pedestrian rights , and very importantly- tourists expecting to cross ( expecting drivers would obey the rules of the roads ) pedestrians crosswalks are slowly gaining respect and adherence.
We at Lviv apartments strongly support obedience to road signs and definitely encourage the rules of the road and above all respect for pedestrians.
Lviv is is actually working towards closing all of the old city centre to vehicular traffic. This would be the ideal! Already many streets are pedestrian traffic only ( occasional still disrespected) . On most Saturdays and Sundays -vehicular traffic is forbidden in the busy (4 lane) Prospect Svoboda – what a treat .
A pedestrian city would sure increase tourism 100 fold. Hopefully this concept will be implemented in the very near future.
Lviv’s a Unesco protected city! The old city centre is very historical and very unique in the world. Therefore Unesco has deemed Lviv worthy of protection . Unesco provides Funds for restoration and has certain rules and regulations as to how this Unesco site has to be protected and preserved.
The photo insert shows a brand new construction at the Halytska Bazar in the heart of Lviv’s historical centre. This new construction abides by Unesco rules in that the new structure has a facades that mimics the architecture of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This new building will blend in perfectly with the rest of the ancient architecture of Downtown Lviv .
Some believe that this philosophy is good and that an architectural harmony must be maintained in Lviv. We at Lviv Apartments agree that such a harmony must be encouraged. Also, we are not against transitional architecture, including various architectural styles in one area.
vive la difference.
Lviv is a hotbed for small businesses ! Mainly in the restaurant business. It seems that the influx of tourism since the Euro Cup Championships of 2012, restaurants are opening left and right.
Theme eateries have become very popular as restauranteurs vie for clients.
Notably, there is a trio of restauranteurs that have already created a number of very popular eating establishments. Abdriy Khudo, Yuriy Nazaruk and Dmytro Gerasy have opened up a series of fantastic restaurants in the last few years. The photo inset shows just one of their fine places . This particular restaurant doubles as a coffee manufacturer and people line up to buy beans or freshly ground coffee here. They also have a chocolate factory , a Jewish Costner terrace, a restaurant honouring the investor of gas lamps ( the inventor a Lviv resident) and many cafe terraces, etc… Their decors are unique and the cuisine is international. They offer special cards for their regular clients whereby they offer a discount.
We at Lviv apartments encourage these entrepreneurs and hope that many more will surface.
Lviv has always been known as a cultural centre. It is also a well known fact that Ukrainians are i well educated intellectuals.
Proof of this reputation is the reoccurrence of the 20th annual Lviv International Book Fair and Literature Festival. This cultural event will bring together over 100 writers from around the world and a publishers forum uniting over 300 publishing houses. All this takes place in the heart of the city – at the Palace of the Arts on Kopernika street . It’s many events include;
-awards and contests
– workshops by authors and journalists
– Youn Republic of poets ( sponsored by the German Goeth Institute)
-The Poetic Train – a night of non-stop music and poetry
– Translit – an International Translators Festival.
Perhaps the most significant event of this Festival is the “The Book Platform” which is aimed at protecting books in Ukraine. Ukraine present minister of culture -Tabachnyk – is anti Ukraine language and is in strong support of encouraging Russian as opposed to Ukrainian in the Public School system. Therefore, protecting Ukrainian books is vital to the survival of Ukrainian culture.
As the photo insert shows – books have been and still are an integral part of culture in Lviv. These books sold at the ” Fedora Square” ( Fedora was a Ukrainain intellect who published the first Bible in Eastern Europe) come rain or shine.
this is definate proof of how well and alive. Ukrainian language and Ukrainian language books are.
We at Lviv apartments certainly are strong promoters of Ukrainian language.
Vehicles parking on sidewalks and even driving on sidewalks has always been shocking to me . I have never seen this elsewhere in the world and found this practice totally inconceivable and incomprehensible. . However this used to the common practice in Lviv.
The only possible explanation that I could find for such crude and primitive behaviour was twofold:
Firstly, cars were the new toy here ( unaffordable during the Soviet times) and so the ownership of a vehicle now became a very territorial thing attached to a very macho attitude. Hence, cars before people.
Secondly, the new found capitalism here sent people stir crazy and car ownership meant power. If you did not own a car and had to walk on sidewalks then it was you the pedestrian and not the car owner who was the problem.
Lastly, , but not least, the police were the last to ticket the fat cat oligarchs who owned big expensive cars and of course parked ( and drove) their expensive vehicles off the sidewalks.
Since just recently, pedestrians were second class citizens in Ukraine putting their lives at risk by exercising their civil rights to walk on sidewalks.
Finally, civilization and civilized manners came to be and fences and blocks were set up to prevent car owners from parking on the sidewalks finally making it safe and pleasant for pedestrians.
We at Lviv apartments are so relieved that this finally happened as we care about the safety of our clients and we also care about the image and reputation of our city to an international audience of tourists.
The changes have become more that positive – they are now even aesthetic and artistic.
As seen in the photo insert , the polished marble half circles look very sculptural along Prospect Svoboda . Also, beautiful cement flower boxes are now preventing cars from sidewalk use. I say bravo and finally!
What is now need are multi- level structure as parking spaces in Lviv. The old cobble stone streets are very narrow and always congested with this recent influx in car ownership. There is absolute nowhere to park. even less now that sidewalk parking is barricaded. The only possible solution are parking garages . This is inevitable and hopefully coming in the very near future.
Inner courtyards are an integral part of the European daily and cultural life . in Lviv this is particularly true.
Every building complex has an inner courtyard that is the inner heart of the building and a vital life centre for it’s residents.
Here the neighbours gather to gossip., they greet each other here every morning when off to work and again every evening when they come home after a full days work. This is a very important daily ritual making people lives fuller and more meaningful.
Here the women hang heir clothes to dry creating a rainbow of colour and allowing them to share their daily joys and sorrows.
Here the children play , laugh , and cry.
Here is where life happens!
For years these courtyards were abandoned as the Soviets carried little for Lviv and it’ s culture . The plaster croaked, the sidewalks broke , trees and plants died and garbage began to accumulate. – how sad – how tragic.
Now the situation is slowly being reversed. As seen in the inserted photo, courtyards are even being transformed as Cafe Terraces by restauranters. people are getting together to restore the courtyards and pride and honour has returned into their homes and hearts.
We at Lviv apartments are so happy with the progress not only the facades of streets in Lviv but also inside the inner courtyards.
Lviv is a very friendly, laid back, quiet and peaceful city. With a population of approximately 1 million people ,it is just the right size to be manageable and to have a very low crime rate.
It is my Impression that the police force has little to do to keep order in such a civilized city. even after dark one feels perfectly safe . I have had many women clients ( travelling alone) who have told me that they have never once felt threatened in Lviv – even after dark.
On the other hand , I have often remarked that there seem to be very few police men and women in the old Lviv city centre. Perhaps that is because they are not necessary. I believe that even just the presence of the militia in the centre creates a feeling of comfort and security especially for first time tourists who do not know the language and who might be experiencing a bit of culture shock.
Lately, the police in Ukraine as a whole has received much criticism . There was a very bad police rape case that recently received much press and much protest. Also, many citizens say that they fear the police as they are controlled by a corrupt government.
These negative factors aside, we at Lviv apartments always promote Lviv as a safe and hassle free environment with friendly and fun loving people.