In our column Meet a local we present interesting individuals from different professional fields living in Belgrade. The idea is to get to know some locals and their favorite neighborhoods and venues in the city.
Please introduce yourself to our readers:
My name is Jana Orsolic. I’m a graphic designer and design professor. I work at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade teaching students everything about letters starting from classic calligraphy all the way to type design and making fonts. Apart from that, I’m a foodie who loves to dance and sing.
Has there been a new project lately?
For the last couple of years, I’ve been running SAMO NEZNO PREMA SEBI project, both creatively and businesswise. Also, a couple of months ago I presented a collection of my latest digital calligraphy works at the HEALING PLAYLIST exhibition.
What do you like about Belgrade?
I like Belgrade’s feistiness, drama, and dirt. I love Belgrade’s rivers, hidden inner yards with mellow secret gardens. Plants grow from cracks in the concrete. Bursts of city poetry like a motorbike riding through a bouquet of balloons across Branko’s bridge. I love the fact that Belgrade is emotional and tough at the same time. The city is alive and struggling, enjoying itself as it is, and screaming “I WANT IT BETTER!” at the same time.
Where do you like to go out?
When the weather is nice I love concerts in the open wherever they take place. Sometimes they are in the Botanical Garden, Kalemegdan, Ciglana, Silosi… the atmosphere is always something special at those events under the sky. I’ve been dreaming about going to a good karaoke bar for some time now. Likewise, longing for some time now to hear a piece of jazz music and attend a dance night at Matica Fire Station in Zemun.
Name 3 of your favorite restaurants in the city?
Oooh, that’s tough, but I’ll try…
I’m really emotional about Saran in Zemun. They have solid history and continuity in the business. All the staff knows me and my family and we feel at home there. It’s OUR place.
Then, there’s Bistro Mali Pijac, the place with the sleekest of interiors, an epic view of the marvelous Geozavod building, and also seriously good food created and maintained by true professionals.
Then, there’s Istok, where I feel like I’m in New York. I love to order a bunch of small dishes and share them with friends at the table.
Where do you drink coffee?
I take most of my coffee in the local coffee shops while walking around Zemun. I love places like Mlin, KafeKafe and Kafeterija Gardos. When I cross the bridge for work, Skica is the place where we gather at breaks. Microbrewery on the top floor of Kafeterija in Kralja Petra Street is the place where I go to hibernate for a bit with a cup of chemex or a cold brew. I feel sheltered in La Boulangerie’s – a hidden nest in the city center. I am impressed how people at Hotel Beograd coffee shop are passionate about proper coffee and croissants. Recently, I had a wonderful moment in this fairly new French food specialty shop Kod Francuza when they suggested that I take a break, take a seat and have a peaceful cup of coffee.
Where do you spend your leisure time?
My unwinding default is always Zemun, long active walks through the city’s quiet streets, or strolling by the Danube river from the quay’s beginning right to the Hotel Yugoslavia and back. All the way to one of the bridges and across when I need longer walks with music in my ears. When on the other side, I love hanging out at Kosnica Dorcol where we also sing our hearts out at workshops they organize. Smokvica in Jovanova Street is always cozy with the garden shade, nice food, and friendly staff. Fig trees and hydrangea bushes there are always so refreshing. Likewise, Ada Lake is a calm place to be in the summer’s early evenings. Sitting by the water is THE thing for me.
Name your 3 favorite locations in Belgrade and justify your choice.
Zemun. It is home. There’s the Danube and there’s the park, there’s a sense of community, a lot of true artistic quirk and authenticity.
Kosancicev venac. It is work. Students and colleagues, cobbled streets, and slow traffic. Overlooking Sava and Danube confluence and eyeing the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Museum of Contemporary Art itself but also the vast green area around it. Both are monumental and carry a sense of serenity. Wide and tranquil. Airy and welcoming.
Writer. Blogger. Traveler. Researcher. Electronic Music Lover.