You may wonder where exactly lies a bond between a franco-american writer and the artisans of Belgrade after world war two? Belgrade's Peyton Place
pretty much sums it up - truly one of the finer examples of the most unimaginable ties formed by the historical circumstances. Grace Metalious was the original deseperate housewife, who happened to become quite rich in an attempt to feed her family. She wrote 312 pages of downright chastening of false morals, intrigues and hypocrisy inherent to the American small towns of the 1950s, and in the process wangled a grudge from her fellow co-citizens of Gillmenton (the original Peyton Place). The book became a best-seller, with a film adaptation that soon followed, and a soap opera which launched Mia Farrow into stardom.
Meanwhile, behind the iron curtain, the Communist Party of the Socialist Fedaral People's Republic of Yugoslavia, sought ways to assimilate the incogruous artisans into the Marxist doctrine. In the early 1970s, the party’s intetion to limit the organic growth of their businesses in Belgrade resulted in a very interesting architectural solution of the Crafts Center Vracar
. The construction, resembling a honeycomb, managed to squeeze over 40 different artisan shops in an inadequaltely confined space just next to Chubura Park
. The crafts themselves were rather peculiar ...they ranged from glassblowers to manufacturers of cressets, flambeaux and wedding crowns. On the account of popularity that the series from the first paragraph enjoyed at the time, it earned the moniker Gradich Peyton
in Serbian). The inhabitants of Vrachar consider that Vrachar would loose much of its charm if it weren't for Peyton Place and if you happen to stay in MOSCOW
you may be the the judge of that statement with less than a 10 minute walk.
Although three generations have been inheriting the businesses of Peyton Place the last world economic crisis has pretty much desolated it. Whether it’s going to live on in the collective memory of the Belgraders, like Tswetko, or revive - miraculously only time will tell. Yet, on its 40th birthday, the grateful residents of Gradich Peyton revealed a commeorative plaque with the incription that quotes the architect of Belgrade’s Peyton Place
, Mr Ranko Radovich:
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The time that we create through a meaningful and creative life is unfailing and abiding.