The florid theme park is not as glorious as it used to be! "Southforkscu" as locals call it was opened in 1996 in Slobozia, South-Est of Bucharest, by the King of Romanian cheddar, Ilie Alexandru: he's one these egomaniac and corrupt nouveau-riche entrepreneurs typical of post-Communist Eastern European countries. It's like a cross between an amusement park and a luxury resort. Originally, visitors could tour the ranch, ride horses, swim in the swimming pools, visit a small zoo, enjoy the lake and climb the 50 meters Eiffel Tower. And of course, spend a night in the Dallas ranch. Larry Hagman even visited! But Alexandru went to jail for fraud. A string of investors have failed to revive the place. One of them, a Russian dude even painted the ranch in ORANGE! The zoo is closed, the horses are gone... The Romanian hotel chain now in charge wants to remodel it, open a night-club. We interviewed the manager - pure Commie style, just unbelievable. I don't have much faith in this guy's management!Link to Emmanuelle's moblog, Link to related gallery exhibit, and more on the moblog of Emmanuelle's husband and travel companion, journalist/blogger Matt Welch: Link 1, Link 2.
This artist Sean Snyder produced an exhibit about the esthetics of the place "Script For Dallas Southfork In Hermes Land, Slobozia, Romania (2001)" It went to Paris and Berlin (Link). This page contains details about the place and a pic of the ranch before the paint job. It's quite surreal, especially when you see the Eiffel Tower from the road, behind rows of cornfields.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.