This is Vake.
Vake is the most popular residential area in Tbilisi.
What is most apparent about this area is the construction boom. This has resulted in stark contrast between old, soviet-era homes, soviet-era apartment highrises, and more modern high rises. Dirt paths often exist where one might expect paved road, perhaps another sign of rapid growth. All in all, its a beautiful area, crammed with people of all ages, classes, professions.
While I was walking down a crowded street, two 10-12 year-old boys were striking matches. I had the intention of proceeding a few steps and drawing my camera to snap them lighting up a cigarette. This presumption was founded on a staggering prevalence of smoking (a coworker supposed its between 60-70% of the population).
Before I made it three steps, I reflexively jolted, a shockwave blast up my spine and wreaked havoc in my left ear drum! It hummed and rang as I settled my nerves.
For the last ten days, kids have been throwing poppers in the street, fireworks displays have been lit in empty lots and off rooftops. Firecrackers have snapped through the late evening, but this was different. This was something bigger and loader. As my hearing came back, I heard the kids laughing, their footsteps rapidly chasing the other direction. I laughed to myself and thought Happy New Years!