(Post) Lockdown Budapest Rambles

This talk about locals reclaiming their cities now that the throngs of tourists are gone, well, it is real. Forced by circumstance, we took exultingly and frankly excruciatingly long walks. No public transportation and, in a first phase, no restaurant pit stops involved. Up and down the hills of Buda, into the long straights of…

Complainer Meets Hope: Best of Budapest 2019

The year started in the cold corridors of the Adria Palace, its fading beauty on display in the eerily dazzling Blade Runner 2049, and now also to be glimpsed in the Black Widow trailer. Finally, a film where Budapest IS Budapest, not just a prop pretending to be some other random city, though I’m also…

This is Not the Golden Age- Olof Palme House and Párizsi Udvar

I occasionally (as in, frequently) have questionable ideas, and one of these was jogging to the polling station a couple of weekends ago, keeping my fingers crossed that the chilly weather would allow me to be fairly presentable, both visually and odour-wise. I either succeeded, or the ladies in the electoral commission have by now…

Autumn Lament for a Lost Budapest

One of the reasons why I love going to the baths at ungodly hours of the morning is that it’s the time of The Locals. The Locals are generally late middle aged to ancient, mostly men (a typical group would be four male friends or a group of three men and one woman), with a…

Why Go To The End Of The World, When You Can Go To Kőbánya

Kőbánya has always been mysterious to me, exotic and perhaps also slightly scary, exiled at the fringes of my Budapest existence, a land of imaginary brigands and flesh and bone people frozen into exasperated waiting on the platforms of minor stations my train hurtles through on its way home. Kőbánya-Alsó, Kőbánya-Felső, Kőbánya-Kispest. I know this…

Black Eagle, Blue Palace: A Day in Oradea

Growing up, one of the main tenets of our gang, often translated into footballing passions, was that out of the triad of neighbouring western Romanian cities ours (Arad) was the best. This was frankly contradicted by everything: Arad was the smallest, the economically least efficient and the one with the least spectacular architecture. Arguably, ours…

Geometries in the Rain- In Search of Bauhaus with Budapest 100

Once upon a time on an almost unbelievably rainy May weekend I set out in search of Bauhaus in Budapest- why it has taken me two months to write about it, I cannot really tell, let’s just say that procrastination is one of the few things in life I know inside-out, if not the only…

Budapest corner with Istanbul: Gül Baba’s Rosegarden

Humans are seldom happy with what they have. Say you’re offered a bank holiday right in the middle of the week, and in a more positively disposed moment you do admit that this arrangement could perhaps function in the long run, making people more focused on the tasks they have on the four working days…

The Commie IKEA of Rákóczi Boulevard

Rákóczi boulevard must definitely be the first glimpse I ever took of Budapest, as it opened up in front of Keleti railway station, rushed towards the mysterious Blaha Lujza square (I tend to get lost in its underpass to this very day), passed Astoria, the hub of my life while studying in the nearby ELTE…

Sailing Through 117 years of Budapest History: The Adria Palace

The Adria Palace (of which I of course did not yet know the name) had been the backdrop to many a mundane undertaking of my Budapest life: I would give it a passing glance on my way to Iguana’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, peer at it aimlessly while queuing at the mobile bathroom during the…