Budapest Daze

2016-04-06 09.15.01

The roots of the city

Exploring and discovering. I’m mainly in a little, hot classroom in an old building with 25 other people discussing documentary but the films we see are taking us around the world and then there’s the wandering in Budapest too.

2016-04-06 08.54.46

Once upon a time, craft displayed itself more openly, as in the manhole covers that dot the city streets

The main streets bustle like main streets everywhere but the small side streets outnumber them and one can wander the city away from cars for the most part and discover things like:  Music

2016-04-06 00.51.27

Or: Decorative friezes four stories in the air

2016-04-06 09.32.19

2016-04-06 09.07.37

And Street Artists too, along the Danube in this case

Speaking of which, here it is: the Danube, the Buda side Castle that tourists flock to, the #2 tram that runs along the river, and the sun in late afternoon.

2016-04-06 08.59.53

There is also loss. This used to be Cafe Alibi, a wonderful little cafe/restaurant with delicious food and a lot of classic atmosphere, with piano music and tables for about 20. Now, it’s something else entirely:

Former home of terrific bistro

BYE BYE ALIBI, HELLO STARBUCKS

2016-04-06 09.40.11

The language of signs: “The Ministry of Human Capacity” has a limited capacity for the handicapped; they have to enter around the corner.

And the people. I always wonder what their stories are: where do they live, what do they do, where are they going?

2016-04-06 08.56.40

Some announce what they are doing now, but what will they do later tonight? And what are they guarding?

2016-04-06 09.29.25

This is what they guard: Parliament, on the Danube. No assaults from the river are anticipated…

2016-04-06 09.28.11.jpg

That’s the almost fairy tale part of an old city.

Meanwhile, there’s today and dinner. And I return to a restaurant I visited four years ago, as good now as it was then:

2016-04-06 09.46.28

Salaam Bombay from my table: the gems beneath the glass and the view of the front of the restaurant, but the food’s about to arrive, so it’s time to step back out of the Daze… for now.

Advertisements

Budapest in Spring

opera 1

Stay tuned; more on the opera below

Here for a week to do a course for documentary nomads, grads specializing in doc films who start in Barcelona, come here, then finish in Brussels. Today was Get over Jet Lag day.

cafe7

Always start with a cappuccino in a nice little cafe.

The cafe ceiling has quite stunning details. ¬†Actually it’s a bookstore, opposite the Opera House, but it’ll do.

cafe 2

The U.S. is just not old enough for all this glorious trimming

Having a coffee here, by the way, took me past the shrine to Nespresso, also near the Opera and shrouded in reverence for one of the most environmentally wasteful products yet conceived: the single shot of coffee pod.

Nespresso 3

The many flavors of Nespresso, a few are here

And if you need a box or two…

Nespresso

Yes, that colorful array is box after box of Nespresso pods

And then there’s the Opera itself, or the entrance, all I could do today.

opera 4 stairs

I wondered if Escher had a hand in designing this

And don’t forget the floor:

opera 5 floor

But Buadpest has a lot of history and nearby is the House of Terror. Not the usual Inquisitorial torture devices, but a painful history of traitors and killers, spies and betrayals, mostly after World War II, during the Soviet era. It was closed today but these photographic tributes to some who were killed are on the exterior wall:

House of Torture ext

There’s more to come and later in the week I plan to go inside to learn more about the terrors.