December 31, 2007

Day to Reflect

The last day of 2007

I've decided to take a walk. One of my favorite spots is the Chain Bridge and the Castle Hill. This is the scene that greets you as you arrive by the bridge to Buda and are standing on Clark Adam square - the tunnel that brings traffic under the hill.

December 30, 2007

Birds, Birds - them there are real birds

A while ago Fenix ran photos from Boston where there were birds on just one of the roofs in the neighborhood. It was amusing to see the same thing happening here. Don't you wonder what differentiates one roof from the other for these wise and discriminating animals? I certainly do. :)

December 29, 2007

Birds, Birds, Birds

These fine feathered friends will not ruin your roof, mess on your clothes or streets, they simply add to the atmosphere of this household. It was such a great vision I didn't feel alone when I glanced at these birds. Hope you'll enjoy them as well.

December 28, 2007

Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate? Pastry for Sure!

It was quite on purpose I did not tempt you with actual photos of the pastry. Would it be nice to do such a thing to perfectly lovely people who come by to visit on good faith? I thought not, I'm not that kind of girl to make you lick honey through a jar.

December 27, 2007

Andrassy Boulevard in its Glory

I'm pleased with this attempt at evening photography while trying to capture the Christmas lights on Andrassy Blvd. Other than the minus two lanes of traffic, it has nothing to be ashamed of when compared with the Champs Elysee.

December 26, 2007

If It's must be doors

There is little that needs to be commented - you either like it or you don't. Somehow I find the "Wedneday Doors" still appealing. If you are getting bored, do let me know and we'll find another topic for Wednesdays.

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

May you and your family enjoy health, peace and harmony reaching out to distant relatives and friends who are alone. God bless all of you dear new virtual friends!

December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Appropriately enough for Christmas eve, here is a night shot of St. Stephen's Basilica. I hope you will forgive the lack of sharpness and think of it as an intentional romantic glow. Merry Christmas to all of you and your loved ones!

December 23, 2007

Utility Manhole Cover

Just in case you could not make out what it is - because it surely does look different from any I've ever seen - it is a utility company manhole cover. Whimsical, different and artistic for such a utilitarian item.

December 22, 2007

Light Lunch with a Friend

Meeting friends and sharing some time catching up is what the season is about. A light lunch with fine company and wine is top of my list this year. How about you?

December 21, 2007

Statue on Roosevelt Square

This lovely statue is right by the bus stop on Roosevelt Sq. where I landed Tuesday night. It was so graceful that I checked on the person it was created for. The statue is of Gabor Szarvas, a Hungarian linguist (1832-1895). The statue is by Gyula Jankovits created in 1899 and the creation stands 3.65 meters high.

Below is a picture of the same statue in daylight.

December 20, 2007

Freshly Baked

In addition to the bread staple that you buy at the general grocery store, more and more specialty shops have been cropping up around Budapest. Since I love crusty, crispy fresh bread, these are always of interest to me. What about you? What is your favorite bakery product?

December 19, 2007

If It's must be doors

Graceful, colorful, useful - a great looking classic. Enjoy it and the fact that it is Wednesday.

Life in the Trenches

Believe it or not, I'm old enough to consider the mode of transportation I use depending on how my knees feel. Going up and down the stairs to the metro are not always the first choice. I'm amazed at how sturdy the elderly are around here and the obstacles that meet them at every corner. (You don't suppose they are not as old as they look, simply worn away?)

December 17, 2007

Decorataive Cobblestone

Most people have become used to it, but there is something extra ordinary about this otherwise ordinary sidewalk. Don't you think? It could have been plain as the rest of the sidewalk, but there was that whimsical thought in the mind of the designer that said - nope, let's do something different. :) I like it.

December 16, 2007

A Fun Shot

Hope you will forgive me for mixing in Warsaw but this photo just seemed more interesting than the one I've intended to show you on a Sunday. I saw this sign up in the old town.

December 15, 2007

Opera Christmas Tree

The major streets and avenues are festively lit and the Christmas tree in front of the Opera was being installed and decorated as I walked by. The fragrance of pine from the sawdust was a perfect mood setter.

One of these days, I promise to go out with camera when it is dark and the lights are on to show you why it's been officially said that Budapest looks more Christmasy than Vienna for the second year in a row. Hope you are enjoying your week-end and it is warmer where you are.

December 14, 2007

Decorative Exterior

This is a building across from the main synagogue near the Astoria intersection. As I was trying to find a good position to shoot the synagogue it struck me how beautiful the facade of this building was.

December 13, 2007

Sixth District Facade*

Between the rain there was a pause of decent weather and in my rambling through neighborhoods of the sixth district, this facade struck my fancy.

Although the streets are fairly narrow, I would love to live in that corner unit with the balcony. Wouldn't you?

*My apologies for an early post but I will be in Warsaw, Poland until Friday and did not want to neglect my duties to you. Look forward to reading your comments.

December 12, 2007

If It's must be doors

These are the side doors of a smaller and much less prominent synagogue in the bowels of the seventh district.

Very plain, yet very commanding in their symmetry. I thought it was an outstanding sample for our door series.

December 11, 2007

Webcamera Shot

This was an idea I got yesterday after sending the link of the web camera to one of the readers. I don't really have a photo that shows more of the city and this is such a great photo by the web camera from the Citadel (on the Buda side). Perhaps the camera was not working as the photo that appeared was one taken in August :)

Here is the link for you as well to see a 'live' shot over Budapest. Hopefully, by the time you see it, it really will be LIVE.

December 10, 2007

Budapest Synagogue

This is the great Synagogue in Budapest and it is in the yard behind the building where the tree of life is located that I've shown you last week.

Some intricate pattern on the side of the building.

December 09, 2007

Museum of ElectroTechnics

Looks like a pretty bleak building, and I've no idea what it is that they would exhibit there but the light fixtures looked very serious on this narrow little 7th district street.

December 08, 2007

Seventh District

This is a business area of the seventh district. The older building had been revamped and what is reflecting on those yellow painted buildings are the windows of a newly constructed office building. It was the play of the light that made me aim and shoot it. :)

December 07, 2007


Thought this was a bit more creative than what one generally sees as graffiti. The picture on the left is of a figure sitting holding up a bottle. Very graceful, I thought. The one on the right looks to be a clocked figure - but I am not sure if the hands are clasped in prayer and the lines are formed by the sleeves of the garment or the hands are clasping a dagger?

Can you tell?

December 06, 2007

Tree of Life

Took a walk through the Jewish quarter today and since the sun was shining the camera came out more readily. This is a metal sculpture in the Synagogue's courtyard called the Tree of Life. It's metallic leaves carry the names of Holocaust victims.

December 04, 2007

If It's must be doors

Rather than the wooden doors we've seen before, here is an equally beautiful wrought iron doorway. The craftsmanship is still there and the sheer size is overwhelming.

The walls are scarred by graffiti and age, the door had a box attached to it in which advertisements can be dropped into rather than in mailboxes inside. Most doors are now locked and one enters by key or electric code. This door has a panel on the left (see red lettering)

What is there to do? Aim, shoot, enjoy :) It is Wednesday already - we can do this!

Let There be Light

It was a rainy day and the afternoon was getting almost dark so when I passed this window, I began to dig for my camera. Hope you enjoy it despite it not being completely clear. (Substituted the original, somewhat blurry photo with these, however, now there is a reflection with sunshine :) and looses that cozy affect.)

December 03, 2007

Christmas on Vorosmarty Ter

Vorosmarty Ter is where you've earlier seen the Gerbaud building and the cluster of statues in the center. It is also one of the places (the most central anyway) where the Christmas booths are set up and people can stroll around, browse, shop, enjoy performances and have some local food (sausages, pastry and mulled wine).

It was a mild Sunday and people had a chance to enjoy the outdoors and each others company along with the performances and "window shopping." A nice day all around.

December 02, 2007

Reality Check

As if the colors and design were not plain enough - take a look at the sign above these gentlemen. The name of the store is simply a description 'italkereskedes' (beverage sales). Across on the bottom of that sign, in oh so many plain run-together letters is the statement: smoking seriously damages your health and the health of those in your immediate environment.

The whole picture is so visually bleak and then the sign - a total downer.

December 01, 2007

December Theme Day: Bridges

Here is Margit Hid, or Margaret Bridge, one of the bridges that connects Buda and Pest. What makes this bridge unique is in its name - in the middle of the river it also touches the tip of Margaret Island. You can walk, bike or ride a tram or bus onto the island. During the summer there are great lawns and ancient trees, flowers, fountain, fish pond, petting zoo, food stands where they even sell beer and benches for lovers and seniors and anyone in-between.

Please visit the other participants of the theme day by clicking on the links below:

Boston (MA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Inverness (IL), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Stockholm, Sweden - Setúbal, Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Hyde, UK - Manila, Philippines - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - London, England - Austin (TX), USA - Toulouse, France - Weston (FL), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Selma (AL), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - North Bay (ON), Canada - Arradon, France - Paderborn, Germany - Durban, South Africa - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Portland (OR), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wichita (Ks), USA - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Grenoble, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Arlington (VA), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Cheltenham, UK - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Saratoga Spgs. (NY), USA - Glasgow, Scottland - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Nashville (TN), USA - Toruń, Poland - New Orleans (LA), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Melbourne, Australia - Moscow, Russia - Trujillo, Peru - Château-Gontier, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Joplin (MO), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Baziège, France - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Detroit (MI), USA - Riga, Latvia - Nelson, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary

November 30, 2007

Salman Rushdie in Budapest

As lines queued up in front of the store and waaay into the mall, us reporters gathered at the couch where Mr. Rushdie was going to sit. The colorful posters are the front covers of the Hungarian translations of the authors latest works. He was late in arriving and so we shuffled.Whether it was due to my humble Cannon or the others pushing in and my arm not being steady - it really does not matter. Bottom line is, these are the best photos I can offer you of this author with a gentle soul.
He sat down and the others positioned themselves either on his two sides or crouched down to below eye level with their cameras. That left me standing there conspicuously in the middle in front of him. As noone had actually said anything or introduced him - I felt the time was right.
"Good evening Mr. Rushdie - welcome to Budapest. Would you be so kind and autograph this book for my daughter, please." No pen? No problem, I've one you are welcome to. It was a miracle of miracles - never in my life had I produced a pen from my bottomless pit of a purse in such record time! "Thank you Mr. Rushdie."

November 29, 2007

You know you are in the country when....

Can't take credit for this photo, I've borrowed it from a previously mentioned expat site but thought it funny and wanted to share.

November 28, 2007

If It's must be doors

Last Wednesday I've promised you doors once a week. It is hard to beat the doorway you've seen first, so let's follow with a famous door. These are the center front doors of the opera.And THIS! is the ceiling of the drive up portico right before these doors. Simply magnificent.
Enjoy your day and thank you for coming by to visit.

November 27, 2007


There is a private clinic beneath my apartment where they specialize in treating athletic injuries complete with surgery. There are also two dentists on board and it appears that one may be moving or getting a new chair. Whatever may be happening, this poor fella had been made to stand in the corner for the past few days.

November 26, 2007

Alexandra Books & Wine

The first attempt to copy a Barnes & Noble in Hungary is the chain store Alexandra Konyv es Bor. In addition to being able to sit around and read publications, you may sit in the cafe corner and also order wine. The young woman the book store is named after is the daughterof Mr. Oszter, who is having some difficult events facing him these days. First of all, he is a man! As such, being a father of an attractive young woman is proving most difficult for him. First, there was the open debate about Alexandra accepting Playboy's invitation to pose in Playboy. (As the cover claims "The pictures that made Sandor Oszter (that would be papa) lose it".

Latest news is that Alexandra is heading to Hollywood to advance her career. She will be the next "guest" in the home of fellow Hungarian, director Andy Vajna. (The last such guest, actress Kata Dobo, decided to return to Budapest, where she's had some good works since then.)

November 25, 2007

Window Shopping

Things are definitely headed that way. This is the window of a fine interior design establishment. Look what they have by the door. :) An equally fine, tall, elaborate, beautifully decorated - Christmas tree!

November 24, 2007

The Budapest Operetta Theater

You've seen the statue of Kalman on the bench in front of the theater If you look carefully at the enlarged picture, there he sits quietly in the dark on the bottom left of the photo. His shoulder is outlined by the light. Now here is the theater itself. It has a somewhat mysterious glow to it in the dark. Doesn't it?

November 23, 2007

A Bright Spot

Have you had enough of the grey and dreary for now? I have. How about a couple of summer shots from the bank of the Danube. This beauty of a building below is the Pesti Vigado. This is a building used for concerts, offices and restaurant. The outside had been sandblasted and the interior at the moment is being renovated so it is vacant. By the way, do you see the statue by the flower pots? It is a figure of a sitting girl playing with a dog.
From the Vigado looking across the Danube is the Royal Castle building which now serves as a museum. The grounds are used annually for the wine festival - a most noble venue for such noble substance. The very chic boat on the Danube is one of the River Cruise boats traveling between Budapest and Germany.

November 22, 2007

Operetta Anyone?

Imre Kalman was a famous composer of operetta and this is a statue of him in front of the Operetta Theater in Budapest on Nagymezo u. - also known as the Budapest Broadway.

November 21, 2007

Doors and Doorways Series

Perhaps once a week I will show you some interesting doorways from around town. More than that would be boring - but here is a spectacular sample to start off with. You've seen the details of this wooden door in an earlier post, well here is the 'rest of the picture'.

Absolutely love walking through those doors at least twice each day - my office is located in the building.