Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 37- July 1st :Modern Architecture in Budapest

come see the ugly

I skipped breakfast and had lunch with Balasz and his boyfriend today. We than took the train and went to Alex's apartment to hang out. The apartment is near one of the last stop of the Blue metro and is one of the city's “newer” suburbs. The building gave out clues of the areas age and I think it was mass developed in the 60's and early 70's. Most building are fairy utilitarian and not very attractive. It looks like the projects in the U.S. But the area does feel safe. Upon entering his apartment I notice how many gates he had to pass, exterior security gates, interior gates and finally the apartment door with 4 locks.

I fell in love with his rodent pet! I am not sure what they are but they are utterly adorable. They are so cute but they do bite strangers... I think of them as miniature puppies.

After the visit I met up with Andreas for a “scary adventure” we took the Metro and picked a couple of random stops and see what would be awaiting us at the other side of the exit. First it was ....... stop and we saw a collection of contemporary buildings just on the out- skirt of the city. The style of these building are very geometrical with very little design elements. They are pretty bad in terms of design and offered almost nothing to the architecture community and Hungarian culture. There are also buildings that are 5 blocks long with no signs of design and style and they would have continued the block for miles and no one would noticed or not noticed.

We went back on the train and went to the last stop and it was worse... modern buildings disappeared and ornate Gothic buildings feels like a few light years away... What what there was South Central Los Angeles low rises with fast food joints and unkept sidewalks, overgrown empty lots, and trash littered streets. We walked around briefly and went back to the Metro station.

It's strange how “newness” became the universal language for “better”. The real estate here never shows exterior photos of any beautiful ornate buildings of Budapest. The only time exterior photos are show if the building is new or newer and often times they are just another soul-less “contempoary” building that can be found anywhere in the world; simply just buy the plans in insert it in any empty lots.

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