17 May 2008

Budapest 2 (excerpt from my journal)


BUDAPEST--As we walked back to the Hotel Victor Hugo the wind began to pick up, blowing over the flat plains of Pest. Dark clouds scudded across the sky, turning the golden light to a shade of oxidized lead. We rested a few hours in room 610 and lightening flashed, illuminating the darkened room in bursts of electric blue. The flashes were accompanied by long, sustained thunder, a sound I had not heard all winter up in the northlands. When we went downstairs, to go out seeking dinner, the rain was falling. The lobby was dark and the old man behind the counter sat in cloud of smoke and a pool of light from an old desk lamp. The streets, slick and dark looked more like I had imagined, a place for grim deals in the back of Ladas and Trabants, where quick bad endings happen in rain pooled alleys, a place for upturned trench-coat collars...

But at the counter Lena asked the old man if there was an umbrella we could borrow. He smiled and rummaged around for a bit and came out with a huge, two-person affair, bright red and emblazoned with the Coca Cola logo. It kept the rain of no doubt but detracted from my espionage fantasies.

We walked down the slick, black streets, through pools of orange lamp-light, to the neighborhood restaurant we had found the night before. Inside it was warm and bright, all wood and stone and brick with heavy plank tables filled with eaters and drinkers and laughter. The night before I had eaten a deep-fried filet stuffed with Camembert and Lena had had goulash. She stuck with her regimen of goulash and I opted for the cutlet, Parisian style. We both had cold Drehers and we laughed and talked and planned.

When we walked back to the Victor Hugo the rain had stopped and the streets were full of smells; plants and the river, the old buildings and their must, flowers in new bloom and the indefinable scent of a new place with its essence released by nighttime rain.

8 Comments:

Blogger Fredrik said...

Mona Lena?

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Andrew Tonn said...

Yes, more or less... I found a while ago with my pocket digital camera (an old Canon digital Elph) that if you took pictures in very dark situations you would at first have a pretty much black picture with a bare outline. But a little work in Photoshop would bring up an image that looks very painterly... And Lena is beautiful in a classical manner.

5:04 AM  
Blogger Lena said...

Here I am, sitting alone in front of my computer, blushing.
Thank you.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Kendric said...

Hey man. I'm rather fond of your finished, newspaper-article approach to the blogging; finished pieces are worth a large pile of sketches any day.

Incidentally, I put this up: http://kendrictonn.com . It's aimed mainly at trying to find some freelance work as an illustrator, so any proper fine artist would spit on me, but what the hell.

-Kendric

6:37 AM  
Blogger Jesse R Ewing said...

There's no such thing as a proper fine artist.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Andrew Tonn said...

I have to agree. I love illustration and think it has a lot to recommend it as an art that "pure" "fine art" often lacks.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Cheers
Christian, iwspo.net

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Cheers
Christian, iwspo.net

10:39 AM  

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