Budapest, Volume 23, number 4 October 2012

Budapest

A city balanced between the Old World and the 21st century, Budapest is a veritable visual feast. Its glorious bridges spanning the Danube are a metaphor for the linking of a complex history with an inventive present. The past is palpably present everywhere, from the communist-era buildings scarred with bullet holes, to the exquisite world of Art Nouveau architecture, to the Roman baths. And, of course, for the lover of Central European traditions, think paprika and rich spices, great wine and taking the thermal waters: Budapest is calling!

Accommodations in Budapest are first on our list because they are central to your trip experience. The Gresham Palace is a treasure so perfect, so incomparable that we highly recommend you call it home during your stay. In 1906, the Gresham Life Insurance Company invested heavily in an Art Nouveau palace to attract rental income, as insurers were prohibited from investing in the stock market and other potentially risky investments. The result was a jewel in the crown of Budapest, designed to showcase Gresham’s power. Fast forward to World War II when the palace suffered bombing, and later occupation by British and American military personnel. The Hungarian Communist government later made it a landmark, but eventually it fell into total disrepair. Enter The Four Seasons in the 90s, and $85 million later, the Gresham Palace was reborn in its current Art Nouveau perfection. After countless hours of work by Hungary’s most talented wrought iron and stained glass artists, and the celebrated Zsolnay Porcelain & Pottery, the 179-room hotel was unveiled in 2004. We were reluctant to leave as the attention to detail is so alluring, not to mention the attentive staff, first-rate cuisine and sublime spa.

You can spend equal time on the Buda and Pest sides of Budapest, and each deserves a few days to truly get to know the culture. Begin your journey in the Jewish Quarter. The first synagogue to feature the onion dome architectural motif and an interior that resembles a Catholic cathedral, the behemoth Dohany Street Synagogue is your first stop. Take the guided tour of the largest synagogue in Europe built in 1854 in the Moorish Revival Style.

Next door is the Jewish Museum, small but packed with illuminating objects that portray Jewish life from rituals and holidays to symbols and family life, and includes a heartrending exhibit on the Holocaust, where you will find a chilling narrative about the Hungarian Arrow Cross regime. Also on the site are the Tree of Life and Memorial Garden honoring the lives of over 400,000 Hungarian Jews murdered by the Nazis. Several fine sculptures by Imre Varga highlight the space. Varga worked from the 1950s to the 2000s and remains one of Hungary’s most prominent artists. Most notable is the Tree of Life, a metal willow tree that resembles an upside-down menorah with 4,000 leaves each etched with the name of a Holocaust victim.

Refresh your senses at a “ruin pub.” These funky pubs inhabit abandoned buildings and our favorite is Szimpla Kert (“simple garden”) where you can enjoy a glass of good Hungarian beer and feast your eyes on all the tchotchkes about the place. It was the first ruin pub and remains the best. You will find lots of young locals, students and tourists alike. OSHA would probably never allow these pubs in America, so enjoy them here!

Take a stroll along Andrassy ut, the major two-mile boulevard that was intended to be Budapest’s answer to Paris’ Champs-Elysees in the 1870s, culminating at the Heroes’ Square. Although not as opulent as the Paris avenue, there are some tony retailers here including Louis Vuitton and Gucci, and the architecture is consistent, hence pleasing to the eye. Heroes’ Square was built for Hungary’s 1,000th birthday in 1896 and is filled with sculptures and monuments to the country’s lengthy history of rulers, kings and revolutionaries. Műcsarnok (“art hall”) was erected in 1896 for the millennium celebrations, and was designed by Albert Schikedanz (Austro-Hungarian architect of Eclectic Style). Today the hall operates on the pattern of the German Kunsthalle: it is an institution run by artists that does not maintain its own collection. The three-bayed, semi-circular apse houses an exhibition hall noted for its natural lighting.. Since the building was renovated in 1995, the Műcsarnok has welcomed visitors and leading Hungarian and international contemporary artists alike (through October 21, 2012 Ai Weiwei New York 1983-1993).

While on the Andrassy, or when you visit the State Opera House, be sure to visit Callas Cafe for a glass of champagne; it’s just across the street and a must. Callas Cafe, named after Maria, natch, is simply gorgeous. The Jugenstil chandeliers are one of the finest examples of the style. Don’t shy away from desserts here (or anywhere); the Hungarians take great pleasure in their pastries. Check the Opera schedule ahead of time, and at the very least, take the guided tour of this sumptuous opera house.

Allow at least two hours to take in The House of Terror if you are interested in WWII and communist history. This museum will shake you to your core, perhaps its intention. Designed by Attila Kovacs (known for architectural projects in Hungary), the entire space is a sculpture and serves as a monument to the victims who were tortured and killed there by the former Hungarian Arrow Cross Party and later the Communist Secret Police. Using the most modern exhibition techniques, The House of Terror brings the story to life, and makes understandable for visitors the historical processes that affected Hungary from 1945 to 1990.

If your spirits need lifting after The House of Terror, you can celebrate a more democratic, opulent Hungary at The New York Cafe nearby on Andrassy ut. Like the Gresham Palace, it was commissioned by the New York Life Insurance Company and when opened in 1894 was called “the most beautiful cafe in the world.” A riot of Belle Epoque baroque style, the “cafe” was the center of intellectual and literary life in the early 20th century. The wars brought that chapter to a close, and in 2001 the Italian Boscolo Group restored and modernized what is now a hotel, spa, luxury residence and of course the fabled cafe. Try the diet-destroying Opera Cake after a glass of Hungarian rose (superb!), tasty pike perch (very common on menus) with asparagus and buttery potatoes.

Feast your eyes on the three-story neo-Renaissance Paris Department Store designed by Gusztav Petschacher in 1884. Like everything here, it has undergone various chapters of destruction and restoration. Today, the Alexandra Bookstore occupies the first two floors and it is fabulous! The Lotz Room offers visitors a cafe and comfy leather armchairs with piano music in the background. Not to be missed is the upstairs Parisian Gallery and Art Salon filled with Zsolnay Porcelain works from table wares to tile stoves to stunning vases. We dare you to leave empty handed.

We highly recommend securing a guide for a half or full day to learn about the fascinating, tumultuous history and to visit the architecturally significant neighborhoods. Our favorite is Elemer Boreczky, a semi-retired university professor of Cultural Arts. He has lived his entire life in Budapest, with the exception of a four-year stint at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and will give you an expert walking tour of the rich tapestry of architecture, including those places not in the guidebooks that practically require a secret password to access. Schiffer Villa, on Munkacsy ut is one of them. This former mansion was designed by Jozsef Vago (Gresham Palace) for Miksa Schiffer, a wealthy railway engineer and entrepreneur. Every detail down to the door hinges is late Art Nouveau style.

Walk across the Chain Bridge (no chains but enormous stone lions on either side) to the Castle District on the Buda side. Buy a ticket and ride the funicular to the top of Castle Hill for a breathtaking panoramic view of Pest. Spend a little time in the National Hungarian Gallery and see the wonderful 15th-century winged altarpieces. Most of the paintings in the museum are rather gloomy as they reflect the psyche of a country that was invaded and reduced in size multiple times throughout history. More uplifting is Matthias Church, a Gothic-style beauty, first erected in the 13th century (and restored on many occasions) to honor the last king of Hungary, Matyas Corvinus, a beloved and just ruler. The hand-painted walls have been painstakingly restored after 800 years of intermittent wars.

No trip to Buda would be complete without a visit to perhaps one of the world’s quirkiest museums: Hospital in the Rock. This secret, emergency surgical hospital was built by the Hungarian government in 1939, and yes, it was carved into rock below ground level. Tours are required, and the guides are very animated. Be sure to pick up a Communist-era gas mask in the gift shop! Refresh at Ruszwurm, the oldest cafe in Budapest. Another fine example of the Art Nouveau style, here you can relax in an original Biedermeier chair whilst enjoying a sumptuous dessert.

Back on the Pest side, jump on the tram and visit the first-rate Ludwig Museum. Budapest has excellent public transportation, but be warned: you must buy a ticket and you must validate it or else suffer scolding (or worse) by a sour-looking guard. The Ludwig Museum was established in 1989, when 70 pieces of contemporary art were donated by renowned German collectors Irene and Peter Ludwig. In 2005, the museum moved to it current location at the ‘Palace of Arts’ (Muvészetek Palotája), overlooking the Danube. The collection includes works by Picasso and American Pop icons Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Jasper Johns; plus significant photorealist works by Chuck Close, Malcolm Morley and Richard Estes. There also many artworks by Ilona Keserü, László Lakner, Krisztián Frey and György Jovánovics, representing Eastern-European avant-garde from the 1960s and 70s; the geometric, minimalist works from the seventies (Imre Bak) and the international New Painting of the eighties (A.R. Penck, Georg Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz and László Fehér, Ákos Birkás and others). Conceptual Art and Action Art are represented by the works of Joseph Beuys, Arnulf Rainer, Miklós Erdély and Tibor Hajas.

For the first time, Hungary hosted a major exhibition of works by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) at the museum. The recently held exhibition included approximately 200 of the famous photographer’s creative works, ranging from early Polaroids to photographs taken during the last few years of his life.

While we have chosen to focus on the grand monuments of the Art Nouveau style, another visit could be designed around the proliferation of Bauhaus residential villas built between 1930 and 1948. Finally, on our tour, however, we must mention the famous thermal baths, which are actually part of the national health care system. The Romans started the love affair with the naturally occurring 100-degree water that is just bubbling under the surface of Budapest. Hotel Gellért is tops for taking the waters. The marvelous hotel was erected on the right bank (Buda) of the River Danube between 1916 and 1918 in the Art Nouveau style. Have lunch at the lovely outdoor Gellert Brasserie with red-checkered tablecloths and hearty Hungarian fare after your bath experience. Don’t forget your bathing cap!

-Tracy Keys, Special Correspondent for ARTExpress

(thanks also to Tracy for her great photographs as well!)

Focus Budapest

Hotels
The Gresham Palace Four Seasons, Széchenyi István tér 5-6., 1051, Tel. 36 (1) 268-6000, www.fourseasons.com/budapest. With 1,000 years of history behind it, Budapest is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the city’s rich opera, theatre, art and winemaking scenes are once again booming. The Four Seasons became an important part of the city’s resurgence when it acquired the Art Nouveau landmark Gresham Palace in 1998. Derelict after years of neglect, the best talent in Hungary was hired to restore the building to its original splendor.

Hotel Gellért, 1. Szent Gellért tér, 1111, Tel. +36-1-889-5500. This four-star hotel was erected on the right bank of the River Danube between 1916 and 1918 in the Vienna Secession style with some biomorphic elements, at the foot of Gellért Hill, next to Szabadság Bridge. The Danubius Hotel Gellért (once the Saint Gellért Hotel and Spa) was renovated in 1962 and in 1973, and is now one of the most famous historical hotels in Europe.[pay]

Buddha Bar Hotel, Váci utca 34., H-1052, Tel. +36 1 266 1291, buddhabarhotel.hu. Recently opened in the Klotild Palace at the corner of the famous Váci utca, Budapest’s premier pedestrian shopping street, the five-star hotel is a masterful blend of both Western and Oriental styles accented by carefully selected Asian artifacts. The initial Buddha-Bar was inaugurated by Raymond Visan in September 1996. Pacific Rim Cuisine with a masterful blend of ingredients, spices with a zest of the West, set to the exhilarating atmosphere of a captivating, unique ambiance created by Buddha-Bar’s trademark music.

Hotel Palazzo Zichy, Lőrinc pap tér 2.1088, Tel. +36 1 235 4000, hotel-palazzo-zichy.hu. A historic building that was originally designed and constructed in the 19th century and served as the residence of a famous Hungarian noble, Count Nándor Zichy. It’s now a lovely four-star boutique hotel with just 80 rooms. Well-situated downtown on the Pest side.

art’otel budapest, by park plaza, Bem Rakpart 16-19, Budapest H-1011, Tel. 36 1 487 9 487, artotels.com. On the Buda side situated along the Danube. One of the European Art Hotels, this one features the work of American artist Donald Sultan. His huge, abstract canvases typically include single flowers, pieces of fruit, dominoes and butterflies viewed at extreme close range. A fantastic collection of his sculpture and paintings cover almost every wall of this stylish little boutique hotel.

Restaurants & Pubs
Spoon Cafe & Lounge, 1052 Vigadó tér 3. kikötő, Tel. 06 1 411-0933, spooncafe.hu. Resting on the Danube at the foot of Chain Bridge on the Pest side, this specially designed, 75-metre-long boat restaurant is open all year. There are actually three different restaurants, and in summer, two great outdoor terraces offer stunning views of the enormous Buda Castle and surrounds, all lit at night. We love the fusion cuisine that encompasses Hungarian specialties and the Far East.

New York Cafe, Erzsebet korut 9-11, Tel. 36 1-8866-167, newyorkcafe.hu. Stunning, palatial interior earns its ranking as “the most beautiful coffee house in the world.” The Salon Restaurant on site opened in 2010, if you want to linger longer − perhaps for a special occasion dinner.

Onyx, Vorosmarty ter 7-8; Tel. 36-20-386-9157; onyxrestaurant.hu. The four-year-old Onyx earned the city’s second French asterisk, after the stylish Costes, on Raday Utca. Jaded diners might find the gold-on-black walls, heavy armchairs and oh-so-formal table service somewhat over the top, but dishes like goose liver torte with strawberry jelly and kolache and confit of beef shoulder with creamy carrot purée come across as remarkably accomplished, effortlessly bridging the traditional flavors of the country with contemporary international culinary techniques. For cheap dates, the lunch menu, served Tuesday through Saturday until 2 PM features much of the same excellent cooking at much lower rates, with three-course menus (excerpted from The New York Times).

DiVino (Wine Bar), 3 Szent Istvan Ter, 1051, Tel. 36-70-935-3980, divinoborbar.hu. “Where wine connects us all,” is the place to go for an education about Hungarian wines. Friendly, knowledgeable bartenders will enlighten you about the wide range of excellent wines from white to red and everything in between. They serve wonderful small dishes so stay awhile. You are allowed to take your pinot outside and enjoy the amazing view of St. Istvan’s Basilica just across the square. Amen!

Ruszwurm, Szentharomsag u. 7, Tel. 00-36 1 3755-284. Step back in time as you enjoy amazing chocolate cake (see photo) in a quaint, antique shop filled to the brim with knick-knacks. Open for breakfast, brunch and dessert.

Museums
Hungarian National Gallery, Buda Palace, Buildings A, B, C, D, H-1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2. Tel. 36 20 4397 325, mng.hu/en. Tues.-Sun. 10-6; Closing time of the cashiers: 5:15 PM. Note: bring forints as credit cards are not always accepted due to “technical difficulties.” New audioguides are now available in English, German, Italian and French. Price: HUF 800. Free guided tours (with valid ticket for any of the Hungarian National Gallery’s exhibitions): Highlights of Hungarian Art, 2 PM Thursday-Friday; 11 AM Sat. Note: due to technical difficulties, these exhibitions are currently temporarily closed: Medieval and Renaissance Stone Carvings; 20th-Century Art after 1945. Check out the Hungarian National Gallery on the Google Art Project.

Hospital in the Rock, 1 Lovas ut 4/c; 36-70-7-01-01-01; Tel. 06 30 689 8775, hospitalintherock.com. Tues.-Sun. 10-7. Part of the Castle Hill Caves network, the site of this newly-opened attraction was used extensively during the siege of Budapest during WWII. It contains original medical equipment, as well as some 70 wax figures, and is presented on a guided half-hour tour. More interesting is the hour-long “full tour,” which includes a walk through a Cold War–era nuclear bunker and a short video.

Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Komor Marcell utca 1, Tel. 555-3001, ludwigmuseum.hu. Housed in the architecturally controversial Palace of Arts opposite the National Theatre, the Ludwig Museum is Hungary’s most important collection and exhibition space of international contemporary art. Works by American, Russian, German and French artists span the past fifty years, while Hungarian, Czech, Slovakian, Romanian, Polish and Slovenian works date from the 1990s onward. The museum also holds frequent, cutting edge, temporary exhibitions. Tues.-Sun. 10-8.

Shopping
Tisza Cipo, Karoly korut 1; 36-1-266-3055; tiszacipo.hu. A former Soviet-era brand, Tisza Shoes has been smartly resuscitated into a retro-athletic shoe brand that shot up the must-have shoe list in Hungary and is steadily moving into the international market. It is now enjoying its laid-back, high-end segment market position. A perfect souvenir you can wear home.

The Great Market Hall, Fővám tér, Pest end of Liberty Bridge, piaconline.hu. One of the great European food halls built in 1896 and adorned with Zsolnay ceramic tiles. Monday morning is the least crowded, but if you want to see the vibrant Budapest market life the best time to pop in is on Saturday morning, when locals do their shopping for the weekend. Mon.6-5, Tues.-Fri. 6-6, Sat. 6-2, closed Sun. and holidays.

Wander down Váci utca on the Pest side to find little gems of Hungarian entrepreneurialism and creativity in fashion and design.

News

In Toronto
What was once an industrial manufacturing district a century ago, Toronto’s warehouse hub has now come into its own as a bona fide nightlife destination – and an upscale one at that. You will now find world-class accommodations and dining here, set alongside the media/broadcasting companies, performing arts venues, art museums, luxury condos and nightclubs. For example, boutique design hotels such as Soho Metroplitan, Le Germain and the Thompson nestle in amongst such five-star stays as the Ritz-Carlton and the just-barely-opened 65-storey Shangri-La, which incorporated what remained of one of the oldest remaining buildings in Toronto into its ambitious development. An even newer luxe stay will be had at the Four Seasons, taking reservations for their anticipated opening date of October 5, at this writing. It will boast amenities such as a café by Daniel Boulud (reservations start October 6) and a spa featuring “17 state-of-the-art treatment suites.”

You should make reservations TODAY if you’re planning to be in the city for Toronto’s International Art Fair, October 26-29. This year’s focus is on Asia, and the opening night preview on October 25 will benefit the Art Gallery of Ontario, a not-to-be missed venue in itself, especially since its incredible makeover by hometown architect Frank Gehry was completed in 2008. Looking ahead into 2013, the Aga Khan Museum, designed by Fumihiko Maki, is due to open, which will serve as a vast center for Islamic art and artifacts, housing the collections of His Highness, Aga Khan. Michael Brand, former director of the Getty Museum, served as consulting director for the project just prior to his appointment to head the Gallery of New South Wales. All in all, sounds intriguing to us! As for dining, top of the list (besides the Café Boulud mentioned above) is the new solo venture by young, acclaimed chef Jeff Claudio: Yours Truly, which is a celebration of creativity, and it’s topping every critic’s current Toronto list.

In Washington DC
It’s an election year in the U.S., in case you had not noticed. With all eyes on DC, let’s focus beyond politics for a few ARTExpress tips from the nation’s capital. First off is the much-anticipated exhibit at the Hirshhorn, Ai Weiwei: According to What?, opening October 7. Organized by the Mori Art Museum of Tokyo where it premiered in 2009, it consists of 26 works created since the 1990s, with 6 of them created especially for the show. The title comes from a Jasper Johns painting – whose work originally served as a huge influence on this provocative artist. Other exhibits on our recommended list include Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at the National Gallery of Art, in case you missed it at the Art Institute of Chicago; and (IN)balance, featuring the first major museum exhibition of Parisian Xavier Veilhan at one of our favorite DC venues, The Phillips Collection. Also worth noting, the second (e)merge art fair happens October 4-7, organized by local art dealer Leigh Conner. Piggy-backing on (e)merge’s nascent success, photography gallerist and collector Kathleen Ewing is launching a satellite event this year: DC Fine Art Photography Fair, with 15 galleries participating, October 5-7.

All the epicurious in the area are anticipating shopping at The Union Market, which was just about to open as we went to press. A year-round, indoor marketplace with over 40 foodie-based businesses whose specialties range from organic gelato to artisanal oils and spice blends, it aims to be the pantry of every local would-be chef. Add to that the many scheduled pop-up venues and events – plus a couple high-end restaurants duking it out for the last available lease spaces – and it all adds up to a culinary adventure park.

If you don’t mind a backdrop of political din to your lunchtime refreshment, then by all means head to the Newseum to find The Source, Wolfgang Puck’s first foray into the Washington foodie scene. Its three levels were designed by EDG, and the executive chef is Scott Drewno, from Puck’s Las Vegas restaurant, offering his beloved Asian fusion menu. Other past faves include Vidalia, and Komi. But if we had to vote (ahem), our all- time favorite DC dining experience would be dinner at The Inn at Little Washington. Lavish, a bit over-the-top, perhaps – we love it – when we’re feeling flush! Stay overnight at the Inn as well; or opt for a room at the recently refurbished Dupont Circle Hotel to see what a $52-million reno looks like. For extra-special pampering, book a penthouse suite in Level Nine, their self-described “hotel within a hotel.” A sad note: one of our standby recommendations, Michel Richard’s Citronelle, is currently under water – literally. The Latham Hotel and Citronelle sustained severe enough flood damage this past July that they have been closed since then, and do not anticipate re-opening until sometime in 2013. We wish them a speedy recovery.

Great Addresses

IN TORONTO

Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street, West Toronto, Tel. 1-877-225-4246, ago.net. Open Tues. & Thurs.–Sun. 10–5:30, Weds., 10-8:30, closed Mon.

Toronto International Art Fair, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, tiafair.com. Oct. 26-29; opening night preview Oct. 25. Tickets available online.

Soho Metropolitan Hotel, 108 Chestnut Street, Tel. 416-977-5000, metropolitan.com. 92 rooms and suites in this boutique, luxury hotel; simple elegance.

Le Germain, 30 Mercer Street, Tel. 416-345-9500, germaintoronto.com. Serious about accommodating their guests, 20 different languages are spoken by the staff! The rooms are very nice, and prices are quite reasonable.

Thompson Hotel, 550 Wellington Street West, Tel. 416-640-7778, thompsonhotels.com. Gorgeous, sleek and moderne, with so much glass you can’t miss the city views.

Yours Truly, 229 Ossington Street, Tel. 416-533-2243, yours-truly.ca. Super fresh and locally-based restaurant, offering some unusual choices thrown in for extra creativity. Search the ingredients list for the upcoming week’s menu by going to the website (water buffalo was at the top when last we checked).

IN WASHINGTON DC
National Gallery of Art, National Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, Open Mon.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. 11-6. If you haven’t been in a while, plan a trip around the mall museums, but save extra time for a thorough National Gallery tour; we always end up racing around before closing time after lingering too long in one place or another, including people watching at the cafe.

Corcoran Gallery, 500 Seventeenth Street NW, Tel. 202-639-1700, corcoran.edu. Open Weds. & Fri.-Sun. 10-5, Thurs. 10-9, closed Mon.-Tues.

Hirshhorn Museum, 700 Independence Avenue Southwest, Tel. 202-633-1000, hirshhorn.si.edu. Open daily, 10-5:30.

Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Tel. 202-292-6100, newseum.org. Open 9-5 daily. 250,000 square feet devoted to the news — where else but in DC? Lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s The Source is a special treat away from the noisy hubbub.

Union Market, 1309 5th St NE, unionmarketdc.com. Open Fri. 11-8, Sat.-Sun. 8-8. It’s the closest thing to a literal cornucopia that you’re likely to find in the capitol city. Escape the Beltway and bring several shopping bags.

Vidalia, 1990 M Street Northwest, Tel. 202-659-2990, vidaliadc.com. Located in our favorite part of DC (Dupont), this is Low Country cuisine at its upscale best. Don’t miss the Shrimp & Grits, and save room for Lemon Chess pie.

Komi, 1509 17th Street Northwest #1, Tel. 202-332-9200, komirestaurant.com. No à la carte here — it’s prix fixe or nada. And no group reservations — they won’t seat more than four per party in the dimly-lit, barely-there surroundings. Even so, it’s at the top of every foodie’s list. The spartan surroundings make sure that your focus stays on the amazing multi-course parade headed your way.

Inn at Little Washington, 439 Main Street Washington, VA, Tel. 540-675-3800, theinnatlittlewashington.com. A great escape from DC to nearby (gorgeous) Virginia countryside. The Inn only has 18 bedrooms, so if an overnight stay is not to be had, you must at least try for reservations at the stellar restaurant. The interior here is the opposite aesthetic of Komi’s — it positively drips luxury everywhere, including the kitchen!

The Dupont Circle Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Tel., 202-483-6000, doylecollection.com. Fabulously refurbished. The location, in genteel Dupont Circle with its cafes, bookstores and galleries, is a happy respite from the busy Beltway.

Travel Bookshelf: Budapest

Guides & Blogs
Wallpaper City Guide Budapest
. 2012.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Budapest. 2011.
pestiside.hu. English-language news and culture blog .
Rick Steves’ Budapest, 2011 (excellent for general walking tours).[pay]
Private guided walking tour: Elemer Boreczky. Tel. 0620-340-3598. Note: you will need euros not forints (25 euro per hour).

History & Literature
Michael Korda. Journey to a Revolution,
George Lang. Nobody Knows the Truffles I’ve Seen: A Memoir, 1998.
Kati Marton, Enemies of the People, 2010.
Diane Pearson. Csardas, 1982
Arthur Phillips. Prague: A Novel, 2003.
James Michener. Bridge at Andau, 1985.

Art & Architecture
David Ekserdjian. Treasures from Budapest: European Masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele, 2011.
Frederico Santi and John Gacher. Art Nouveau Ironwork of Austria and Hungary, 2006.
Ferkal Andras. Budapest Architectural Guide.
Dora Wiebenson and Jozsef Sisa. The Architecture of Historic Hungary, 1998.
Edwin Heathcote. Budapest: A Guide to Twentieth-Century Architecture, 1998.
And…just for fun…
Mysteries
Vilmos Kondor. Budapest Noir: A Novel.
Adam LeBor. The Budapest Protocol.

Calendar

Through Oct. 14 Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto Jamelie Hassan: At the Far Edge of Words
Through Oct. 21 Kunsthalle, Budapest Ai Weiwei
Through Oct. 21 Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest Faster, higher, stronger!
Through Oct. 28 Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC Charlotte Dumas: Anima
Through Nov. 11 Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Your Land/My Land: Election ‘12
Through Nov. 11 Hungarian Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest Nathan Lerner: Photo-eye
Through Nov. 25 MCA, Chicago Jimmy Robert Vis-à-vis
Through Dec. 9 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Michael Snow: Objects of Vision
Through Dec. 30 OCMA, Newport Beach OC Collects
Through Dec. 30 Phillips Collection, Washington DC Intersections: Sandra Cinto
Through Dec. 31 Met, New York Regarding Warhol: Fifty Artists, Fifty Years
Through Dec. 31 SFMOMA, San Francisco Six Lines of Flight
Through Dec. 31 Mass MoCA, North Adams Making Room: The Space Between Two & Three Dimensions
Through Jan. 1 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Jennifer Steinkamp
Through Jan. 6 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Evan Penny: Re Figured
Through Jan. 7 MoMA, New York Quay Brothers
Through Jan. 7 Centre Pompidou, Paris Bertrand Lavier, Since 1969
Through Jan. 6 LACMA, Los Angeles Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective
Through Jan. 14 MOCA, Los Angeles Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962
Through Jan. 21 LACMA, Los Angeles Ed Ruscha: Standard
Through Jan. 27 The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC Shock of the News
Through Feb. 3 Whitney Museum, New York Richard Artschwager!
Through Feb. 7 Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Meg Cranston
Through Feb. 17 Kunsthaus Zürich Giacometti
Through Feb. 18 MoMA, New York Bruce Nauman: White Anger, Red Danger, Yellow Peril, Black Death
Through Feb. 24 Art Institute of Chicago Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects
Oct. 2-Jan. 6 Guggenheim Bilbao Egon Schiele
Oct. 4 – 7 (e)merge art fair, Washington DC
Oct. 5 – 7 DC Fine Art Photography Fair (Washington DC)

Oct. 5 – Jan. 23 Guggenheim, New York Picasso Black and White
Oct. 7 – Feb. 28 Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC Ai Weiwei: According to What?
Oct. 9-Jan. 13 Thyssen, Madrid Gaugin and the Voyage to the Exotic
Oct. 11 – 14 Frieze Art Fair (London)
Oct. 11 – Feb. 10 Minneapolis Institute of Arts New Pictures 7: Stan Douglas: Then and Now
Oct. 11 – Jan. 27 Met, New York Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop
Oct. 14 – Jan. 13 National Gallery, Washington DC Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective
Oct. 17 – Feb. 25 Reina Sofía, Madrid María Blanchard
Oct. 18 – Nov. 25 Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Anthony Pearson
Oct. 18 – 21 Texas Contemporary Art Fair (Houston)
Oct. 26 – 29 Toronto International Art Fair

Nov. 3 – Feb. 10 Phillips Collection, Washington DC Xavier Veilhan
Nov. 3 – Feb. 3 SFMOMA, San Francisco Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective
Nov. 3 – Feb. 3 SFMOMA, San Francisco Jasper Johns: Seeing with the Mind’s Eye
Nov. 4 – Jan. 20 Laguna Art Museum Macha Suzuki
Nov. 23 – Feb. 17 Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest Freedom of Sound: John Cage Behind the Iron Curtain
Dec. 6 – 9 Art Basel Miami Beach