The escalators in Budapest subway stations move ten times as fast as those in New York. Who cares about such dull concepts as safety? - keeping things moving makes far more sense to me. But my week went too rapidly. Back home, Brooklyn feels dreary & squat. I miss the crumbling grandeur of the avenues, the faces & wreaths adorning buildings, and the statues & friezes above your head or just around the next turn. Stone figures are watching everywhere. I want to see a tram rattling down the center of a street, or a glass display case outside a store, bearing, inexplicably, a picture of jewelry and several plastic ears of corn. I miss using my same pitiful greetings and thank yous, and the magic of their gaining a response. I miss the cafe culture (bearded barista free), and glimpses of courtyards behind wrought iron gates. Maybe the city's more like a Paris of the fifties or sixties - less gussied up and burnished, more vulnerable, human, tender. The faces on the streets here are interesting ones, & all ages are represented. Elderly ladies, companionable, walk arm in arm. At fifty degrees, small children are dressed for midwinter gales: helmeted in wool, and padded in thick jackets. The dogs are small, alert, and particularly nimble.
I fell for the city hard.