Friday, June 30, 2017

Bummer, no Wifi

Just found out that there will be no internet connection for the next 10 days. I did get our luggage though!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cake is Better than History

Today was an amazing day in Budapest. We headed out to the Buda side - Budapest is the combination of two cities, Buda and Pest joined together in 1873. We went over to see Buda Castle, the most visited tourist site in Budapest, but instead went to the Ruswurm cafe for some cake. This is the oldest cafe in Budapest,  in operation since 1827. Having cake there was on two lists of the top 10 things to do.

We then headed to the Budapest History Museum. I was wonderfully surprised. We saw three exceptional exhibits, all based on archaeology. One was a temporary exhibit using archaeological projects resulting from construction projects around the city to illustrate the different cultures and people that have occupied the area where the city is today. This exhibit was excellent.

The views from the Buda Castle are wonderful, and probably why it is the most visited site.

In the afternoon, we took advantage of walking past the Rudas Baths to sit for a third time in the thermal waters that run throughout the city. These baths date to the Ottoman occupation of the city and were built in 1566.

Afterward we relaxed yet again at a coffee house. We leave tonight for Hello Wood and say good by to Budapest. But I should say...the archaeology exhibit was better than the cake.

Budapest Day 3

City Park is a couple blocks up from where Lucas and I have been staying. A large avenue terminates into Hero's Square, which is flanked by two museums. 

There is a new controversial master plan to redevelop the park with several new cultural institutions all designed by signature architects. There are protest camps set up around the building sites. The construction sites are surrounded by plywood fences so we could not see the work going on, which is what we wanted to look at, but we walked around the protest camps. 

I am sure the protesters are upset at the loss of open park area and the public expense of the buildings. But theree is a fine line where you are protesting against museums.

This month is the end of our fundraising cycle for our Natioal Endowment for the Humaities grant to build an endowment to fund staffing at the Deser Museum. I have been working toward requests for donations since Fedruary. We came before two public boards this week and recieved approval for donations, but at about 10 percent of our request. It is enough so they can say they gave us money, but not not enough to keep our positions funded. 

The Carpathian Basin has such an interesting history. It is replete with migration, conquest, revolt, and renewal. In this picture, Lucas standing next to a statue of George Washington. Next year it will be near the entrance to a new performance venue and the center of an internationally known culture park. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Budapest Day 2

Today, we visited the Gellert Spa. Budapest is built on a series of hot springs and people have been using the thermal pools since the Roman conquest of the area, known then as Pannonia. We stayed most of the day at the Gellert in the hot springs and out in the wave pool.

In the afternoon we went to the Hungaian National Museum. The museum has a new permanent exhibit in the Archaeology gallery, it is the history of the Capathian Basin from the Paleolithic ear to the Magyar conquest.

The exhibit is extremely well done. Written in both Hungarian and English, very nice case work, great LED lighting, and exceptional collection.

I know a little about the Roman period here, but told Lucas I wanted to learn where the Magyar people came from when the migrated to the are around 900ce. I don't really have a grasp on exactly where people were coming from during the Great Migration after the fall of Rome.

Found the panel..."There are numerous ideas about the origins and previous accomadations of the Hungarians that still require further research."

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ruin Pubs Part Deus

We arrived in Budapest today, after delays in Chicago and Berlin, but with out luggage. Luckily, I packed a swimsuit in my carry on.  But unless bag shows up, I have one change of clothes for the next two weeks.

 We have been walking around Budapest and checking out the Ruin Bars since we arrived. We are very tired. Because of the time change - 9 hours - Lucas is pointing out that it has been  48 hours without night.

Tomorrow we will try and make a plan.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

On my Way to Hello Wood

I left today for Hungary. I am meeting Lucas in Chicago and then we are flying to Budapest. If there is anything I would ever want to do, it would be attend an art and architecture camp. I find it to be an unbelievable privilege to get to teach at one again this year.

We put together our presentation this week. We are working on the concept of Adaptive Use.

This seems innovative, but it is really what I have hoped to do my whole career. I want to create space where people want to be engaged.

I wrote a note to our team members yesterday. It said, "I think the most successful part of our first project, the Alt-Cathedral, was digging out the foundation of the "Ruin" and building the fire pit. We lit it every night, and it was indeed a focal point where people gathered."

We will be working on the goal of creating a new space at the Cathedral. One that focuses on this idea of gathering. One that breaks down the nature of public and private, and creates a space that is both invites and separates. I am excited for what might come out of this project.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Wishing for Better Friends

I was complaining this week that I wish I had friends who were artists and designers. Or friends who were designers and friends who were better artists. But then Lucas reminded me that we are all walking around with pretty cool designer couture back backs made by one of my friends.

They are pretty cool, and in the last couple of weeks we have realized how well designed they are. Davis is living out of one during the week, and camping of it every weekend all summer in Yellowstone National Park. Though compact and light weight, the pack was big enough to get everything he took for the summer. And it looks really cool.

Lucas had one on the Pacific Crest Trail. It was 11 pounds fully loaded, nearly ultralight. This canvas pack has an integrated sleeping pad built in as the back and side support. He loved it.

Yesterday, he packed it for Hungary. He said it packed up like a vacuum bag. He could not believe how much he got in it. And it still condensed enough to meet requirements of a personal bag on his flight.

Michael Field made these bags under the design name Bagriculture. He is the lead exhibit designer at the San Diego Natural History Museum. They are one-of-a-kind bags and all hand made. They are light weight and durable, made specifically for overnight desert hiking.

So, maybe I am just overlooking how cool some of my designer friends really are. I will have to think about that when I am in Hungary next week.