Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
In pictures:

Pólus Center, the first or second modern mall in Budapest, built just next to a plattenbau (like 3-4 other Budapest malls), also one of the ugliest and (intentionally) most US-style with its giant parking lot and flat outlay (and worse than US with its hyper-kitch interior, including painted sky):

The nearby Ázsia Center, the (at least at the time of completition) largest mall in Central Europe, built by Chinese businessmen, housing hundreds of small shops selling the same importware, initially a failure (people could buy the same stuff cheaper at Chinese open markets) but now with some traffic:

The Westend City Center, a giant inner-city mall (with bureaus/hotels on top on the right side) in place of former railway marshalling yards, with the parking house placed above some tracks of West Railway Terminal (on the photo from before the end of construction, rebuilt tracks still missing between those white columns):

Inside Westend City Center, whose pluses of downtown/public transit access and some natural lights on top are balanced by being the loudest inside and being most frequented by the kind of teenagers Drew Jones would call out:

There is even a well-established Budapest slang word for the girls buying/wearing all the bright-coloured crappy design stuff with heavy makeup & walk around malls with dead eyes, plázacica (=mall pussycat), and it is said their density per metre is highest in the Westend.

As last example, the MOM park was built by a German chain with the philosophy that natural lights should be allowed in, but I don't have many impressions -- it is in the posh Buda part of Budapest and I have been there only to watch some films:

A section of the Great Boulevard, pre-malls a prime shopping area, here with uncharacteristically few cars:

The great Budapest Market Hall, (today) a renovated century-old building where Western tourists go:

I'm not sure I'd take any Western guests to a real, everyday marketplace in or around Budapest -- they might have doubts about hygiene and atmosphere.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 11:27:02 AM EST
Ahhh, one of these days I will become proficient with pictures!

That Azsia Center looks as inhumane as it can be.  It could be an Airbus factory, a factory farm...  I love the Great Boulevard and the markets because they have a human scale and they are approachable to me.  

I am happy in the older streets of Madrid full of small shops, even if they are more expensive, because I learn what each merchant is good at and I can count on finding what I need.  Many will even order it if they don´t have it.  They survive by specializing and giving personal service.

I grew up with real market places where almost everything was wrapped in newspaper, so that doesn´t bother me at all.  Now they use plastic bags for everything, of course, and I rarely take them because I have this eternal, folding tote in my purse and I just don´t create enough garbage for them all.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 06:13:11 PM EST
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