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Old 09-03-2015, 06:29 AM   #26
Tannhauser
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Prague - Warsaw - Vienna
Posts: 53
Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OurSurveySays View Post
Let me know next time you come to visit and I can invite you to my bar!
Dear Patrick! It was interesting to read an opinion of a person who has lived in Budapest for such a long time. We are a bit different in the way we perceive and "feel" this city, however, the most important thing is that we both love it so much! I will be more than happy to visit your bar and looking forward to meeting you there.

I will be in Budapest for sure next spring and most likely will drop by for a day this fall, while visiting Vienna. In either case I will give you a call.
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:31 PM   #27
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Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

From my previous posts about Budapest you could get the wrong impression that the city is a jumble of architectural beauties with the sleepy hobos scattered around them.

In fact, Budapest is one of the most vital cities. During the first week, we went to the four Jazz gigs (they were amazing at least twice), the city hosts a huge number of festivals, many events get organized here, and, speaking about the intensity of the cultural life, Budapest just barely loses even to Berlin.

Opera surprised me very much with the high level of singing, there were no weak performers on the stage at all.

Unfortunately we couldn't make it to the modern ballet performance, although during our stay in the city I noted for myself at least 6 noteworthy dance performances.

We were at the Budapest Jazz Club twice, the first time (in the photo below) was pale and a little boring, and I do not even remember the names of the performers.



But the second time turned out very good, as I discovered a very cool band.



Trio á la Kodály, to the left there is a stunning clarinetist, who doesn’t look at all like a clarinetist (photo taken from the club website - http://www.bjc.hu).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXEDTRl73M8

Then there was a very worthy jam session. Roman gypsies are really involved in the local jazz life:



But most of all I remembered this pianist, Balázs Jôzsef:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPA1SvILNqM

Apart from this club we also visited a great jazz cafe Jedermann, also twice. The cafe is located in the street Ráday, one of the finest streets in Budapest. There's a very nice (and affordable!) food and and some really good performers, too. I can safely recommend this place to everyone.

These guys are very cool:



Unfortunately, I did not write down their names.

The cafe has a very unique atmosphere:



Jazus:



We did not like the second time performers:



Not only they played remarkably imeptly, they also made an ugly scene. During the jam a very inexperienced saxophone player came up to them, some skinny shy boy with round glasses; they felt his inexperience immediately and decided to make fun of him: in the middle of a saxophone solo they strung up the pace so much, that he just couldn’t go on playing. It looked disgusting.

The boy was saved by the brutal tenor saxophonist looking a bit like that clarinetist from the photo above. He came up, showed the high class play, spread the villains on the stage and left in 10 minutes. This is something I adore.

A couple:



Gipsies:



Pretty brazen, they play the role of the dagestanians, but they aren’t that good.

The only drawback of the place is that they only serve Hungarian wines, which are the worst in the whole world (except for Tokaj, of course, but one cannot just drink it every day). On top of that, the smell of marijuana in the courtyard was pretty strong both times, but for some, probably, that won't be a drawback at all.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:45 PM   #28
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Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

There are lots of very affordable antiques in Budapest. We have bought a neat vase from 1906, just for 70 Euro.



You could get a wonderful wardrobe or a salon furniture set, consisting of the sofa and some armchairs just for 1000 Euro. The best places for buying are in the city center (there are some particular good ones on both sides of Danube near Margit híd) and at the flea markets.

Shops have more goods in good condition and less garbage, but flea markets can provide you with something really unique and almost for free.

This is the most famous flea market.



It looks like this:





Almost everything sold is trash, but if you know what you want to buy and are ready to spend 4 hours for the search, you can go there.

They sell everything



Furniture, paintings, china, I have even noticed some shops with the Nazi attributes. I think no one is interested in this, except for some police departments, so I won't share these pics. I was very surprised, however, to find out there was a demand for that.



You definitely must bargain at the flea market. The prices can be reduced by fifty or even a hundred per cent, depending on the item. Here they like Japanese and Chinese people – those who never bargain. If the price is reduced just a bit they are already happy.

The shop's variety is more interesting.





I was looking for the certain style vase, so bought just it. In a year or two I will come with a big truck for the sofas and wardrobes.
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Old 09-18-2015, 01:52 PM   #29
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Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

We’ve travelled to Bratislava. At first I did not want to go there as I expected to see a typical Eastern European city such as Ostrava, Czech Republic with preserved fragments of the old city center, that I’ve seen about 50 times by now. I agreed just because the center of Vienna and the center of Bratislava are one hour from each other (two hundred years ago the cities were joined by the tram route).

In fact, the city is very nice. It does not have the imperial splendor, luxury and rhythm of a capital: in the days of the Imperor Franz Josef, when Vienna, Prague and Budapest experienced their triumph, Bratislava was not even the fourth city of the Empire. Bratislava has acquired the status of the capital only 20 years ago. Nothing except for the formal attributes say that is it actually a capital city.





Here is the old city center. There are lots of tourists there but traditional idiocracies like barkers in national costumes are absent. In general, the city does not resemble a tourist attraction at all. It is very organic and natural.





A dozen of grand buildings remaining from the Austro-Hungarian Empire are still in their places...



But basically everything is like this.



Lady sells wine in one of the small streets. Poured into the glass goblets, you can try and buy different sorts of it.



The city is very clean and colorful.



Moscow is the only European capital where residents do not decorate their balconies with flowers. I still have no idea why.



It is not necessary to live in an expensive house to decorate a balcony.



Lovely detail: the "tiles" in the arch are made of real wood.



Outside the old town of Bratislava looks like that.



The other bank of the Danube is built up with the panel condo houses. Like many other cities it was initially built on one bank, the hilly one.

Most of the day there is nothing to do in the city, given that Vienna is nearby. If you are traveling to Vienna for 10 days and for the first time don’t bother to waste time. If you go for a month I will recommend you to visit this town.

We have been in the city for four hours (the trip there took another two), and are very happy with this trip.
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:58 PM   #30
Tannhauser
 
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Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

Let's put aside subject of traveling for a little bit.

Recently, in my the Russian-language blog, I got asked the following question:

Quote:
Could you please recommend a movie that you think lays up a claim for being deep and thought-provoking.
(c) Jayser1337
I will share my opinion here, as well.
There are three categories of worthy movies, in my opinion. Clearly, this categorization itself is arbitrary, as well as including a particular film in one of these categories.

The first category is for well-made movies, that raise interesting questions. They require only watching and do not demand from a viewer neither a high level of background knowledge nor knowledge of the cinematographic language. At the same time they provide a good topic for an evening discussion. For example, I would put the following films into this group: "Calvary"(2014), "The Lives of Others"(2006), "The Reader"(2008), "A Dangerous Method"(2011) and "Melancholia". I understand that some of these films can be attributed to a "higher” category, but I consider viewer’s level of background knowledge to be the main separating factor here.

The second category is for the movies that have a complex multi-layer structure and although they can be watched by ан unprepared audience, they fully open up to the soul of someone who has seen and read a lot before. Out of the recent ones there is "The Great Beauty" or, perhaps, "Faust" by Sokurov (that has recently won the Cannes Lyon). This particular one you can watch right off the bat, however, if you do not know Faustian European discourse deep enough it will not be as interesting.

Finally, the third category is the highest level of the Cinéma d'auteur. I do not recommend watching it without being properly prepared or having serious viewing experience. If you start а path of a serious movie-viewer with Fellini or just some ultra radical art-house you risk to end it right there.

By the way, moving away from the original question. One of my commentators in the discussion expressed an interesting point of view on the subject of films.

Quote:
One of the things that I fortunately have realized quite early is that one must watch and read pieces that one really like and not pretend. This does not mean that it is not worth it to experiment and grow as a reader (viewer), it’s just that this process must be organic and honest.
Obviously, there are some books for which I am not ready and hardly ever will be, because they require specific knowledge and education, which I do not possess.
And that's fine.
I’ve read a lot and I think that my level as a reader is quite high. But what's the difference? There is no need to compare yourself to others. You just have to choose what you like and enjoy it.
If you're high from Russian classics, wonderful, happy for you. On the other hand, many people are reading it under the influence of the social pressure; in order to seem smarter than other people in your own eyes or someone else’s. This is stupid and harmful. It is unlikely to be optimal, either, considering how many millions of books there are in the world and that modern authors are by default culturally and mentally closer to you.
Many people do not read at all, because they’ve made too many bad choices in the past and they eventually surrendered. It is too bad. Be honest with yourself and experiment, it is likely that sooner or later you will discover the brave new world.
(c) feruell

I will develop this idea further. Many people do not read good books and do not watch good movies because of the wrong approach. They tried to overcome the complicated things without being ready for it. For many people the school experience was traumatizing in this way. In that case, one must put it behind, as a bad dream and approach the “dive” into the culture in the right way.

I often hear that this or that choice is a matter of taste. But the taste is not a random number generator. It requires education and hard workon oneself. Selection of books by Danielle Steel is not a "matter of taste", it is the result of one's ignorance and of the readiness to consume trash.

If you do not work on developing your taste, you can only choose from a set of dishes, limited by your abilities.

But if you step on the “yellow brick road” leading deep into the culture, then after a while you will discover in amazement what a great beauty is hidden in the thungs that seemed dull, incomprehensible and "inappropriate for your taste" just recently.

You will begin to get enjoyment, not only because of the twisted plot and the fictional world order but also because of how exactly the writer made this world work, what this masterpiece consists of and how this world has been constructed by the master. Each book will become an adventure for you, a journey into the world created by the author, the world that you will be exploring and getting to know. And if you meet people who will accompany you in this quest, the quality of your life will increase manyfold.
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:18 PM   #31
Tannhauser
 
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Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

So, here is Amsterdam.

1. We are arriving. The plots of land are separated from each other by the channels.


2. The airport surprises you with the fact that the majority of the taxis in it are the Tesla cars.


3. This photo has it all, everything that characterizes Amsterdam: the channels, the flowers, the bicycles, the gingerbread houses.


4. It is nice near the channels.


5. The architecture though is terribly monotonous.


This is one of my main complaints about Amsterdam. The city offers its guests a very rich visual range, so bright that in a couple of hours of walking through the center the eyes start dazzling and the head aching. At the same time the buildings of architectural value are almost absent.

Houses are disgustingly shiny and glossy in the sun, they are all perfectly restored and cleaned with the shampoo. Together with the similarity of the development and petty-bourgeois spirit of commercialism, that emanates from every house, there arises a feeling of the theatre props or a suburban shopping center (those are very fashionable now, so to say, "cities" where each house is a shopping pavilion).

6. А channel.


7. Sometimes you can comes across something original, but it is either ridiculous ...


8. ... or opulent-cake like.


9. However, I am exaggerating. There are some very cozy examples.


10. And sometimes there are very interesting examplars from the different eras.


13. Amsterdam is a city of the future. The electric cars are еverywhere.


The second thing that annoys me in Amsterdam is it's emphasized futurism. All these electric cars, modern architecture, social innovation ... Amsterdam is like an national expo.

Not that I'm against all this, sooner or later, electric cars will get to Saransk, however, a couple of things perplex me.

1)This focus on the technological progress, imputing a particular value to it, anticipation some new life that the progress will provide, all this is just ridiculous. The world began admiring the technological progress а century and a half ago, and during the first world expos it took the form of the mass craze. Smart people laughed outloud at this even then, a century passed but nothing has changed, and if the city is still poking at me with the electric cars like it is something amazing and beautiful, this city is a fool.

2) Unlike in Paris or Vienna, I did not feel the diversity of the cultural backgrounds covering each other here. There is some screaming modernism, there is a decorative past that belongs to the centuries-old past, and there is a void in between. There is no communication, no connection.

14.


The third reason that made me dislike Amsterdam is an excessive number of bikes. This is a trifle compared to the previous two reasons, but it is frankly unpleasant to move around the city on foot.

Bicycles have the priority over cars and pedestrians, they rush to knock down anyone who gets in their way.

The bikes are trudging along in a continuous stream, they don’t give a crap about the rules, they do not forgive pedestrians' mistakes.

Biking has a nature of a mass craze. Many cities have an excellent cycling infrastructure, but I have seen a continuous stream of bicycles only in Amsterdam.

15. This man came to Amsterdam recently. The real Amsterdam cyclists do not indicate turns with their arms, they lumber through the flow of vehicles and pedestrians.


16. It is impossible to take a picture of the city with no bike in it.


17. The names of the streets in the Chinese quarter are dubbed in Chinese.


Everything is all right in the quarter, but they have forgotten to bring the Chinese people there. Apart from 3 or 4 theme restaurants there is nothing Chinese here. Why dub the street names then?

The fact is that Amsterdam trades on its tolerance, as Prague does with its beer. And how can you have tolerance without the Chinatown in the city center.

Tolerance is a tourist attraction. It includes the prostitutes quarter in the city center, marijuana and gays. Tourists are invited to go wild, but it all looks pretty vulgar, dull and far-fetched.

This ends the list of my complaints about the city.

Here are a few pleasant pictures.

18. The modern architecture plays on the old style:


19. An old man playing with dogs:


21. Almost Venice.


22. One of the few beautiful buildings in the city center.


23. The local art museum.


There is something in Amsterdam, that is worth visiting, you know.

I stood in front of this painting for about an hour and a half. As a result, I had to run through the Van Gogh Museum very fast, 10 minutes for each floor, or I would have been late for the plane.


Image source: http://www.fresher.ru

I plan to come back to this painting in the fall for one more day.

24. The modern architecture (shot from the car window on the way to the airport).


25. And one more:


I am currently in Innsbruck, it is really nice here.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:22 AM   #32
Tannhauser
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Prague - Warsaw - Vienna
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Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

Now, lets talk about Innsbruck. I went there for two reasons.

First, I had decided to engage seriously in my health (to quit smoking, for one thing), and in order to tune in to the right state of mind, I needed to be in a place, which was the most favorable for exercising. Secondly, I had somewhat over exhausted myself working. So if I’d had just a little more work I would’ve ended up with a nervous breakdown.

So the reason for my vacation were very practical. It hardly could be called a vacation though, I was going to work in my usual mode.

Most of all, I was afraid Innsbruck would turn out to be the same trimmed Amsterdam only in the mountains, but my fears were unfounded. Innsbruck is one of the best provincial cities, that I have ever visited.

1. The view from the terrace of our house. Renting a villa in the low ski season can be very inexpensive.


2.The view to the opposite direction. We live on the north shore of the river, on a hillside. The center is far away.


3. The Tyrolean-style houses adjoining the trendy modern villas.


4. The church. The 90% of the population are the Roman Catholics. There are a lot of churches here. The shrines and Christian symbols are everywhere.


5. The kindergarten.


6. The urban landscape.


7.

8.

9. The flowers can make a miracle even out of a dull building.


10. The Gardens of Babylon.


11. A very “witty” house.


12. The cemetery. The way the people treat their dead can say a lot about the city. There are some fresh flowers on almost every grave.


13. The temple


14. Many of the houses are decorated with the images of the saints


15. The pharmacy.


16. The fashion house accessories store hid in the old building.


17.I have no idea what that is.


18.The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian


19. The mountain river has the exact silver shade.


20. The children’s toys. One can act out the Bible scenes with them.


21. The very center of the city.


22. This is a playground near our house.


23. The mountains are densely inhabited and well-developed. There are the benches and signs along the forest routes.


24.The small waterfall.
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:47 AM   #33
lumberajack
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Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

great pics
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:49 PM   #34
golddigger13
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Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

Im from the netherlands and amsterdam is for foreigners....

rotterdam/utrecht/breda/den bosch/groninge is better. Nice thread was reading to get staked if it includes coaching.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:57 AM   #35
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Re: From Russia with Love: Poker & Arts & Business.

you should try wroclaw! highly underrated city lived there for 5 yrs after budapest it's the best.
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