The KFC directions got me as close as middle of nowhere after leaving the subway, in the suburbs. Between all these apartment building blocks, all placed perfectly for tens of thousands while there were no people on the streets. Yet, according to others there was something out there.
I’ll just make a loop through the ‘hood, I thought, to hear if there is music or not, then turn back before the last metro.
I kept this mindset until I see some bouncer looking dude standing to where I had set my mind to pass, I started mocking to myself: “This would go great. It has gone swell so far.”
He was the Mickey Rourke type and didn’t seem fazed by the cold at all in his suit, cut to show the contours of his silhouette. He looked me down and I asked him straight in English if this might be a private venue. The bouncer said something like “(Lost in Translation) Klupung” but when he noticed I didn’t understand Hungarian, he let me in on he already lost interest on me.
Behind him apparently was a corridor made from an opening between buildings, which suddenly got my attention, I could hear music playing there.
I look back at him ask something short like “What’s this?” with heavier gestures this time, for a more accurate universal translation. He then responded with more “Klupung” followed by “Bar Bar”. ‘Bar Bar’ obviously did hit me. I nod accordingly and could now walk past him into the corridor. I hear 90’s rock getting clearer as I near the end. The place was secured with just a wooden construction fence. But it mattered a lot, I totally misjudged it.
Found the handle and “Swoosh!”, radiant heat poured out into the cold darkness. I get blasted by the draft on a Brian Adams track while I’m trying to pull the fence behind me shut.
Oh boy, ‘Klupung’ or whatever was busy!
All walks of life are gathered here tonight, in what appears to be a community bar built within the courtroom of building block flats. The inner-garden shared creatively!
This place is great, it had all kinds of randomly placed decorative stuff on walls and fences. Had arcade and slot machines. Had grandpa from nr. 204 playing pool with high-schooler from nr. 78. It was all mixed: You could bring your dogs in, but why even bother? I think they never actually left. You’d go home, they stay there. Same for non-animate stuff. You can keep your bike there, motorized or not, to work on it another day. All while 70 people or so were there hanging out at the bar, on tables, while drinking, playing cards, writing songs, hooking up and getting more drinks. I would not be surprised if you could buy off-market stuff here.
It was freedom and enterprise in one.
This place feels really cozy in winter and it probably has an open terrace in the summer. The more I look around the more urban details surface, it literally was littered around.
I love it!
PS: The picture used in this post is from “Szimpla kert”, a popular ruin bar close in the area. As I’ve forgotten the name of the place, I couldn’t find an appropriate picture, but this was the vibe.