Though some of the photos here were taken in the 60s and 70s, there was little change during the years of the communist period (which ended in 1989). Moving from our second flat on Dózsa György út, to live in Garay tér in 1983, it looked hardly changed from the picture above. The world 'behind the iron curtain' continued in its splendid isolation from the changes taking place beyond its borders.
Budapest VII: Garay tér
Budapest VII: Szinyei Pál utca
"...Opposite was the main entrance to the market, which was, in fact, Garay tér. The huge, green, wrought iron gates stood padlocked, but outside on the pavement gypsy music could be heard from a transistor radio, coming from one of the many kiosks that surround the market square...
Garay tér and its surrounding area were commonly known as 'Chicago'. When I told anyone that we were living there, they greeted the information with surprise and distaste. It had become a focal point for Poles, gypsies, alcoholics, tramps and dubious business.
Our neighbour, Feri-bácsi, a retired coach driver, was almost as permanent a fixture on one corner of the square as the phone box was on the other. He would happily stand and watch the comings and goings from after breakfast until lunch, while in the afternoons he was frequently to be seen attending to his newly-acquired Skoda parked nearby."
" Kazi caught my glum look as I gazed at the crumbling walls, other flat doors around the walkway and the concrete courtyard below, our only view from the window. ‘You'll see, it'll be fine. It isn't a bad flat and this is a better area than Garay tér.’
The shopping around our new flat was disastrous. One small supermarket was all that existed within walking distance. It was dark, the assistants rude, and you could smell sour milk from the doorway.
I decided to go to the main post office at Nyugati station on the assumption that sending telegrams abroad would be run-of-the-mill for them...
‘I can't send this,’ she said.
‘Why not?’ I asked incredulously.
‘Because there's no such place as Cambridge in England,’ she stated in a matter-of-fact voice."
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