Jewish Journal, April 24, 2015
Inside a rundown courtyard apartment building on Kiraly Street lies a remnant of dark times past. A brick wall has been reconstructed to mark the point where the wall to the 1944 Jewish ghetto of Budapest once stood.
But just a few buildings down, a different type of courtyard exists — the Gozsdu Courtyard — restored years ago by an Israeli-owned development company to become a nightlife compound where beautiful young people enjoy hip bars and restaurants one would expect to find in cities such as Tel Aviv, Berlin and London.
Today, when a Hungarian millennial says the “Jewish Quarter,” they don’t mean the ornate Great Synagogue, the Holocaust memorials or the few kosher eateries. They mean the cool cafes, vanguard pubs, wine bars and boutique shops.
When they refer to the ruins, they don’t mean the ruins of Jewish life. They mean the ruin pubs, such as the popular bars Szimpla Kert or Instant, both located in the former Jewish ghetto in decrepit courtyard buildings made totally chic with funky décor and graffiti art that would make Tel Aviv hot spots envious.