Our apartment is in the VII district of Budapest, otherwise known as the Jewish district. It has a very unique history because during WWII this area was converted into a Jewish ghetto, and when they were sent away to concentration camps, there were many buildings abandoned or taken by the government. Since the rise and fall of the soviet occupation in Hungary, post WWII, this area has slowly been rebuilding it’s Jewish community. Within the past couple decades, some entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the apartment buildings or Jewish girls boarding schools, or old kosher sausage factories that were abandoned and converting them into ruin pubs, restaurants, and hostels. This also results in the gentrification of this area… Mixed in with Kosher restaurants, markets, and synagogues are tons of young people looking for a cheap place to stay to get to know Budapest.
Grace’s parents were kind enough to invite her and some of her friends out to dinner, and she chose Mazel Tov. An old apartment building turned hip ruin restaurant with a mix of Hungarian Israeli food.
Mazel Tov was hosting an exhibition of a local Hungarian artist with his works all around the restaurant for a short period of time. Grace’s parents were absolutely lovely. Grace and her mother look so much alike and I could see exactly where her loving characteristics came from! Grace, my friend, is actually the fifth Grace in her family, so her mother is Grace the IV and she is Grace the V, how cool!! I hope to have her come visit me in DC this summer so maybe she can visit her two older brothers who also live in the area.