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Friday, April 8, 2011

Balconies: best of both worlds

Balconies have always fascinated me. I realise that wherever I go dozens of the pictures are from balconies. It's good watching balconies but also being on balconies. I got the taste for sipping wine or beer in fresh air especially after spending hundreds of hours on the one below, the beloved Tulipan street, 16 in Budapest.

Somehow on a balcony one has the best of two worlds: the security of home and the clear sky: the fridge is never too far and Venus is there for you with your first glass of wine. Balconies are even better if you can play music in the background or even if the only music is the one of the cicadas.

View from Balcony on Tulipan street, 16 (Budapest)

Poruguese balconies are a special breed: there is rarely place for a small table or chair. It's a balcony to lean on and greet your neighbour or an observatory balcony. The one below is a thought over composition: the scarf and the flower match perfectly well.

Central Lisbon: composition

The balcony below would be lovely in summer when the tree is in leaves. That's in Alfama - a magic place with an Arab history and feel.

Balcony in Alfama: old Arab part of Lisbon

Fortunately, it is still not forbidden to dry one's clothes in Portugal. Who was the one to decide that this was ugly.

The balconies below are on the hill symmetric to Alfama - Bairro Alto. Writer Fernando Pessoa was living not far from here. One can see that buildings are better taken care of. clothes, maybe drying them here is forbidden after all.

Bairro Alto (Lisbon)

The one below is in Bairro Alto too, the ex-resident is back, transformed into a dove. Balconies are also the life behind them. Remember La Vie, Mode d'Emploi (Life: A User's Manual) by George Perec.

Abandoned house: Bairro Alto

Somehow, the is the most hopeful balcony. It is right above a Fado place in Alfama. I imagine that this tree throws a lovely afternoon shadow in the room and the light plays endless games on the white bed cover.

Balcony over a Fado place (Alfama, Lisbon)

The balcony below is a small rooftop garden, ideal for watching a World Football Championship or a good movie in the open air.

Rooftop balcony

And there are a couple of balconies outside Lisbon too. Like the one below. Maybe.

Corner balcony: Coimbra