Ted and Maurice at Lorinc Pap Ter
No. 4 in the Urban Series
It all started here, in a small square in Budapest right outside our hotel, on a recent overseas trip. We walked through it several times a day, enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Matryoshka Bistro in the background, sat and ate ice cream on a bench the night before we left. “Why don’t we have small squares like this?” I wondered outloud to my husband. “A place where you can get an ice cream and enjoy the evening, and see your neighbors?” for several people had greeted each other as they walked through. Another group gathered at the pub (just out of sight) for an end-of-the-day gab session.
Then the next week, trying to recover from an extended case of jet lag, I went walking at our local park — part walking path, part baseball fields, part tennis courts, with lots of benches.
I chatted with Ted and Maurice, two regulars that we see walking in the morning.
And these three men who walk together, who do have names, but who I refer to as The Retired Guys.
And on Saturday mornings I see the Little Leaguers warming up to play their early morning games. It was after talking to Ted and Maurice one morning (both retired) that I realized that while my “square” is a contrast to that sweet little Lorinc Pap Ter in Budapest (“ter” means “square” in Hungarian), it is also fundamentally the same. Of course, I want to go back to Budapest yesterday, but I’m content to notice the contrasts and take what I have.
Some of the obvious contrasts are the commercial enterprises: we work really hard to separate them in the United States, but interestingly more and more shopping centers are trying to recreate that “square” feel, setting out benches, have shaded trees to sit by, and playgrounds for tired children and their shopping parents. Another obvious contrast is the size, and the purpose. I think that Lorinc Pap Ter was meant to pay homage to Count Zichy (who is atop the statue, being honored by The Common Man, and The Neighborhood Priest, for the church is right behind me in the photo) and while the park where I walk in the morning is named for a local land donor, there isn’t a bit of statuary in sight.
I first thought of contrasting the differences felt in times of day, how many people were there, and certainly the colors do provide some visual interest, but I felt it was really a cliche, and didn’t point up the contrast like I wanted to. So I got the idea to merge the two parks and some of the people, overlaying the backstop and adding Ted and Maurice. It’s a jolt to see a Little League backstop in a Budapest city square, and certainly most ballparks don’t have statues holding laurel wreaths. By mashing them together it pointed out the contrasts in a quick sort of shorthand.
I felt like I’d lucked out to get a photo with the tricolor bunting on the backstop (it’s gone now). I now was much happier with the outcome, and didn’t let the colorful square of squares go to waste: I shrunk them down and used them for the border.
And to end it off, here’s Ted and Maurice, holding my quilt. They were thrilled to be honored that way, and told me about more regulars (they get there earlier than I do). Ted took photos of my creation having never seen something like this, and we all laughed and joked around, especially as The Retired Guys came loping around to join us. All we needed was some ice cream.
Please take time to visit the other Four-in-Arters, who have also put up their Challenge Quilts today: