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Archive for August, 2015

egg-budapest

Every now and again a product comes out of Hungary that creates an immediate international buzz. We’ve mentioned a few on this blog, like the Rubik’s Cube, and the Gömböc. Now, for all you design eggheads or hip tourists, comes the Egg Map. Essentially, it’s a traditional map, reinvented as a soft (but not soft-boiled) egg. Want to know where you’re going? Just squeeze! Rather than break, the desired portion of the map expands out in a bubble, enlarging street names, public transportation stops, hotels, and landmarks  enough so as to be readable. The Egg Map can easily fit in a fanny pack, pocket, purse, and, unlike traditional maps doesn’t require refolding. Oh, and even though it’s an egg, it won’t break when dropped (unlike your smartphone screen), though it may bounce a little.

eggmap2

The idea was hatched and designed by the enviably young Hungarian art-school grad Dénes Sátor. He has this to say on his Behance page: “Drop it, step on it, throw it against the wall—it’s simply indestructible thanks to its incredible flexibility. As it’s filled with 100% oxygen, you don’t have to worry about it making your bag heavier, either. To make it better, it’s made of water-proof material so you can use it even in unfriendly weather conditions like rain, wind, mud, or snow.” He satirically told design-maven site Designboom that, because it is soft and fits in the palm, it can be “thrown at a wall or angry locals.”

Currently, there is only a Budapest Egg Map, but we are sure this idea has wings, and will migrate to cities all over the world.

All photos via the Egg Map Facebook Page.

squishyegg

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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Photo by Alfonso de Mendoza via Wikipedia

Photo by Alfonso de Mendoza via Wikipedia

One would think that if you titled a song “Budapest,” you might have some Hungarian ancestors, or at least would have spent significant time in our city. But that is not the case with very non-Hungarian sounding singer and sophisticated-teen heartthrob George Ezra. It turns out that he did not do a semester abroad, fall in love, or hideout from the law in Budapest. Nor, despite what the lyrics would have you believe, does he have a house in Budapest, much less a treasure chest.

He does, however, have a lot of talent, and the world is responding. The young singer scored a huge hit last year with the song, which reached the top 10 in numerous countries around the world, hitting number one in Austria, Belgium, New Zealand, and the Czech Republic, though strangely, not in Hungary. As of May, it has sold over half a million copies in the US and ended last year as the 13th top selling record in the UK. Fifty-nine million YouTube viewers confirm that “Budapest’ is a monster hit. The singer, from Hertford in Hetfordshire (imagine if he had called the song that) did, however, stop by central Budapest’s Akvárium club to serenade local audiences (see video below).

Of course that is nothing compared to the Glastenbury festival, where Ezra played this year.  But could we not have at least scored some Ezra for Sziget? That’s not to say he hasn’t been busy: The video to his follow-up song “Listen to the Man,” featuring Ian McKellen, was released. Also, Ezra was nominated for four 2015 Brit Awards: Best British Album, Best British Male Solo Artist, Best British Single, and British Breakthrough; was selected by sensation Sam Smith for 16 dates on Smith’s headline arena tour across North America; and asked to share a bill with Irish recording artist Hozier on his sold-out 2015 North American tour.

So, if Budapest is on everybody’s lips, in a bluesy, poppy style, that’s why.


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We recently stumbled across this video love letter to Budapest, which is making the rounds on social media. What you will see is an attempt to show all of the city’s summer-time charms, from the now ‘iconic ruin’ pubs in the inner 7th District, to what has been deemed the best summer music festival in Europe, the Sziget Festival. In the video, narrated by “Mike” (who we suspect is a local with a great accent) we get taken on a whimsical, and professionally filmed video of ideal film locations in Budapest, places like Parliament and the Szent István Bazilika (Saint Stephen’s Basilica, the grandest and oldest church in Budapest). True, this is all well-covered territory, but one never tires of new perspectives on old favorites like Széchenyi Baths and the Dohányi Street Synagogue. Along the way, even seasoned Budapest fans might learn a thing or two. For instance: Want to know how Queen’s Freddie Mercury expressed his love for the city? Watch and learn. For that reason alone: thank you, Thank You Budapest!

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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cucumbers

In the Hungarian media, August is known as the ‘cucumber season, ’ a time when everybody is away on vacation, and there is little news, so the yield of the cucumber crop is what gets reported. Lucky us that we stumbled upon a real cucumber story, that of the very Hungarian-sounding Sandor Katz, an artisanal pickle and sauerkraut maker, or ‘fermentation revivalist’ in rural Tennessee who has become something of a cooking celebrity. In addition to being an in demand speaker, his book on fermenting foodstuffs, The Art of Fermentation, was a New York Times bestseller.

sandor katz

What’s so great about fermentation? Wildfermentation.com, Sandor’s site, explains it as such: “Fermentation makes foods more nutritious, as well as delicious. Microscopic organisms – our ancestors and allies – transform food and extend its usefulness. Fermentation is found throughout human cultures. Hundreds of medical and scientific studies confirm what folklore has always known: Fermented foods help people stay healthy.”

“Many of your favorite foods and drinks are probably fermented. For instance: Bread, Cheese, Wine, Beer, Mead, Cider, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Pickles, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Salami, Miso, Tempeh, Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Yogurt, Kefir, Kombucha.” Pro tip: you can get Sandor’s sauerkraut recipe here.

Sandor teaches workshops around the world. Though he has none scheduled for Hungary, we are confident he will drop by, as there is a strong culture of fermentation here, along with glorious produce and a love of home cooking. Fans of Hungarian cuisine know that summer is the season of the ‘kovászos uborka,’ Hungary’s famous dill pickle that can be seen fermenting in the sun in jars filled with gherkins, bread, dill, salt and lots of garlic. Perhaps that a second theory as to is why August in Hungary is called cucumber season.

Koviubi

Below, courtesy of the New York Times Opinions short documentary series is Sandor’s tale. Sandorkraut: a Picklemaker, by filmmakers Ann Husaini and Emily Lobsenz. Perfect for a hot day in cucumber season.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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