"From DC to Buda" dcwizard's Profile


Hello fellow travelers, my after working in Bucharest, Romania and Budapest, Hungary, I have returned to Washington, DC. I'll be building these pages bit by bit as I find time. Most of my travel experiences are in Central and Eastern Europe, though not exclusively. I'll try to share as much as I can about the places I've visited, but try to tell you things you won't find in a guidebook. Although one caveat...as with many parts of the world, things can move pretty quickly, so my favorite cafe in Tirana one day may be closed the next! Stay tuned and keep in touch!


Knowing a little more about me and my interests will probably help you decide if the information in my travel pages will be of interest to you. Well, music is definitely one of the interests that defines me and influences my travel experiences. I listen to music almost constantly, listening to tunes while at work, on headphones while running, and on planes or trains when traveling. I also love to hear live music, from huge stadium and arena concerts by my favorite megabands to local bands playing at the nearby pub or club.

I listen to all kinds of music, but by far my favorite band has to be U2. Ever since I saw them play in Hampton, Virginia, USA during the Joshua Tree tour while I was in high school, I've always done whatever I can to see U2 live. Whether it means camping out all night in November to get a ticket to the Hampton show or driving nine hours in my PT Cruiser to catch the Elevation Tour in Louisville, Kentucky; I'll get a ticket and get to a U2 show!

Top Five U2 Moments:
1) Zooropa Tour -- Budapest, Hungary (1993): U2 played their first show in Central and Eastern Europe, adding this date during a week off from their huge European stadium tour. Bono greeted the enthusiastic crowd in Hungarian, and made a satellite link with Sarajevo (during the Bosnian conflict). The cover of "Let It Be" was the highlight of the show.

2) PopMart Tour -- Washington, DC (1997): The best part of this show was that my friend and I took our parents to the concert. Extra U2 tickets can bring the worst out of friends, girlfriends, or prospective girlfriends, so bringing our folks to the show was the best solution. Our dads even drew a crowd playing U2 on their guitars during the pre-concert tailgate party. The concert was over the top, yes, but I loved the fireworks, giant lemon, and MOFO.

3) Elevation Tour -- Louisville, KY (2001): I was able to score standing room floor seats for this show, part of U2's "back to roots, back to music, back to heart" tour. Seeing Bono and Edge playing "Until the End of the World" so close gave me chills. U2 made the arena feel like a small club, their presence is so big, even with the scaled down effects. Walk On indeed...

4) Millenium Concert -- Washington, DC (2000): Bono was the featured artist at the millenium celebrations on the Mall in Washington, DC. His call to prayer through a touching version of "One" with Daniel Lanois was an unforgettable way to start the new year, new century, new millenium.

5) NetAid -- New York, NY (1999): While the concert featured some big names (Bono, Wyclef Jean, P. Diddy, Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Sting, Counting Crows, etc.), the concert to launch the NetAid website was not very well attended and did not garner the support organizers expected. However, Bono's "One" with Zucchero, and jamming with Wyclef on "New Day" were special moments.


While I'm crazy about U2, I'm also an avid concert-goer, and love to hear various artists and types of music. If I'm lucky enough and my work and travel schedule coincide, I like to catch a live act in the city I'm visiting at the time. Some of my best travel experiences have included concerts. Here is a (not comprehensive) list of some of the concerts I've been able to catch during my travels. Dates may be slightly incorrect, I'm trying to recall shows by memory!

Living Colour (A38 Boat - March 2004)
Placebo (Petofi Csarnok Open Air - August 2003)
Suzanne Vega (Margitsziget - May 2003)
Moby (Sports Arena - May 2003)
Maceo Parker (A38 Boat - March 2003)
Cranberries (Petofi Csarnok - November 2002)
U2 Zooropa (Nepstadion - July 1993)

Cranberries (Gasometer - Fall 2002)
Depeche Mode Devotional (Arena - June 1993)

Washington, DC (area):
Prince (MCI Center - August 2004)
The Cure (Merriweather Post Pavilion - August 2004)
The Polyphonic Spree (9:30 Club - August 2004)
Dave Matthews Band (Nissan Pavilion and Merriweather Post Pavilion - July 2004)

Violent Femmes (Tvornica [The Factory] - April 2004)
Depeche Mode Exciter (Dom Sportova - February 2003)

San Francisco:
Doves (Fillmore Theater - October 2002)

New York:
Net Aid Benefit (Giants Stadium - Fall 1999)

Lawrance, Kansas:
Dave Matthews Band (Verizon Amphitheater - Summer 1999)

Chumbawamba Acoustic Tour (Muffathalle - February 2004)

Lexington, Kentucky:
U2 Elevation Tour (University of Kentucky - May 2001)

Montreux, Switzerland:
Ramsey Lewis, Chaka Khan, Al Green (Jazz Festival - July 1993)

Anyways, you get the idea. I'll try to recall other shows and add new ones as I (hopefully) see them!


Ever since I spent a summer semester studying in Vienna, I have developed a real love for art, including paintings and sculpture, as well as other applied arts. I never thought I could be so taken by art, but now I always look for new exhibits to see in Budapest and always try to include visits to art museums, galleries, and temporary exhibits during my travels. I've traveled to some cities (Munich for example) because of the art offerings there. My tastes generally run (although not exclusively) from around the turn of the 20th century modern art to current contemporary works. My tastes have definitely been influenced by what I've seen during my travels. Some of my favorites, always subject to changes and additions!

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - I find something new every time I look at one of his detailed works, such as Kinderspiele (Children Playing).

Johannes Vermeer - Less than 30 works of his have survived, adding to the aura surrounding this artist. Saw his painting Girl with a Pearl Earring and couldn't take my eyes off her gaze. Of course the mystery provided fodder for the hit novel and movie.

Ioan Nemtsoi - A glassmaker from Romania I learned about while living in Bucharest, his colorful works have become all the rage among collectors of glass. Strong unique designs, yet still delicate and beautiful in a way. (Also check out Mihai Topescu, slightly less known but less expensive, for now.)

Oskar Kokoschka - One of the Viennese expressionists. His portraits are more well-known but a bit disturbing. I prefer the broad brushstrokes applied to his wonderful landscapes. (If anyone knows where I can see them displayed, please let me know!)

Some of my favorite art museums:

Picasso Museum, Barcelona - Houses many of his early Blue Period works, my favorites from Picasso.

Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna - I always get trapped looking at the Bruegel paintings in the Flemish wing of the huge museum. I always leave happy though!

National Gallery, Washington - They always get some great temporary exhibitions, including great ones of Vermeer and Van Gogh.

Museum de Orsay, Paris - So many wonderful works, especially impressionists as well as Art Nouveau. More fun for me than the Louvre.

  • Intro Updated Mar 13, 2007
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Comments (36)

  • a2lopes's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    Happy birthday John and many happy returns of the day. Greetings from Portugal which is waiting for your revisit next May for the Eurmeeting. It will be fun with vteers from all over.. Definitely J. Vermeer ... the most you can :-)

  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Happy Birthday from sunny California!

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2008 at 10:52 PM

    Have a great birthday.

  • lina112's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2007 at 9:05 AM

    Happy Birthday John, have a wonderful day. Lina

  • zazatann's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2007 at 7:27 AM

    I wish you have a very happy birthday. Greeting from the city of angel, Bangkok.

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2007 at 11:51 PM

    Happy Birthday John! Hope you have a fabulous day : )

  • evilprebil's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2007 at 9:11 PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sayedaburas's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2007 at 9:03 PM

    ♫•:*¨`*:•Happy birthday to you♫♫Happy b-day to you♫HAPPY BIRTHDAY to JOHN ♫♫Happy b-day to yoou•:*¨`*:•♫ I wish you not only a happy year, but also ღhappier maany returnsღ (~_~)

  • mary2u99's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2007 at 8:55 PM

    Happy birthday, John!:-)

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2007 at 5:55 PM

    John, another birthday for you has arrived, and another birthday wish goes out to you from Chicago.

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