A few months ago, I wrote a a ranting blog post about the McDonald’s sign perched on a rooftop over the banks of the Danube. The sign was particularly irksome given this stretch of the Danube is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sign stood out as a neon scar across an otherwise spectacular vista. Plain and simple, I just hated this sign. Besides, it’s one more reason to get into the ‘Have I told you why I hate Americans?” conversation prompted whenever a McDonald’s or Starbucks is in sight.
I suspected Pat never really listened to my rants. Then, a few days ago, he burst into the apartment (Pat doesn’t usually burst). “Julie, I took a picture for your blog. Look! You won’t believe it. No sign.” (I love that Pat believes my blog wields this kind of power).
Of course, I accept the confines of my nonexistent influence. I had nothing to do with the sign decision. A big shout out to whomever deserves the credit, thank you. The Danube banks are uncluttered for the first time since I visited Budapest in 2006. One of the most amazing views in Europe just got better.
My guess, the sign came down as part of massive renovation which has cut a tornado path though the city core. While many of the locals feel the investment is unaffordable given the current economy, Budapest could be a booming tourist destination. I tend to support the improvements.
We have learned to cheer the little wins. Hence, a sign removal became cause for celebration. Who knows, maybe this weekend we’ll stop by and order a Big Mac to show our thanks – then walk out onto the bridge and enjoy the view.