Népszínház utca is a street that begs to be the subject of study. Its name, People’s Theatre Street, produces expectations that are fully met. Its surroundings are a mix of shops, pubs, hotels, homeless shelters, churches, trams, a building site and a market; it is a heavily utilized public space with a character, color and attitude that animates the area. It cuts right through Budapest’s VIII district, Józsefváros, a part of town that is as notorious as it is diverse.
Ian Cook is a social anthropologist and Ph.D student at the Central European University in Budapest. He works on gentrification in Budapest and temporal and spatial approaches to urbanization in Mangalore, India.