Tell us about the first time you saw Budapest. "That was '91. I took my daughter, who was only two. My first impression was the Danube and Buda Castle, which I could see out of my hotel window, and the Chain Bridge, which is all lit up at night. One of my first memories as a child was the Hungarian uprising, which was in 1956. It made a big impression on me, and to go down that huge main boulevard and still see, you know, pockmarks from machine guns and tanks. There's less of that now. It was one of the great watering holes, where a lot of the royalty and aristocracy of Europe would go. A very beautiful, refined city. Then, certainly during the Communist regime, everything went into disrepair. Now they're refurbishing the city. Things are being painted and rebuilt and polished and reconstructed. There's a Four Seasons Hotel [opening this summer] that's going into a beautiful old building right on the Pest side of the river. You feel like people are investing in the city, and you'll start seeing the city that it once was."

When you say "the Pest side of the river," you're referring to the fact the city is divided into two parts, Buda and Pest. What's the difference? "Pest is kind of the lowland part of Budapest. The Danube goes right through the city, with some wonderful bridges, and up on the Buda Hills is Old Buda, where the Buda Castle is. Old Buda is wonderful, with a lot of buildings of that wonderful ocher color, Habsburg yellow. Very deep yellow. The streets are all cobblestone. You really feel like you're walking into history. There are beautiful squares and some of my favorite sculpture ever in the world. Budapest is full of the most wonderful art, but the sculpture is what I love the most."