Tuesday, November 07, 2017

36 Hours Prague, travel section finds Soho and Tribeca

Catching up on Sunday Times reading last night, the travel section had a 36 Hours feature on Prague.  The writer spent most of the article directing traveling readers to trendy pubs, bistros, boutiques, a high end Japanese restaurant,  tapas bars, a Prime Burger grill, the Italian bistro and deli La Bottega Linka, fashionable shops from Sweden, Belgium, Berlin, and just about everything one would find in an upscale artsy area of New York or other global cities.

Prague is a beautiful city.  Simply walking around and looking at the buildings can be special.  Historical sites are plentiful.  The article mentions "the city's architectural splendor" as part of the subtitle but then barely mentions any.  When visiting there once, in 1993, the country was just coming out from under the communist system.  Pepsi had obviously been in town and given money to any eatery or bar that would display their advertisements and use their outdoor umbrellas.  That was ghastly but the charm of the city was still completely apparent.  Beers in giant rounded glass mugs were the equivalent of U.S. 5 cents and grabbing a pickled egg or sausage from canisters on the bar were either free or cost next to nothing. Talking to residents was easy and at times enlightening.  That is all said to point out that there was little to distract from seeing the historic buildings, the old churches and synagogues, the ancient sites and monuments, and the people.

Sure the article makes it apparent that one could dine, dress, and drink in a fine and  fashionable way, but would the tourist be able to say "I didn't even know that I was in the Czech Republic."  It almost seems that thought was part of the attraction for the writer.

I would suggest that the Prague that is remembered here is still there and thriving, absent 5 cent beers and free sausage.  The Times columnist found what he wanted and it looked a lot like home.


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