Friday, September 22, 2006

Listomania

Wow, I haven't pasted anything on this blog in more than TWO MONTHS. Why? Outside of the usual general laziness, in that span of time I got a promotion at work, prepared for the evennnnntttttuaaaal start of the renovation of my apartment, and made plans to move back to the States next spring. Plus, I had some really cool DVDs to watch.

The second-to-last item is significant, because six (or so) months before the fact I'm already getting twitches of nostalgia. So in that vein, and since it's Friday and a good day for light reading anyway, here's my personal best, worst and studiously neutral of Prague. Enjoy.

BEST
Pint o' brew Damned if I know. I'm one of the few foreigners living here who doesn't claim some kind of expertise in Czech beer. It all tastes pretty good, as far as I'm concerned.

Beer garden Letensky zamecek, Prague 7. Two options here - the public picnic benches and kiosk for the cheap, or the restaurant's patio for the bigger spenders. Grilled meats at the latter, mmmmm. Conveniently, a five-minute walk from my office.

Movie theater Cinema City, Flora Mall. Eight halls full of well-padded seats, complete with drink/popcorn bucket holders. And the country's only IMAX theater, which inexcusably I've been to only once, and I didn't even see the 3D movie on at the time. Shame on me. It also helps greatly that this place is a five minute walk from my home. Are you sensing a pattern here?

Local English language media Finance New Europe, of course. But saying that is part of my job.

Rock band I haven't ever heard one, though Support Lesbiens come close. Please alert me if anything quality creeps up on the horizon.

Place to hear live music Akropolis, one of the top clubs in the city. A thumping subterranean space that feels like a scooped-out old movie theater. Amazingly convenient; only a few minutes from my apartment.

Place to play live music Lucerna Music Bar, dead in the center of Prague. Big, big, BIG stage for all your cool rock star moves, PLUS a few dressing rooms underneath, PLUS pneumatic system for raising said stage. A crappy place to watch a band, but that's someone else's problem when you're the entertainment.

Mexican restaurant Piccante, because it's cheap, good quality, cheerful and...ah, a ten-minute walk down the hill from work.

Mexican Fernando Feria. A cool, interesting MexiNew Yorker who works in film. Also happened to be the host of the party where I met my future wife.

Computer shop Alzasoft. Good prices, wide selection, fast online ordering and customer service that actually exists and isn't hostile, a rare combination for Prague.

TV channel CT 2, because they have a "movie club" every few days programmed by people with very good taste.

DVD rental outlet PlanetDVD. Check 'em out - www.planetdvd.cz.

Dolly Buster movie Don't know; I've never seen one. Which is a pity because I'm curious - for those who don't know, Dolly Buster is a Prague porn star from the early 90s with tits the size of your family.

Shoe millionaire Tom Bat'a, currently suing this country in the EU Court of Human Rights for taking his assets away after WWII and inventing reasons why he couldn't get them back. Go, Tom!

Holiday Well, there are only something like 5 to choose from, so I'll pick Cyril & Methodius Day. Because it's obscure and followed immediately by ANOTHER holiday (Jan Hus Day, in case you're curious).


WORST
Pub - U Zpevacku circa 1994. A nasty hole if there ever was one, located nearly in the heart of downtown Prague. Hopeless alcoholics on all-night binges and lakes of piss in the men's bathroom. Thankfully, there were something like 300 other pubs in the immediate area.

Excuse for not meeting me for a date Ivana, the girl who claimed that she couldn't get together because that morning she contracted meningitis - a potentially fatal illness necessitating an immediate hospital stay.

Long-term musical trend 80s music on the radio and 80s nights at the clubs. Is there any reason why anyone needs to hear Ultravox at least twice a week? Or Laura Branigan? And watching the "Final Countdown" video stopped being funny and ironic after about the 40th time they played it.

Local government office Pretty much all of them.

Harmful bacteria E coli. Watch that spinach, kids!

Use of city location in a major film Namesti miru, in "The Omen" remake. Prague plays London in the movie, but a crucial scene shows a car speeding by a building with a sign that reads "Mestska cast Praha 2" (Prague 2 city district). Time to get a better second unit director, thinks I.

STUDIOUSLY NEUTRAL
Czech newspaper/magazine Although I've lived here for 12 years, I've never bothered to raise my fluency to the level where I could effectively consume local media. Bad, huh?

Nudie bar I've been to Goldfingers for bachelor party reasons and basically enjoyed it, but in the end going to strip clubs makes me feel like a loser. So I avoid them.

Mineral water It's WATER, for frog's sake. What's the difference? I still drink it from the tap anyway.

Expat hangout I've bought books and coffee at The Globe, enjoyed burritos n' brunch at Jama, spent the occasional lunchtime at Fraktal and once upon a time risked whiplash to watch The Simpsons on the Sports Bar's ceiling-level TVs. But I never got the point of spending a lot of time in a foreign country in places full of people from mine, so I generally give these joints a miss.

4 comments:

Jenny said...

I see you enjoy in Prague. I understand you, when I was living in Prague, most of all I liked that it's impossible to be bored in Prague, you will always find what to do and what to visit. I agree that you can find a lot of pubs and restaurants. about pubs I can say that whereas before all pubs charged pretty much exactly the same prices, there are now important differences. Unfortunately, caused by the successful tourism industry happy to pay prices which, although still cheap by western European standards, are much higher than those normally charged in the country. I'm also happy that you can choose any Prague accommodation - such as hotel, apartment, pension or whatever you like.

Eric said...

Hi Jenny;

Thanks for the compliments. Where are you living now, and why did YOU leave Prague?

Curiously,
Eric

Kira said...

I spent three wonderful days in the picturesque city of Prague, many would say that this is not enough....For me it was. As much as I loved Prague and its people, the city was far too touristy for me! The city is so picturesque; I took SO many piccies in Prague! It really is beautiful; my favorite place here was Petrin Hill, the best part being the Petrinkse Sady - so tranquil and beautiful, Prague has so much to offer, great food and beer! Amazing architecture, wonderful people and clean quiet gardens. There really is something for everyone here, and I would visit again, but next time in the winter months!

hotels in prague said...

Seems you've enjoyed a lot in Prague...