Showing posts with label Smichov. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smichov. Show all posts

Monday, January 25, 2010

Communist Art in the Prague Metro

Andel Metro Stop

When I first arrived in Prague, I would get off at the Andel Metro Stop every morning to go to class.  The Andel station is beautiful, firstly, because it's all done in different shades of pink and cream marble. The colors gave it warmth and femininity.

 Bronze reliefs
mounted in the walls

Nothing made me appreciate the leap I made more than seeing the Communist art embedded in walls of the Andel station in Smichov.  I liked being in a place where the ideology was different than mine, the history was different than mine, the aesthetics were different than mine.  That's the whole point of travel, isn't it? To challenge our thinking! And maybe, to be a little scared, to push ourselves into experiencing new things.

I hope Czechs never remove this art from the station. Originally, the whole station had been designed by Soviet architects.  Andel (Angel) used to be named in honor of Moskevska (Moscow). The Soviets built this station and one back home in Moscow they named in honor of Prague. The Czech couldn't change the name of the station fast enough after the Velvet Revolution.

Czechs don't appreciate these period pieces now.  Americans do.  It's Orwellian art. I felt the privilege it was to get to see it.  Czechs are just grateful not to be living it anymore.

 All of the art in the Andel Station
celebrates the "friendship" between
the Czech and Soviet peoples.

 Mir - the Russian word for Peace

 My name for this:
"The Happy Cosmonauts"

No Art Represented My Image of Communism
More Than This
-Everything For the Glory of the State!

There's a gorgeous city
out there waiting to be explored.

I'm glad I made the leap.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Beach Life, Where You Might Least Expect It

Hanging out at the Beach
with Prague Castle in the background

Wow, a sandy beach in Smichov on the river Vltava? Who knew? I had no idea! The New York Times has a report all about it (click on my title to read it).

Has anyone been there? Would you feel comfortable swimming in the Vltava? Can't say that I would. But I'd love the incongruity of enjoying the beach with Prague Castle in the background.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Hip Hotel in Smichov

Right after I finished my TEFL certificate in December, I realized I hadn't seen anything in Smichov, the neighborhood where my English school was located. I had pretty much beat a path from the metro to the school front door every day. Finishing our certificate was like coming up for air and seeing Prague again for the first time.

I set out to explore what else was in the neighborhood and happened upon this very cool hotel. I loved seeing that what captures my imagination about American culture captures Czech imagination about my culture. Jazz! How fantastic!

The big inviting front windows

The world's all time favorite jazz musician -

It's hip! It's happy!
It's Herbie Hancock!

On the way to the dining room through the lobby.
Don't you love those light fixtures?

Lounge under Lionel
on his vibes

Some hotel lobby bars empty out.
Other people seem to respond
to this one as much as I do.
This is midafternoon!

Surprisingly, with all of this great jazz memorabilia,
the Angelo Hotel doesn't have live music.
But the incredibly helpful front desk manager
got out a map and showed me every place in Prague
with great live jazz.

The jazz wall behind the front desk

Ray Charles and Miles Davis
serenade the dining room in black and white

The dining room in midafternoon
ready for that night's business.

You can click on my title to reach
the Angelo Hotel's web page.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Unexpected Surprise Pleasures

An open iron gate by my metro stop...
I see a sculpture inside...
I want to see it up close.

A surprise...a courtyard
I didn't anticipate or think about courtyards here
I knew they existed somewhere

A hidden restaurant

With a fountain dormant for the season

Another beautiful restaurant setting
A hidden restaurant in America wouldn't last

Yet here it charms

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