Sunday, June 29, 2014

Warhol, The Wall, and (Hot?) Wine

Well rested and bucket list in hand, I started my week right. Bri and I first headed to the Gallery of Art in Old Town Square to see Salvador Dali prints and the Andy Warhol exhibit I had been WAITING ALL FREAKIN WEEK to go to. I owe much to the man who made me appreciate modern art, and I could not wait to see this exhibit. Dali’s work was also great to see, I especially loved the piece that doubles as a portrait of Abe Lincoln. However, the Warhol exhibit was just what I wanted to start my European art exhibit experience. The Gallery itself was a beautiful space, even greater by the fact that it overlooks Old Town Square, and I had a great afternoon with Campbells, Marilyn and Bananas, all with the Beatles playing in the background. 

Bri and I stopped for coffee at the top of the Hotel U Prince, which overlooks the square, before I headed to the Gastronomy Museum. While this may not be for everyone, as an unashamed foodie I truly enjoyed learning about the history of food. This was really the history of it – explaining all the way back how people started using fire to cook and the origins of hunter gatherer, to the creation of a fork, the origin of the cocktail, and customs regarding eating with one’s hands.  After, I stopped by Thai Box, a pop up stand that Julie and I had passed previously, for some great organic, gluten free/dairy free/vegetarian etc etc etc thai food that was SO good. 

I leisurely made my way to the Lennon Wall to meet Nicole and Amanda. While Amanda painted the W&M logo on the wall,  I sat and read my book on Prague, Nicole did homework, and a street artist played beatles songs in the background. It was actually a very peaceful hour to relax, and we got some wonderful pictures out of it! Headed back to Fittop Zizkov for a quick workout, ( I love my little Czech gym!!) and then met Nicole, Amanda, and their friend Delaney in my side of town at Radost FX. Hands down, this is one of the best veg restaurants ever, and although I am trying not to repeat too much (except with Secret of Raw of course) it was definitely worth the second..and maybe a future third…trip. Post-dinner, we decided to try out a close by “student bar”. Well, what we thought sounded like a cool place to stop for a drink seemed much more like a cheap and crowded Mexican restaurant. I guess by “student bar”they meant it was the Czech Chuys? 
However, the café next door looked really quaint when we walked by and we decided to backtrack. I will call this place the Café because I do not know the name, and even if I did, it is such a little secret hole in the wall that writing about it seems like “outing” it. This little room immediately seems old and antique, with plain beige walls, a dark oak bar, and large wooden tables with retro looking couches. This is a place that is supposed to be slightly dusty, it makes you feel like you should have a cigarette in hand and a typewriter in front of you. It was by far the most authentic place I have seen in the city. There are slight touches of communism/post communism that you can still feel, whether it be the odd black and white pictures hanging on the wall, the quiet, secretive nature of this literary haven, or the fact that they are ecstatic to play songs like “Scotty Doesn’t Know” or “Last Resort” on occassion. We had a great time talking to our waiter, whose name I still cannot pronounce but who also proved that breaking down the unfriendly Czech façade is not too hard and completely worthwhile. Nicole and I as tried Mulled Wine (which tastes like Christmas was spiked with Sweet tarts, and is only good with a ton of sugar and even then still not something I would ever order again) as our waiter laughed at us, and we swore we would return again.

Today fully symbolized the importance in breaking out of gallivanting through Prague 1. Our night at the Café was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had so far. It also made me appreciate the time I have with Nicole. Relaxing at the JL wall made me think about how little of my life I am able to just sit and hang with one of the most important people to me. To be able to have even just a few days here and there to spend together in Prague is amazing, even if she has tons of homework or I am all the way across the city. I am so glad that we have been able to share this experience even slightly. In particular, I think together we bring out an adventurous side in one another that just is not the same on our own, and finding a place such as this one perfectly showcases that. I am so excited for other adventures we have to come, such as Birthright or even just a trip to Nashville or Williamsburg! Few people have a friendship that is as long and strong as our eighteen years, and I feel so lucky to have even a little time to spend together, especially in such a great city! Have a great rest of your travels Bee!

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