Things ain’t shitty these days, I got Prague legs from walking this city. That’s the way to do it. Walk around, reconnect, and feel at home in another city. The choirs are singing, people are thinking. Everyone, smoking away, everyday. The history is overwhelming my mind, I think through the ages, from the beginning of this city till now, every single face experiencing the same place at distinct moments. When you see that, you think crazy, how’s it gonna be? twenty years from now, two hundred years from now, twenty thousand years, two billion years. Destiny takes hold of me and I meet the right people at the right time. I meet a devoted friend on Karluv Most, it has been 5 months since we’ve seen each other face to face and we pick up right where we left off, “how you doing”, “good”,”good”. We begin walking and talking, heading towards the location of our host for the next two nights. When we arrive at Holečkova, we are greeted by Layla, a free-spirited young girl living in a flat with artists and musicians who are living for now with no interest in dirty dishes. We’re offered a mattress, fresh tea, and strike up conversation about life in Prague, the job opportunities and rich music communities. We’re given suggestions on what to do and where to go so begins our Old City journey. We take the tram to Narodni and make a pit stop at 5 Star Pizza Kebab, an ordinary looking joint where the kebab is unquestionably the best in Prague. We are in good spirits and energy levels rise to excitement, and as those scientologists say, excitement attracts excitement . We hop through countless themes, traditional czech bars, trendy crap, student cafes, a russian vodka club, until we get to Sherlock’s and things start happening. There’s a jam session going down and the big guns are out. The players are ferocious, armed with weapons of mass intensity. The beat hops around with a bounce accompanied by a funked up bass, each soloist gets the reaction they deserve, ranging from a golf claps to a whistle, holler, and a hoot. The night is young and already a plethora of moments take my breath away. Drink up more absinthe and down more czech beer. By now, the music is red hot when flat-mate Tomas appears out of the blue. Everything is “fucking brilliant” with him and many laughs are had. The tone is set. We grab another kebab at Five Star, a beer for the road, and march uphill to Holečkova.
Waking up in a new city, feeling like a million bucks, I’m ready to explore every dirty nook and cranny. To supplement the good vibration, summer greets us in late October, the weather saturates the mood of the place and life is good. With a bread n’ cheese breakfast on the bridge we take off to the National Gallery on foot and pass dozens of faces, among the flock are; young students on school trip, asians on invasion, seniors checking off their bucket lists, couples on a romantic getaway, and me, a man without a plan just coming and going. Carrying on to the Slav Epic, I cannot handle how one man could produce a series of work of such magnitude. The paintings delve into slavic history and folklore with a dream-like interpretation that communicates truths beyond space and time. The exhibition touches on deep rooted emotions and it’s epicness is unparallel to any other historical paintings I’ve ever seen. You are consumed into Mucha’s world. A world that lasts eternally. The only escape was the force of hunger, a call we were reluctant to answer but did so out of necessity and curiosity for local cuisine. That’s when we found Lokal, slav food on Dlouha, where you can get your meat n potatoes with a fresh, cold pint. It’s tough to fuck up meat and potatoes but, to master it with simplicity is another level of enjoyment on either side of the kitchen. After having our fill we set out to find the Metronome. We were told that it’s the best view of the city and it lived up to the hype. It is the burial ground for the largest Stalin monument with a damned good view. Today, Uncle Joe is long gone… now, it is a chill zone and the site of a huge fucking metronome where you can measure how long you can stay high on life. Slowly but surely, day turns into night and we catch wind about what is happening tonight. It’s happening at Cross, a multi-level music venue with different themes on each floor. What was once an underground basement club had now turned into an art installation fun house. There’s heavy metal music coming from random corners, ska night happening in a basement turned steam-punk bar, and the junkies are bottom floor in a dodgy drum n bass room keeping danger alive. The word of the bird is Skandaal, we meet people, enjoy the music, and live vicariously through ourselves.
The next day, my friend and I take different paths, he travels to Poland and I stay in Prague. Physically speaking I am alone but it’s ok. Where to go, what to do, who to talk to, what to say. Today is my brothers birthday and I’m gonna do whatever we’d do, so, I write a letter to the united states and treat myself to McDonalds coffee and a blueberry cupcake. After a while, I have chinese food. And after that, beers with the beautiful soul, Dasa. A day of walking, thinking, and talking through Old City and a night of relaxation, fun, and laughs around Bubny and Žižkov. When you meet a stranger, you can say anything so you gotta watch your words. Words are dangerous and sometimes difficult but there’s a feel to meeting people and you can smell the bull. You can feel people out with a blend of honesty and humor. You can be sincere or talk jive, you can give em both ears or tell em to shove it. You can be a passive puss or an opinionated ass. These encounters prove to be enjoyable because you end up learning about yourself. What would you say or do.
The following morning I take a walk through Parukářka, a park on top of a hill with the finest view of Prague. It made me feel massive and Prague has that effect on you because your perspectives are always changing when you’re walking up and down hills. It’s a bit like urban hiking. Being a walking enthusiast, it really soothes the head being on these journeys. To stick to the zen, I walk through aisles of an old cemetery and find myself among good company. The dead are relaxed and in a deep rest. We enjoy a calm, quiet companionship however my reservation isn’t booked yet so I return to land of the living. A cab driver once said “you can’t enjoy a nice day six feet below” so I make plans with a guide for Prague castle where my guide provides me with anecdotes and pieces of history to help me understand her and the culture she’s in. I am just listening, observing, and engaging. From my point of view, Prague Castle and the Cathedral are assertive, the only way to escape their grip is leaving the city. They tower over the land and remind you who’s the boss with the cash to build and rebuild. Because money ain’t a thing to these institutions, it’s an illusion, just a tool to control you and me. Think about living without money. What would you do? It’s tough to imagine. To change our dependancy on the current system would mean to destroy everything. To throw people into chaos and start from scratch. I think I might love that but it feels impossible so when I get money I enjoy it. Money pays for a roof over head, puts food in the fridge, and builds a huge fucking horse statue in Vitkov.
The road less traveled involves choices with an allure to take more risks. Not knowing what happens in the next moment keeps it interesting. You’re allowed to slow down the hands of time and dive into the present. Going against the grain seems insane but, the lust for now is overwhelming and I don’t feel any pain while growing old like the city. Prague has become a part of me. Some honorable mentions from the trip, taking coffee in a cafe, drinking czech beers, listening to strangers, and moments of shared happiness. I think Prague is probably the most beautiful city I’ve seen in my life. The architecture is most obvious and the first impression is lasting. It feels like a magic kingdom, a real life disney world. The city is crowded during the day and lively at night. Music fills up space and your immersed in the life of the area. The personality of artists and musicians cast a reflection of the city and from what I’ve encountered they are both easy-going and intense about work. I think that is attractive. Food and beer is especially cheap and that allows one to indulge in merry traveling.