Where were you in '76?

Trip Start May 30, 2009
Trip End Jul 07, 2009

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, July 6, 2009

Well, January 1, 2010 and I've got a new resolve: don't put off podding in the future...or just give it up entirely.  I just had a look at my old student's pictures of Prague (posted on f-book) and again thought how beautiful that city is.

In particular I remember a building sometimes called "Fred and Ginger" (there are lots of other names for it).  In the daytime its cubist design looks strange and ugly, but at night it's beautiful.

There's a mirror "maze" at the top of Petrin Hill that provided at least an hour of amusement. 

Martin says he wasn't that impressed by Prague, but I was.  There were a variety of sites to see and the place is really beautiful.  Because it's been so long, I shall itemize memorable sites and moments below.

1. The Museum of Communism has such amusing signs.  A fang-toothed nesting doll?  So great!  But melodrama aside, the museum is quite well done and manageable.  The video on the Velvet Revolution gave a very different image for the idea of "velvet".  As pointed out by the LP, the greatness of the museum is enhanced by its location: above a McDonalds and next to a casino.

2. Kafka was from Prague and there's a museum there in his honor.  The museum tries to synthesize the literary and abstract with the usual museum information.  I particularly liked the last parts which focused on his works.  Also, Kafka was quite a handsome guy ---- who knew??

3. Martin and I made pizza on the stove-top in the pension.  There was an oven, but it didn't work.  We found that stove-top pizza can be done, just needs a lot of time.  Oh, and, even though it was hard to find and not the cheapest, the place we stayed was pretty swell ---- good for hanging.

4. The hoards of people around Charles Bridge are ridiculous.  I regret not getting up at sunrise to see it without all the jostling.

5. The Miniature Museum was also something different.  Some dude who used to design tools for microsurgery took up a hobby and now has his own museum.  A quote from Martin's travelpod: "When I say miniature, don’t think of things that would fit in the palm
of your hand. These are things that would get lost in the crease of
your hand. All of them had microscopes on them so that you could
actually figure out what you were looking at. A whole camel caravan in
the eye of a needle. The Lord’s Prayer on a human hair. The world’s
smallest book. 1”x1” detailed replicas of famous paintings. All this
and more at the Miniature Museum. Certainly worth your money." 

So those are highlights...mainly museums that could very well, in different forms, be in any museum in any city in the world, but the fact that they're in Prague, the most beautiful city I've ever been to, changes everything.  At IUPUI, my students examined a bit of research called "The Importance of Being Beautiful" which presented all sorts of disturbing statistics about how the more beautiful really do have it better.  Maybe a bit of that can apply to cities too.  Let's just oversimplify and say that, because Prague is so visually pleasing, it ranks higher in my estimation than say NYC. 

Though, to be frank, the Cerny sculptures were truly my favorite thing about Prague.

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