Saturday, January 19, 2013

Prague: Day One - 9.7.09

It's 8:15am in Prague, at the Clown and Bard Hostel.

9hrs behind is Seattle, WA. 11:15pm, yesterday.I am reading a book Jenni lent me called, Off the Path. It's about two American girls who escape to Europe seeking redefinition of their selves and their lives. The first paragraph defines the timelessness of travel, how once you're on a plane with nowhere to be or to stay on the receiving end of that plane, you are essentially free.

Timelessness is delicious, and in my opinion, essential in moderate doses to the mental well being of the species.

Prague seems simple, and beautifully basic. Practical. What is needed is here. The trains and buses go where people and sights are. There are small stores full of essential items underneath floors of soft cemented flats all blended together, differentiated only by varying shades of pastel paint colors.

It's so quiet here. My six-block walk from the train to the hostel produced maybe five people. No sirens, no rushing, no beeping cars, no zooming bicycles, no blaring tv's or radios. Just stone-cut sidewalks and a gentle chilly breeze gracing the towering endless soft concrete flats. It seemed like they could all be empty.

I discovered the TV tower om my walk to the hostel. It is almost the most absurd public structure I have ever seen. It ranks up there with Seattle's Space Needle, the gigantic Peach on a post on the side of an Interstate in Georgia, the Eiffel Tower, and those millions of agent-orange frames with matching flags that graced New York City's Central Park one fall. The TV tower looks like a massive melted Lego wrapped around a red cell tower with, I shit you not, steely grey sculptures of giant infants crawling up and down the legs of the tower.

I love absurd public art, especially when two elements are present:
1) It's functional. The structure being graced by the art provides a service to the greater community, therefore the community is then committed in some fashion to pay its grateful homage to said structure. If, by neccessity it needs to be a massive and intrusive thing, it might as well be decked out and made original. Turn it into a spectacle or an amusing conversation piece. The Space Needle barely makes this cut for me, as it's only current function is to serve wealthy tourists a view of greycoated sky and an expensive meal and provide a modicum of uniqueness to Seattle's skyline.

1 comment:

Cecily said...

I found this draft floating around in the bowels of the my dashboard, and posted it without review. Seems like it is off to a good start to me :) This was written in Sept 2009, upon arrival to Prague, Czech Republic. Incredible city. Go go go.