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Travel log

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by LARon, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    Went to my first Dutch milonga (tango salon) last night. It was not too far from the zoo. Unlike Buenos Aires, where they dance 'til 5 a.m., or the USA where most milongas last 'til at least 2 a.m., this one ran from 10:30 'til 1 a.m. I arrived around 11, after enjoying a great steak dinner at an Arentine restaurant (to get me in the mood).

    I spent the first 30 or so minutes checking out the room, watching to see how folks dance (i.e., style, skill level, who are the better dancers, etc.). Eventually, one of the two hostesses approached and asked me to dance (though common in the US, as a way to welcome new faces into the fold, this would never happen in BsAs). We danced three tangos before moving on.

    I eventually danced with four of the five best (women) dancers, the fifth being the other co-hostess, who seemed otherwise engaged most of the night. Eventually, the first co-hostess came in search of another round, and I happily obliged. She told me others were asking if I was from BsAs, because of my dance style. (Puff, puff; I get that all the time [​IMG])

    I left around 12:50, only to find that the trams had stopped running, and my hotel was on the opposite end of town. I began drifting towards my destination and, being still full of enegry and curious about Amsterdam's weekend night life, I passed through one neighborhood after another until, about an hour later, I arrived back at my hotel, pretty exhausted.

    I'm now at the airport, destination: Prague.
     
  2. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    While passing through airport security I snagged a 6 month old Kiton tie on a jagged piece of thumb skin. A perforated double-track white snag immediately ran across the face of the tie. Drats!

    Meanwhile, one footwear trend I have noticed is that the more "stylish" men here (Amsterdam) prefer the narrow long-toe look; think cowboy boots, sans boot. Haven't noticed any particular trends among the women, except nails -- which, to my mind -- don't really count.
     
  3. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    I've been in Prague less than 2 hours and I'm already impressed; very much so. First, from the moment we stepped aboard the Czech air plane, they seemed very neat and organized -- two ingredients of elegance.

    That impression lasted through arrival at an equally neat and well designed airport and carried through my ride into the city and arrival at the GT recommended Hotel Josef. Good call, my friend!

    The hotel is very new, clean and very much in the Ian Shrager/W design. The hotel staff is young and very warm, and my room is good (even if a little high on design for a 45 year old).

    From the ride in I could tell that Prague is as beautiful as I've heard. I don't know where they get their design influences (i.e., whether from the French, the Austrians or locals), but they've got wonderful architecture.

    The sun has now set, but I'm eager to see more. For now, its off into the night. (I think I like this place. It feels like it has style.)
     
  4. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is the ability to enjoy a good Cuban cigar. I'm sitting here in the fashionable lounge of Hotel Josef enjoying an 18 year old single malt scotch along with a Havana made Montecristo torpedo that was a gift from the bar tender of the Golden Apollo in Amsterdam who twice served me tea while I enjoyed a couple of Havana Cohiba robustos. Perfecly sublime!

    Adding to the moment, it appears that many of my fellow guests are equally devoted to style (though one woman appears to object to my cigar smoke; s'OK, I was here first!).

    In case I hadn't mentioned, I'm wearing a tobacco and tan houndstooth cashmere sportcoat (Borrelli), mint green and black stripe shirt w/white collar and cuffs (Kiton), tan tie w/green and white diamonds (Kiton), olive-brown flannel trousers (Zanella) and tobacco suede cap toe medallion shoes (Paul Stuart). I think I'm representin' SF (and the USA) quite well.

    Cheers.
     
  5. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    Fellas, if you've not yet been to Prague you owe it to yourself (or your wife). This place is spectacular, and its still my first day! I'm sitting on a rooftop restaurant at the Hotel Prince with a panoramic view of the absolutely gorgeous architecture. I don't know why the Czechs have never been a major world power (other than in hockey), what with how masterful they've been in engineering and design. Can anyone offer an explanation about this?

    To my understanding they've always been dominated by the Germans, Hungarians and Russians. But, they are clearly a thoughtful and emotional prople (at least that's what I glean from what I see): kind of like the Italians or French. Why haven't they been equally as successful?

    Between the churches and the castles, they've really got something goin on here, architectujally speaking. I feel like one of the barbarians must have felt upon arriving in Rome.
     
  6. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    With respect to all and offense to none -- of all the places I've been in the world, only Paris exceeds the beauty of Prague.

    With all due respect to my friends in London, New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Rio, Florence, Rome, Venice and Amsterdam, Prague is just a step ahead.

    Funny thing is, they love McDonalds, KFC and Subway. While not the best ambassadors of American culture, as an American and a capitalist, at least they're bringing home the bacon and (along with Coke) extending the brand, and for that I say: more power to 'em!
     
  7. vaclava krishna

    vaclava krishna Senior member

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    This log is disguisting for women, and men also.
     
  8. Christofuh

    Christofuh Senior member

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    You never know with those fast ladies across the pond, I'll tell ya.
    Years ago a friend of a friend of a friend - while whoring in Paris - picks up this Brazilian bombshell " Lola " who turns out to pack a 3-piece set [​IMG]
    You should've followed his facial expressions as he was relaying the story [​IMG]
     
  9. Christofuh

    Christofuh Senior member

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  10. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    (In light of a number of comments posted on another thread, including two that were rather wise, this post has been censored. Suffice it to say that Odessa has recently become more than a passing curiosity.)

    Weather in Prague has not been nearly so bad as I had feared. In fact, it feels like a chilly December day in Chicago, but somewhat humid.

    Yesterday, when I wasn't otherwise indisposed, I ventured over to Charles Bridge and Wenceslas square, a kind of Czech Champs Elysee and site of 1989's Velvet Revolution, led by Vlacev Havel, that threw off the yoke of Communism.

    First, Charles Bridge links the Old and New quadrants of Prague with Prague castle -- a true-to-life gothic beauty that cries out for a Vlad type character, complete with impaled heads, wolves, bats and all the rest.
    From the bridge, the view in all directions is medieval (bringing to mind Ving Rhames great line from Pulp Fiction: "First, I'm gonna call a few of my homies from around the a way and tell them to bring a blow torch and some plyers, than we gonna get medieval on this motherfucker").

    The images are so hauntingly beautiful that I can't remember the last time I snapped so many photos (probably 20, on just the first full day; contrast that with the 7 taken during 3 full days in Amsterdam, which is more my pace.)

    Wenceslas Square also deserves mention, as the many different architectural styles make it really special. I especially like the National Museum at the top of the boulevard and the opera house, but also the Grand Hotel Europa and several other nearby buildings.

    I've always liked how the Europeans, especially the French, Italians, Russians, and now the Czechs, are not afraid to cover their buildings in vibrant colors, like pinks, and salmon/tangerine, maize/yellow tones and avocado and other pastel greens. Really gives a look of life and energy. Wish we saw more of it at home (didn't notice much of this in London or Amsterdam).

    The Hotel Paris really looks like a fabulous place to hang out; maybe next trip.
     
  11. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    In case its not already obvious,
    I like Prague, a lot. I like it because it has style, in big ways and small. It the way it is organized, in its architectural renditions and in the organic rhythms it emits.

    I just had my morning cappuccino in a very fashionable coffee shop, that was playing some very hip, albeit subdued Czech music. In most places you hear American music, but this place obviously likes the home grown stuff, and so did I.

    I then ventured down a sidestreet and came upon a whole slew of upscale boutiques, including one for men displaying an elegant navy beadstripe Canali suit and appropriate accessories. The same street also housed a Dunhill, an elegant "American Cafe" -- with
    a nice warm mint green exterior -- and the local Louis Vuitton shop. These people get it.
     
  12. whodini

    whodini Senior member

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    There's a small cafe on the east side of the Manesuv bridge (the bridge just north of the Charles) with tables along the railing of the river. Great place to be if they're open during the winter. [​IMG]
     
  13. vaclava krishna

    vaclava krishna Senior member

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    [​IMG]


    Is that, an ice cream sunday?
     
  14. vaclava krishna

    vaclava krishna Senior member

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    The same street also housed a Dunhill, an elegant "American Cafe" -- with
    a nice warm mint green exterior -- and the local Louis Vuitton shop. These people get it.



    I also agree, warm green mint exteriors and Louis Vuitton, these are the signs of some place special.
     
  15. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    Great view, that. Too cold for ice cream, though (although I did eat on the roof of the Hotel Prince the night I arrived).
     
  16. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    Heh...I've had coffee on the same terrace, I think. You should see the Reduta Jazz Club - it's not far from the Charles bridge. It may have become a bit touristy now, after the Bill Clinton/Vaclav Havel "Two Presidents' Jam" but still has tremendous charm.
     
  17. bryce330

    bryce330 Senior member

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    I am enjoying the log, please keep it up.

    With regard to your negative impressions of the Rijksmuseum, the museum itself is almost entirely closed for remodeling due to asbestos problems. What you saw was only a temporary exhibition space where they are displaying a small collection of their "masterpieces" (Rembrandt, Vermeer, etc.).

    I have not been to Amsterdam in about a year, but I hear that the red light district is not what it used to be - apparently the government has cracked down on the area and closed a large number of the windows.
     
  18. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    I too, am enjoying the log. Glad you're having a good trip LARon, and keep up the reportage. I'm looking forward to envying your Vass souvenirs after you return, as well.
     
  19. mussel

    mussel Senior member

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    Thank you Ron, I thoroughly enjoyed all your entries. Keep them coming. But I have to say "this thread worths nothing without pictures."[​IMG]
     
  20. LARon

    LARon Senior member

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    I am enjoying the log, please keep it up.

    With regard to your negative impressions of the Rijksmuseum, the museum itself is almost entirely closed for remodeling due to asbestos problems. What you saw was only a temporary exhibition space where they are displaying a small collection of their "masterpieces" (Rembrandt, Vermeer, etc.).

    I have not been to Amsterdam in about a year, but I hear that the red light district is not what it used to be - apparently the government has cracked down on the area and closed a large number of the windows.


    Interesting: well yes, w/respect to the Rijksmuseum, that would make sense. I was awed by the exterior -- and even took a photo -- only to then wslk into what was obviously a much smaller space. Odd, though, I didn't notice any scaffolding or other signs of obvious renovation. Thanks for pointing that out.

    As for the red light district, I found on my walk home the last night that there are "windows" in other parts of town as well. I passed about 10 windows along some random canal in what appeared to be a non-tourist neighborhood.

    Thanks for following along.
     

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