Saturday, March 21, 2015

Check out Little Czech Republic

So I'm flipping through the pages of the March issue of Food Network Magazine and I get to an article entitled Small World..."You can eat like a globe-trotter without leaving the States:  Check out Little Denmark, Little Ethiopia and more." Now I love me some "little" village à la Epcot Center (does Epcot even still have European pavilions!?).

Anyway, I turn the page to read on and BAM!  Little Czech Republic jumps off the page and smacks me in the face.

I was giddy.

So this Little Czech Republic is in West, Texas.
It is so rare to see Czech restaurants outside of the Czech Republic that it was like staring into the face of a long lost cousin.  Something about this photo stirs up feelings of nostalgia for me... memories of homemade Czech meals prepared by Babicka.

I love how the sign out front says "BEER" and that it's larger than the other sign.  So Czech!  I mean, we love out beer so it makes perfect sense.



Thank you Picha's Facebook page... I am stealing this photo so I have something to share
with my readers.  Please forgive a fellow Czech.

The article reads:

"Czech immigrants settled in Texas in 1880, and more than a century later, many of the restaurants and residents of West, TX, are still Czech." (Why couldn't they settle in a place like, oh I don't know, HAWAII!?!).  Anyway, moving on... "The city sits between Dallas and Austin, and road-trippers love stopping at Czech Stop (104 South George Kacir Dr.) for a kolache, a traditional stuffed yeast roll.  The 24-7 spot is known for its classic flavors, like fruit or poppy seed, while Gerik's Ole Czech Bakery (511 West Oak St.) is famous for its klobasnek, a savory take on the same pastry.  You can find recipes for kolache and other Czech favorites in the rows and rows of cookbooks at Olde Czech Corner Antiques (130 North Main St.).  At the end of the day, you should head to Picha's Czech-American Restaurant (220 North Main St.), an Eastern Europe-meets-West diner where you can get pierogi - or chicken-fried steak.


Again... BEER.  Warms my heart.


No BEER, but I'll take Meat Market. Also warms my heart.


I am intrigued by Olde Czech Corner Antiques.  Was all ready to virtually browse the shop but...NO WEBSITE!  Argh.  I may be taking a trip to West, TX.  I go to the real thing all the time so why am I so intrigued by this Little Czech village in TX? 

Found this pic on the town's website...Discover West 






Saturday, March 14, 2015

Get in my belly!

Aside from Mini-Me at the end, this is my relationship with Czech food...



Dumplings with wild mushroom sauce


A variation of the traditional dumpling


Gotta have sauerkraut if you're having roast pork 


 And the pièce de résistance...


 No meal is complete without home-made strudel

All of these, courtesy of my Dad's kitchen.  To all of you who have parents or a parent that can cook the hell out of their kitchen, pay attention and learn the recipes.  One day you'll wish you did...




Friday, February 20, 2015

Thank you

Wow, I am overwhelmed and honored by all of the recent Facebook "likes" that Prague, My Love has received recently. I don't know what it is, but I thank you all.  

I have to say, your "likes" and page views got me through a difficult month.  I lost my father (this is my first time announcing it even...sort of like, if I don't say it, it didn't happen) and feel as though this is his way of reaching me and saying, "don't give up on the blog simply because it will remind you of me and make you sad.  Rather, know that I was always your biggest fan... and will always continue reading."  So although many posts will remind me of my loss, I will push through the sadness.  

Thank you to all of my followers... you made an impact you can't even begin to imagine.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Oh, Christmas Tree

I just want to dive right in... straight through my computer screen.  I want to land in the middle of this festive scene, right atop the booth selling svařák.  I want to sip that cup of hot deliciousness whilst strolling around admiring all the wares.  I want to stand at the base of the Christmas tree and look up at the twinkling lights and smile.  To me, this is my idea of the perfect "'Tis the Season."

I have the warm & fuzzies

prague xmas

Monday, December 1, 2014

I unleash my inner Clark Griswold

'Tis the season!  
I don't know about you, but I am getting my Clark Griswold on.




Tree in Old Town Square

Thank you, Iva, for the beautiful photo!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

So where are all of my American expats spending Thanksgiving?

Eating Prague Tours has some suggestions for you if you're not sure yet.  As for me, I'll be hosting this year, which means bring on the feast...and the wine.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Happy 98th Birthday, DinDin!

Happy 98th Birthday, DinDin!  

I miss you more than you would ever understand...and love you more than you could possibly ever know.
Always by my side, always in my heart...

I light a candle for you, my DinDin

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

According to Radio Praha, there is a unique 64-carat diamond worth 16 million USD currently on display in Prague. 


I had hoped they would have included a photo of said diamond, but alas, they have let me down. Apparently the stone beautiful rock that should be on my finger is on loan Antwerp and was found in Lesotho, South Africa, in 2012.  They claim that it is the biggest diamond ever shown in the Czech Republic. 

The exhibit also has other diamonds on display...some 200 or so.  Since I can't get to this exhibit, I am counting on one of my readers to go and take a photo for me so I can then oggle this beautiful rock that should be on my finger.

Where:
Siroka 15 in Prague (Google tells me this is the home of Diamonds International Corp.)
Hurry!  You only have until November 16th.  Thereafter aforementioned beautiful rock that should will be on my finger.


Here is a map of where to go:
Map of Široká 124/15, 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město, Czech Republic

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Tis the Season

As you know, us Czechs love our marionettes.  So for all of you in NYC, here's your chance to get in touch with your Czech or not-so-Czech side.  

'Tis the Season!

The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre  is starting the season with A Christmas Carol, Oy! Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa 

DETAILS:
La MaMa Theatre (The Club) 
74A East Fourth Street  
December 4-14 Fridays through Saturdays at 10:00 PM, Saturdays @ 2pm & Sundays at 5:00 PM Box office (212) 475-7710, www.lamama.org



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Just call me Jirí Štift

So my taste buds were salivating over the Kulajda recipe that I posted not long ago.  So much so that I just had to try to make it for myself...and this is the end result 
(mine is on the top, if you couldn't tell)

 Kulajda (Creamy Soup With Dill and Poached Egg)

It was damn good.




Friday, November 7, 2014

Dvořák's "New World" is coming to The Big Apple

For those of you in New York, this would be a



The original manuscript of the "New World" Symphony returns for the first time to New York City, where it was composed by Antonín Dvořák in 1893. On loan from the Czech National Museum, the manuscript will be reunited with original orchestral parts from the New York Philharmonic, created for the world premiere at Carnegie Hall in 1893. 

The public is invited to view the exhibit in the Czech Center Gallery at the Bohemian National Hall from Monday, November 17th -Friday, November 21st daily from 1pm - 9pm.  Tours will be offered, and lectures presented Tuesday, November 18th -Thursday, November 20th daily at 6pm. The Dvořák Room will be open during exhibition hours. Admission is free. 

For more information please visit: www.czechcenter.com  &  www.dvoraknyc.org

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Czech, Please: Prague’s Restaurant Revival" - WSJ

An article in this weekend's Wall Street Journal caught my eye because it's about my favorite thing...
FOOD


Kulajda (Creamy Soup With Dill and Poached Egg)
Kulajda (Creamy Soup With Dill and Poached Egg) 
JAMES RANSOM FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, FOOD STYLING BY JAMIE KIMM, PROP STYLING BY STEPHANIE HANES

Mmmm, Kulajda is delicious!  Care to try it at home?  Here is the link to the recipe








Sunday, November 2, 2014

This year's costume unveiled...


Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” - Marilyn Monroe



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hemingway. Shall we call him the Patron Saint of Cocktails?

"An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools." — For Whom the Bell Tolls, 1940
FOOLS Image


According to CNN Travel, one of the world's 50 best bars is in (drumroll, please) Prague.  Can't say I am shocked as I have had my fair share of great memories at several of them.

So, which bar is it?  One that I have not been to, but will have to visit next time I am in town, and that bar is Hemingway Bar.  I must say, I am quite impressed with their cocktail list and their abundance of gins and rums (my favorite spirits!).  This place has that speak easy, prohibition-era vibe. I like it.

ALL WE DO Image
 "I wanted to try this new drink. That's all we do, isn't it—look at things and try new drinks?" —"Hills Like White Elephants," Men Without Women, 1927











Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby

I discovered a great place to go to cool off on a sweltering summer's day (not that it is a sweltering summer day).  Not even close, actually.

Let me try this again...

I discovered a great place to go on a crisp autumn day to enjoy an ice cold beer (literally) and prep one's self for the winter days still to come.

Much better.

Where is this winter wonderland where nude ice ladies serve you ice-cold Absolut shots?

Ice Pub Prague located in Karlovy lázně, Smetanovo nábřeží 198/1, 
110 00 Praha 1, Old Town

Welcome to your very own igloo




Where the drinks are served ice-cold in a glass made of ice, naturally. 

The DJ spins...on ice

And the art is, well...ice!


So just how cold is it?  -7 degree Celsius, which is 19.4 degrees Fahrenheit.  So yeah, it's damn cold.
But don't fear, they'll provide you with a thermal eskimo suit & gloves.  

See, I don't even like the cold (allow me to clarify, I don't like anything below 75 degrees F), and I was smiling.  
**Maybe I had a few of those shots by this time...**

Note:  Guests are only allowed to stay inside for 30-minutes.  Don't worry, you won't turn into this...

Yet another reason why...
I LOVE














Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Independent Czechoslovak State Proclamation Day!

Today marks the most important national holiday of the year...

On October 28, 1918, Czechoslovakia was granted independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.  With Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk as its first president, Czechoslovakia arose as one of the succession states of Austria-Hungary at the end of WWI.

Wenceslas Square, October 28, 1918
The time between WWI and WWII, which was also a golden age for the culture, is now called "the First Republic".  It's a time when Czechoslovakia had a parliamentary democracy, concentrated 70% of the industry of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, and had an economy that was the strongest in the world.  Prague was similar to Paris then, as exemplified by the great Czech-French art nouveau painter, Alphonse Mucha.

First Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

Why must all good things come to an end??  
The First Republic era only lasted 20 years.  Czechoslovakia was betrayed by allies in 1938 in the Munich agreement, thus Nazi Germany legally occupied Sudetenland, the Czechoslovakian borders with Germany, and in 1939 the whole country was under protectorship of Hitler's Germany.

Map of Sudetenland 


After the second World War, the Nazi troops were replaced by Soviet troops, and the Czechs had to wait for the restoration of democracy until the end of 1989.  

We celebrate October 28th mainly to remember this happy era known as the First Republic.  The president's speech is televised and is followed by awarding medals to Czechs who have done great deeds.  Every year on this day, a few thousand of the Czech Republic's leading citizens are invited to the Independence Day ceremony at Prague Castle, where the great halls are open and delicious food and drink are served.

Independence Day Ceremony at the Spanish Hall...Prague Castle

So honor this special day with us... raise your glass to mark this day in 1918 when Czechoslovakia emerged from the shadows of the Austro-Hungarian Empire!

Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic



I See Dead People

Does it ever end?!  

We made yet another "top" list... this time Condé Nast Traveler's 10 Creepiest Catacombs You Can Actually Visit


Hmm, this is one I did not know about.  Must visit when I have the time.  I have been to the Sedlec Ossuary in  Kutná Hora, but never to this one in Brno.  Speaking of the ossuary, I must share my eerie photos with you.

But for now...

Brno, Czech Republic
Population: 50,000

The walls are literally made of bones in these tunnels, situated beneath the millennia-old town of Brno. While doing a pre-construction dig in 2001, archeologists discovered thousands of skeletal remains in the area beneath the Church of St. Jacob. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, the bones were arranged in orderly stacks; but years of mud, water, and neglect had knocked them into messy piles. What's a town to do? Clean and reorganize all the remains, of course, then open the resulting charnel house to the public. Skulls, femurs, and the like now fill walls, chambers, and pillars. And they're multicolored, too: Reddish ones died of the plague, while yellowish ones perished of cholera.
Tomas Hajek/Demotix/Corbis