Friday, September 30, 2011

13th Annual Czech Street Festival

For those of you in and around NYC, don't forget that tomorrow is the 13th annual Czech Street Festival on 73rd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues.  Get your beer on!

Oct 1, 2011 1:00 PM


Come celebrate Czech Independence Day! 13th annual celebration!! Czech Street Festival starts at 1pm on 73rd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. STAROPRAMEN PARTY starts at 7:30pm at the Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street. Taste CZECH BEER - STAROPRAMEN!!
Come celebrate Czech Independence Day and savor the pleasantly smooth taste of Czech beer Staropramen!!
Enjoy live music, Czech food, children’s performances, souvenirs and much more!
From adults to kids, entertainment is guaranteed!
FREE RAFFLE - win a trip to Prague for two ~ Sponsored by STAROPRAMEN
Staropramen Premium Lager will be available from 3pm at the Bohemian National Hall.

Czech Street Festival starts at 1pm on 73rd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues

STAROPRAMEN PARTY starts at  7:30pm at the Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
1:00     Performance by Children from the Czech and Slovak School School in Astoria
1:15     Opening Ceremony
1:30     Pajtasi dulcimer band
2:45     Czechoslovak - American Marionette Theater & Vit Horejs
3:30     Performance by Skyline - Concert
4:45     Raffle Draw
5:45     Please the Trees – Concert
7:30     Skyline
9:00     Please the Trees
10:30 Skyline DJ's Project
Program is subject to change.

Happy Name Day, Jeroným! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Jeroným.  Happy name day, Jeroným!
Jeroným is the Czech form of Jerome, which is of Greek origin and means "sacred name".

St. Jerome (4th century) was a scholar who prepared the Latin Vulgate, the standard accepted text of the Bible in the common language of the time.  He is often portrayed with a lion from the legend that he removed a thorn from the lion's pad and won the beast's lifelong loyalty.

 Painting by Niccolò Antonio Colantonio, showing St. Jerome's removal of a thorn from the lion's paw

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Name Day, Michal! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Michal.  Happy name day, Michal!
The name Michal is the Czech form of Michael, which is of Hebrew origin.  The meaning of Michael is "who resembles God?"  This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God.  St. Michael was one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible.  In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament he is portrayed as the leader of heaven's armies, and thus is considered the patron saint of soldiers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Always look up!

I can't stress this enough...always look up!   
You never know what you may see...

Happy Name Day, Václav! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Václav.  Happy name day, Václav!
The name Václav is of Czech origin and means "wealth of glory".  Saint Václav (known as Wenceslas in English) was a 10th century duke of Bohemia who was murdered by his brother.  He is the patron saint of the Czech Republic.

The name Václav holds a special place in my heart.  My grandfather's name is Václav and yesterday was his birthday.  He's no longer with us, but not a day goes by where he's not thought of and loved.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2011 NHL Premiere Challenge: HC Sparta Praha vs. New York Rangers

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of watching organized sports, but ice hockey is another story.  Perhaps it's because I grew up surrounded by hockey fans and players, or perhaps it's because these guys are rough, rugged men...and that's sexy.
This Thursday, Sept. 29th at 7 pm, cheer on these boys men as they play their hearts out at Tesla Arena.

Here's an article by Sam Beckwith of about the game:

Sparta Praha takes on the New York Rangers in an exhibition game at Tesla Arena on Thursday, September 29.

Ahead of the 2011/12 NHL season, which starts October 6, the Rangers are playing three games against European opponents as part of the NHL Premiere preseason program.
(New York will also face Frölunda HC in Sweden on September 30 and HC Slovan Bratislava in Slovakia on October 2.)

Along with all-star Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers' big names include center Brad Richards, who moved to Manhattan from the Dallas Stars over the summer.

Sparta, who missed out on the playoffs last season, has made a poor start to the new Tipsport Extraliga campaign and, as of September 26, ranked 12th out of 14 teams.

Now coached by Josef Jandač, the Prague team's leading scorer so far this season has been 20-year-old left winger Tomáš Rachůnek, with three points in three games.

Advance tickets are available from Tesla Arena and through the Ticketportal network.
As of Monday, September 26, tickets were still available in the more expensive price categories.

Tesla Arena:  Za elektrárnou 419, Prague 7
Related website:

Happy Name Day, Jonáš! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Jonáš. Happy Name Day, Jonáš!
The name Jonáš is the Czech and Slovak form of Jonah, which is of Hebrew origin and means "Dove".  Jonah was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah.  He emerged from the fish alive three days later.  His story was popular in the Middle Ages, but did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Name Day, Andrea! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Andrea.  Happy name day, Andrea!
The name Andrea is of Greek origin and means "manly, virile".  It's from the word "andreia" or the feminine form of Andrea or Andreas.  The name was not used during the Middle Ages, but has existed since the 17th century.

Happy Belated Name Day, Zlata! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Yesterday we honored Zlata.  Happy belated name day, Zlata!
The name Zlata is of Czech and Slavic origin and means "golden".

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Castles of Moravia

There's an outstanding article in The New York Times today entitled "The Castles of Moravia", and since my passion for castles runs deep, I just had to share...

The Castles of Moravia
Gordon Welters for The New York Times
Valtice Castle, from the 12th century, is filled with ballrooms, lavishly decorated private chapels, gilded chairs and elaborate frescoes and now houses the Czech Republic's National Wine Center. More Photos »

Happy Name Day, Jaromír! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Jaromír.  Happy name day, Jaromír!
The name Jaromír is of Slavic origin and means "famous spring".

Probably our most popular Jaromír is Jaromír Jágr, who now plays for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Prague Fashion Weekend is here!

New York?  Yes
Milan?  Most definitely
Paris?  Oui Oui
Prague?  Um...

I don't exactly think Prague when I think of Fashion Week, and a lot of the fashion you'll see in Prague is...questionable.  But we do produce some of the most drop dead gorgeous women in the world so it would only make sense that we have a Fashion Weekend.   Prague is such a beautiful city in itself, now turn Pařížská street into a runway and you have fashion bliss!

I'm a HUGE fan of designer Tatiana Kovaříková and wish her (and all the other designers) a fabulous show!

Here's an article from The Prague Post:

Preview: Fashion Weekend

Two-day event brings high fashion to the masses

Posted: September 21, 2011
By Cat Contiguglia - Staff Writer

Czech and Slovak designers are taking to the runway in the second annual Prague Fashion Weekend, a two-day event that brings the region's high fashion, literally, to the city streets.
"We wanted to do some kind of fashion week, but we thought it could be better. We wanted to do something special; we could have had it closed off from the public, but we wanted to use the background of Pařížská street," said Lucie Maliníková, one of the organizers from Czechoslovak Models s.r.o., the driving force behind the event.
"It's great to have a fashion event in my town, where I'm from," said Pavlína Němcová, a former top model who became an international face, wearing designs for names like Nina Ricci at the height of her career before going on to become an actress. Němcová is now working to promote the event.

Prague Fashion Weekend isn't the only high-style fashion event in Prague, which has hosted Prague Fashion Week since 2002, a festival similar to events in Berlin and Paris in venues that require invitations.  What sets Prague Fashion Weekend apart is its accessibility.

"It's a very good thing that the fashion business is coming to Prague, and in a way that normal people can see what fashion is all about," Němcová said.
The theme of this year's event will be "Fashion Has the Future," Maliníková said, and will revolve around how fashion will look in 2050. Shows will take place three to four times throughout the day, with models wearing collections from about 17 different designers and a dozen foreign brands. The shows will take place out in the open on Pařížská street, where many of the city's most exclusive fashion boutiques are situated. The street will be closed to cars, and a runway will stretch down much of its length.
"We think it's important the event is open to the public because these shows are really close to the people and they watch them on television, and it is kind of mysterious for them," Maliníková said. "Czech and Slovak designers are not so expensive that some people couldn't buy their designs, which is the reason we want to show them to the public. It's important to support the designers."
On Saturday, around 17 designers will be presented during the event, the majority of which are Slovak and Czech, including Klára Vytisková, who has gained notoriety for her band Toxique and design pieces known for their "untypical combinations."
"There are very talented people here, and really appreciated designers coming out of the Czech Republic who are making real work in the fashion world," Němcová said. "Big fashion events were never really a part of Prague, because it is such a small city, but now Prague is one of the world's major cities, so I'm glad this show is here."
Also present will be E.daniely, a brand by designers Daniela Flejšarová and Eva Janoušková with high-end and casual lines that have been worn by the likes of First Lady Lívia Klausová and Alena Šeredová, a model and former contestant in the Miss World competition.
Rather than detracting from the quality, the openness of the Prague Fashion Weekend makes for a "high-caliber" event with "quality that can compete abroad and in universal fashion weekends," said designer Zuzana Bottková, whose work, which will also be featured, ranges from leisure to business and social events and are trademarked by contrasting draping and the use of detailing, like hand painting on textile.
"Usually, fashion shows are exclusive and closed to the public, and the same VIP guests are repeated over and over again. When a show is outdoors, more people can see with their own eyes the fashion collections and feel the atmosphere," she said. "This is definitely a great experience for the audience and also for designers."
After the main show on Saturday, a show of around 80 outfits from internationally renowned Nina Ricci's winter and fall collection will take place, marking the designer's debut in the Czech Republic.
Sunday's shows will be dedicated to high end international brands, like Bogner, Airfield, Roberto Cavalli and Magic Child.
Both days will kick off with shows featuring nine young Czech and Slovak designers, competing for a 100,000 Kč prize from a jury of their peers, representatives from modeling agencies and Lenka Fabiánová, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire in the Czech Republic. The winner, who will be guaranteed a slot in next year's Fashion Weekend, will be announced Sunday, and will present another show at the end of the day.
Last year, Prague Fashion Weekend attracted around 15,000 people, according to Maliníková, who expects even more guests at this year's event. 
Event Details
When:  Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 24th & 25th from 1 pm
Where:  Pařížská Street, Prague 1
Cost:  FREE!
Featured designers:  Zuzana Bottková, Brice Mensah, Miroslava Talavašková, Gianni Di Leo, Hana Sedláčková, Eva Beránková, Zuzana Veselá, Taňa Havlíčková, Mimi Lan, Hana Havelková, E.daniely, Jaroslava Procházková, Beata Rajská, Martina Nevařilová, Tatiana Kovaříková, Ivana Follová
Click here to be directed to Prague Fashion Weekend website

House Insignia of the Day...Where Am I?

Happy Name Day, Berta! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Berta.  Happy name day, Berta!
The name Berta is a variant of Alberta, Bertha, and which is of Old German origin and Gilberte, which are all of Old German origin.  It's also a variant of Roberta, which is of Old English and Old German origin.  The meaning of Berta is "noble, bright, famous; bright promise; bright fame".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pig Feast and Beer Festival

The pig feast begins this Saturday, September 25th, at 11 am at Žluté Lázně

Enjoy delicious meat, meat, and more meat.  Wash it down with our favorite beverage, unfiltered beer.  Is there anything better?

Yes, why yes there is.  
You can also learn how to make jitrnice (Czech liver sausage).  Also to be enjoyed with a cold brew.

And don't forget it is Burčák season so plenty of that will be available along with slivovice...that delicious Czech plum brandy with 50% alcohol content.
Careful, or you'll end up like this guy:

There will also be old Bohemian music as well as various attractions such as the "beer wave", which is supposedly similar to the mechanical bull.  Let's see, lots of food, even more beer, lord only knows how many shots of slivovice...hmmm, this should be very good.

PS - entrance is FREE!

Happy Name Day, Darina! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Darina.  Happy name day, Darina!
The name Darina is a variant of Daria, which is of Greek and Persian origin and means "maintains possessions well".

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Name Day, Matouš! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Matouš.  Happy name day, Matouš!
The name Matouš is the Czech form of Matthew, used to refer to the evangelist and apostle also known as Levi.  The name Matthew means "God's gift".

Saint Matthew, also called Levi, was one of the twelve apostles.  He was a tax collector, and supposedly the author of the first Gospel in the New Testament.  As an English name, Matthew has been in use since the Middle Ages.

Saint Matthew and the Angel by Guido Reni

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A wolf in sheep's clothing

The most dangerous beverage in Prague (and no it's not absinthe, although that's a close second) is most definitely Burčák.  

I don't like autumn, but it does bring with it Burčák season - and I love me some Burčák!  So hurry - you have until about November 30th to indulge in this ridiculously good young wine.

For those of you unfamiliar with this oh-so-good sweet nectar, Burčák is the fermented young Moravian wine that is available several weeks into the start of the grape harvest.  It's very sweet and damn good, but beware, for Burčák is known as a wolf in sheep's clothing (and, um, I can attest to that).
Besides its dangerously good phenomenal taste, there is a curse of Burčák.  You see, while it only contains about 5% alcohol, it continues to ferment while inside your body.  That sounds much worse than it is, and if you're like me you're probably visualizing some yeasty beast growing inside you.  Gross.  But no, nothing like that.  It simply means that the alcohol level of the insanely delicious sweet beverage you've been consuming for the past four hours (perhaps less, perhaps more) has grown to that of a normal, matured wine (approximately 13%) while in your body.  This most certainly explains why more than half of the folks I met at the Burčák festival were happy drunk (self-included).

Enjoying Burčák in Náměstí Míru, Prague

Although you can find Burčák this time of year at many establishments (especially wine bars) throughout Prague, I suggest going to the source.  Head to the wine region of Moravia and enjoy harvest celebrations in the town of Znojmo, as well as other large wine areas such as Mikulov and Valtice.  "Czechs but especially Moravians have a very deep, traditional relationship with Burčák, because it is a traditional Moravian beverage.  Though Austrians and Germans also produce and consume young wine, only Czechs have Burčák, the name now protected under new legislation within the new EU.  Following EU accession the only true Burčák can come strictly from Moravian or Czech grapes."   

Indulge - before it's all gone!

Happy Name Day, Oleg! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Oleg.  Happy name day, Oleg!
The name Oleg is of Russian origin and means "holy".

Fashion designer, Oleg Cassini

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Name Day, Zita! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Zita.  Happy name day, Zita!
The name Zita is of Greek origin and means "seeker".  It is also the name of a saint.  St. Zita was an Italian saint, the patron saint of maids and domestic servants.  She is also appealed to in order to help find lost keys.

The Miracle of St. Zita by Bernardo Strozzi

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Beer Me

I don't know what it is but today I'm craving a good pilsner.  And so it is that with a great pilsner within my reach, I bring you to a wonderful Czech beer hall style pub in the heart Prague.  One that has retained its old world charm and hasn't become a tourist spot.  Sure there will be tourists on any given day/night...can't really escape them ...but somehow they have managed to remain a favorite spot with the locals.  Oh, and did I mention they brew their own beer?   Uh huh, yes, indeed they do.  A pub that brews it's own pivo, serves good food, and is a favorite haunt amongst locals in the heart of the city - there is a God!


U Medvídků dates back to 1466 and for over 500 years the building served as a brewery until the former malt house was converted into the present day beer hall in the 20th century.  The history of brewing is still retained in the form of a small microbrewery.



The beer at U Medvídků flows plentifully and is reasonably priced.  Although I'm a pilsner girl, be sure to try  their famous unfiltered amber lager Oldgott (rich in minerals and B vitamins so drink up!) and their newer 1446 pale lager.  

Definitely be sure to order their infamous X Beer 33 - it's a dark, bittersweet lager that ferments for 6-months in an oak barrel and has an alcohol content of 11.8%.  Bring it on!

Address:  Na Perstyne 7, Old Town, Prague 1