Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy Name Day, Kamila! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Kamila.  Happy name day, Kamila!  
The name Kamila is a variant of Camilla, meaning "perfect".

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Name Day, Ferdinand! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Ferdinand.  Happy name day, Ferdinand!  
The name Ferdinand is of Old German origin and means "bold voyager".

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

“One good thing about music, when it hits- you feel no pain”

Holy **** guess who's going to be performing in Prague tomorrow!  

Son of this guy:

Who, on a side note, just happens to share my birthday:

And sings my favorite genre of music:

because why wouldn't you always want to feel like you're here...
Caribbean beach

So, who's coming to Prague?
This Week in Prague (May 28 - June 3, 2012)
Welcome to Prague Stephen Robert Nesta "Raggamuffin" Marley 

Tomorrow, Wed. May 30th, Stephen Marley will be jammin' at Lucerna Music Bar
Like Stephen's father said, “One good thing about music, when it hits- you feel no pain”.

Is a flat overlooking the Vltava too much to ask?

Why must my dreams be CRUSHED?!

"The Czech capital Prague was the most expensive city in Central Europe in 2011 to buy residential property..."

Here's a link to the entire article.  I'd fill you in, but I must now go sulk in a dark corner.

Beer Festival in Kácov

Translation:  Attend

This is my favorite brewery!  Fantastic beer in a charming, picturesque setting.  It doesn't get much better than this.

Happy Name Day, Maxmilián! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Maxmilián.  Happy name day, Maxmilián!  
The name Maxmilián is of Latin origin and means "greatest".

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Name Day, Vilém! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Vilém!  Happy name day, Vilém!  
The name Vilém is the Czech form of William.  Vilem is of Germanic origin and means "will, desire + helmet, protection".

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Name Day, Valdemar! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Valdemar.  Happy name day, Valdemar!
The name Valdemar is of Old German origin and means "renowned leader".

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Name Day, Filip! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Filip.  Happy name day, Filip!
The name Filip is the Czech form of Philip, which is of Greek origin and means "horse lover". 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Name Day, Viola! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Viola.  Happy name day, Viola!
The name Viola is of Latin origin and means "violet".

Viola was the heroine in Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night".  She's the twin sister to Sebastian. When disguised as a man, she is known as Cesario. 

Viola (in orange, left) as Cesario; Olivia (in yellow, right). William Hamilton c. 1797

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Name Day, Jana! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Jana.  Happy name day, Jana!
The name Jana is the Slavic form of Jane.  It's of Hebrew origin and means "God's grace".

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Name Day, Vladimir! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Vladimir.  Happy name day, Vladimir!
The name Vladimir is of Slavic origin and means "renowned prince". 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Corruption has never been so much fun!

Want to see where celebrities live?  Drive around Mulholland Drive hoping to catch a glimpse of someone famous; maybe if you're lucky they'll chat with you and invite you over for tea (ahhahahahhahahhahaha yeah, sure).  Leave that to Hollywood...

 We've got something even better...something not so honest.  

Welcome to CorruptTour.  That's right, a tour involving scandal, sleaze and scumbags...bring it!

Check out this article about the tour in The New York Times - you can bet your a** I'll be taking this tour soon.

Happy Name Day, Emil! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

 Today we honor Emil.  Happy name day, Emil! 
The name Emil is of Latin origin and means "eager".

Monday, May 21, 2012


Czechs win world ice hockey bronze

Czech players celebrate a 3-2 victory over team Finland (AFP, Jonathan Nackstrand)

Here's the article from the Prague Daily Monitor

(AFP) – 21 hours ago
HELSINKI — Czech Republic grabbed bronze at the world ice hockey championship on Sunday with a tight 3-2 win over the last year's champions Finland.

Goalkeeper Jakub Stepanek produced 34 saves, while Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky made two assists to lead the Czechs to their second consecutive bronze medal.

"We were very disappointed after we failed to make it to the final as we all believed we could do that," Czech manager Alois Hadamszik said.

"But I'm really proud of my players. They worked hard throughout the game and, I think, won the game deservedly."

The Finns came onto the ice of the Hartwall arena desperate to rehabilitate themselves after a 6-2 defeat to Russia in the semis.

But the Czech Republic, the 2010 champions, went into the lead on a powerplay at 12:17 when defender Lukas Krajicek's shot struck his teammate forward Petr Prucha in the leg and went into the net.

Finland levelled at 16:57 through center Mika Pyorala, who fired the puck in between Stepanek's pads after a piece of good individual work.

But Czech forwards Jiri Novotny and David Krejci netted one apiece to gain a 3-1 lead before the first break.

After a goalless second period, Carolina Hurricanes winger Jussi Jokinen reduced the arrears with his powerplay goal after beating the Czech defence on a breakaway at 49:01.

Finland manager Jukka Jalonen substituted his goalkeeper Petri Vehanen for the sixth field player with 1:04 to go in an attempt to save the day but the Czechs defended stoutly.

Jalonen meanwhile blamed his team's lack of discipline for the defeat.

"We started well but failed to score early," he said. "After the Czechs opened the score we managed to level but the next three or four shifts we played with a very poor discipline.

"Everybody knows how good the Czechs are on the counter-attacks. They proved it once again scoring twice late in the first period. It's obviously a coach's problem if he failed to explain to the players how to act in this situation."

Russia and Slovakia will play the final later on Sunday.

Happy Name Day, Monika! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Monika.  Happy name day, Monika!
The name Monika is the Czech form of Monica.  Monica is possibly of Greek origin, meaning "solitary", or of Latin origin, meaning "to advise".  Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine, prayed for her son and saved him from self-destruction.  As a result, Saint Augustine became one of the greatest saints in history.

Statue of St Monica at front of former Augustinian church in Tábor, CZ
File:Tabor CZ Nativity of Virgin Mary church front St Monica.jpg

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy Name Day, Zbyšek! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Zbyšek.  Happy name day, Zbyšek!
The name Zbyšek is of Slavonic origin and its meaning is "to dispel anger".

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

Yesterday we honored Ivo.  Happy belated name day, Ivo!
The name Ivo is of French origin, and its meaning is "yew".

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Name Day, Nataša! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

 Today we honor Nataša.  Happy name day, Nataša!
The name Nataša is of Latin origin and means "birthday".

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Music under the stars

So the Czech Beer Festival started today and takes place at  Vystavyště Holešovice (Prague Exhibition Grounds), which you probably already know if you read my previous post.  But did you now that Vystavyště is also home to a spectacular work of wonder and one of my favorite places to visit?  Yep, hidden behind this beautiful building 

is a fountain, but not just any fountain, this fountain...

Křižík's Fountain was designed by and named after Czech engineer František Křižík, the electrically illuminated Křižíkova Fountain was the centerpiece of the 1891 General Land Centennial Exhibition held in Prague, which was then part of Austria-Hungary. Today, the Fountain is equal parts attraction and stage. As the backdrop for a 6,000-person amphitheater, it hosts dance performances, classical concerts, and other events, some of which are performed on various platforms within the fountain.

Happy Name Day, Aneta! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Aneta.  Happy name day, Aneta!
The name Aneta is the Czech form of Annette, which is of French origin and means "gracious; merciful".

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Na Zdraví!

It's that time of year again!  The 5th annual...

For 17 days (May 17th - June 2nd), you'll have the chance to imbibe in more than 70 brands of Czech beers.  Beer, food, music...need I say more?  

This year the festival returns to Vystavyště Holešovice (Prague Exhibition Grounds), which is a gorgeous building that was founded in the late 19th century and is used to this day for fairs, exhibitions, concerts and other activities.

For details and more information about the festival, please visit Czech Beer Festival

Na Zdraví!

Happy Name Day, Přemysl! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Přemysl .  Happy name day, Přemysl!
The name Přemysl is the Czech form of PRZEMYSŁ, which is from an old Slavic name which meant "trick, stratagem".  This was the name of a 13th-century king of Poland. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Springtime in Prague

Happy Name Day, Žofie! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Žofie.  Happy name day, Žofie!
 The name Žofie is the Czech variant of Sophia, which is of of Greek origin and means "wisdom".  This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred.  Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom", which was the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.

Hagia Sophia

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Name Day, Bonifác! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Bonifác.  Happy name day, Bonifác!
The name Bonifác is of Latin origin and means "fortunate, auspicious". 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Name Day, Servác! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Servác.  Happy name day, Servác!
The name Servác is the Slovak form of the Late Latin name Servatius, which is derived from servatus and means "saved, redeemed".

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Name Day, Pankrác! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Pankrác.  Happy name day, Pankrác!
The name Pankrác is of Latin origin.  Saint Pancras was a Roman citizen who converted to Christianity and was beheaded for his faith at the age of just 14 around the year 304.  His name literally means "the one that holds everything".

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day, With Love...

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers around the world (but especially to mine!)

The Czech Republic celebrated Women's Day until the Velvet Revolution in 1989.  After the split of the country in 1993, the Czech Republic started celebrating Mother's Day and Saint Valentine's Day.  However, the Czechs saw those two celebrations as commercialized and artificial, and they had mild popularity.  Things are different nowadays though, and we take this day to honor and celebrate our beloved mother.  

And now, a word from Svetlana...
You better visit or call your mother today!  No matter where you are in the world or what you're doing, don't break her heart by not making an effort.  Call...because nothing would make her happier.  Phones are accessible throughout the world, calling cards make it super easy if you're worried about the expense.  Send a card.  Last I checked the postal system is still up and running worldwide.  Emails are impersonal and cold, so just don't do it.  And doing nothing at all is just evil to do to the woman who loves you unconditionally.  Don't break moms heart this Mother's Day.
That is all.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Name Day, Blažena! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Blažena.  Happy name day, Blažena!
 The name Blažena is of Latin origin and is predominantly used in the Czech language.  Blažena is a form of Beatrix, which means "traveller, pilgrim, bringer of joy."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Prague's Most Luxurious Hotels

Making Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List 2012 The World's Best Places to Stay are four spectacular properties in Prague.  You can't go wrong with any of them, but I'm partial to the Alchymist Grand for its history.  Dum u Ježíška (House at the Jesus Child), houses the hotel and spa and dates back to the 16th century.  It's just a marvelous example of Baroque architecture.  And the rooms...ah, the rooms.  I merely sigh.

Happy Name Day, Ctibor! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Ctibor.  Happy name day, Ctibor!
The name Ctibor is of Slovak origin and means "fight with respect; to fight honorably".

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

National Holiday - Day of Liberation from Fascism (1945)

Today, 67 years ago, marked Czech liberation from Germany at the end of the Second World War.  Germany signed the terms of surrender on May 8, 1945, and the German army in Prague surrendered on the morning of May 9th.

Residents and defenders of the Prague Uprising barricades greet the Red Army tanks on May 9, 1945
Prague liberation 1945 tanks barricades.jpg

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Name Day, Stanislav! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Stanislav.  Happy name day Stanislav!
The name Stanislav is the Czech form of Stanley, which is of Old English origin and means "stony meadow".

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Name Day, Klaudie! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Klaudie.  Happy name day, Klaudie!
The name Klaudie is a variant of the name Claudia, which is of Latin origin and means "lame".

The Prague Uprising of 1945

Commemorating the 67th anniversary of our uprising against Nazi dictatorship.

The Prague Uprising was an attempt by the Czech resistance to liberate the city of Prague from German occupation during World War II.  Events began on May 5, 1945, during the last moments of the war in Europe.  At about 1 am, armed Czech resistance fighters overwhelmed the Waffen-SS defending the radio buildings. The radio announcer broadcast a call to the Czech nation to rise up and asked the people in the streets of Prague to build barricades. Elsewhere, Czech resistance fighters occupied the Gestapo and Sipo Headquarters. 

The uprising lasted until May 8, 1945, ending in a ceasefire the day before the arrival of the Red Army and one day after Victory in Europe Day, known as V-E Day or VE Day.

Residents & defenders of the Prague Uprising barricades greet the Red Army tanks on May 9, 1945

Friday, May 4, 2012

As if Prague needed confirmation...

That's right!
I know I'm biased, but TripAdvisor listed Prague as one of the Top 25 Destinations in the World.  You haven't been yet?  Well what are you waiting for?!

Happy Name Day, Květoslav! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Květoslav.  Happy name day, Květoslav!
The name Květoslav is of Slavic origin and is derived from kvet "flower" and slav "glory".

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Treat Mom to a day of pampering...she deserves it!

She nurtured and loved you from infancy...survived through many sleepless nights.  Didn't give you away when you were pushing the limits and testing her patience (although she probably wanted to).  Humored you and your friends on weekends when all she really wanted was to curl up with a good book.  Drove you to activities; was always running around for you...and never once complained.  Stayed awake nights waiting for your safe return, although never admitted it because she wanted you to feel independent.  

That impossibly patient and loving woman is mom, and it's time she got pampered the way she deserves to be.
Mother's Day is Sunday, May 13th - show her your appreciation by treating her to a day of luxury at The Augustine Hotel Spa.  The St. Augustine is spectacular by the way - just an amazing building!  
Right now, Lime & Tonic is offering a spa package at the 5-star hotel for approximately $84 USD (1,590 CZK).  Mom will receive:

-Choice of one 60-minute massage:  Classic Swedish, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone or Surrender
-Take time to relax before & after her treatment with unlimited access to the fitness center, sauna & steam room for the day
-Voucher valid any day of week
-Vouchers are valid until November 4, 2012

PS - Every purchase made will help support tree planting 

Happy Name Day, Alexej! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Alexej.  Happy name day, Alexej!
The name Alexej is the Czech and Slovak form of Alexis, which is of Greek origin and means "helper; defender".

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Special Wheat - just in time for summer

This Friday (May 4th), the first barrel of St. Norbert's Special Wheat will be available at the Strahov Monastic Brewery

Special Wheat is the perfect brew for the upcoming summer months!  Get Special while you can ... he'll only be here through September.

Happy Name Day, Zikmund! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Zikmund.  Happy name day, Zikmund!
The name Zikmund is the Czech form of Sigmund, which is of Old German origin and means "victorious hand or protector".

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Labor Day vs A Day for Lovers

Not only is today A Day for Lovers, but it is also Svátek práce (Labor Day)...

For some May 1st represents A Day for Lovers, yet for others it commemorates the historic achievements of the Labor movement in the world...and some people recall the communist era in the Czech Republic.  Why?

The celebrations of May 1st are in many people's mind connected to the huge celebrations during the communist regime. For over forty years, there were float parades in all big cities in "Czechoslovakia".  The biggest parade was, of course, in be more precise, in Letna Plain (a large empty plain in Prague 7).

Participation was mandatory.  People had to go if they didn't want any trouble, thus every year on May 1st, Letna Plain saw the same scenario - thousands of people waving little Czechoslovak and Soviet flags at the communist party officials who were seated on a tribune decorated in red, with huge pictures of Marxist leaders and signs "With Soviet Union Forever".  For everyone, this was a waste of time, but mandatory.

Thank God this era is gone and people don't have to go to Letna Plain on May 1st anymore and fake their enthusiasm.  Since the fall of communism, there is still the occasional demonstration on May 1st at Letna Plain, but these are anti-communist demonstrations.

No wonder Czechs prefer to celebrate A Day for Lovers rather than Labor Day!  Labor Day brings bitter memories, whereas Love Day brings, well, love!

Kiss Me

Today is one of the most romantic days of the year!
On the first of May, lovers are supposed to kiss under a blossoming cherry tree to ensure a year of good health.  Also, a girl should be kissed under a cherry blossom so that she will stay beautiful year round.  You hear that boys??  Kiss your girl...believe me she wants you to!

Finding a cherry tree in Prague can be difficult, so kissing under any blossoming tree will do!  
(Psssst...I'll tell you a secret... there's one at Vysehrad)

Another tradition is to meet at the statue of Karel Hynek.  Why?  Well good ole Karel was a Czech romantic poet, and today he stands on Petřín Hill.
Couples who kiss in front of his statue believe that their love will be as strong as the stone that the statue is made from.   Mácha is best known for his lyrical epic poem, Máj, which is a poem about a tragic love between two young people.  A well-known verse is:

It was late evening, on the first of May,
The eve of May was the time of love.
The turtle-dove's voice called to love,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.

Máj is regarded as a classic work of Czech Romanticism, and is considered one of the best Czech poems ever written.