Prague Dog Eat Blog

Autoshow Prague 2006

Oct 23, 16:02 (Filed under: Prague events, Other )

Autoshow in Prague Exhibition centre We’ve just arrived from this year’s car show at Prague Exhibition Grounds, and I must say, I expected more. Or maybe I’m too mardy from AMI (Auto Mobil International) show in Leipzig, which I visited three times over last years. Well, this Autoshow Prague is said to be the biggest motor fair in Prague, but it is not even listed in OICA calendar.

Several quick facts. This exhibition ground is located just one stop by tram from Nadrazi Holesovice to Vystaviste. The car show is still running until Sunday Oct 22, when it will be opened from 9:30 to 17:00. Entrance fee is 120 CZK for adults, 60 CZK reduced.

The organization comittee is trying hard, and to make it more attractive, they hooked it up with other exhibitions at the same time, more precisely, it is Car & Audio Show, Tuning & Racing, Allroad Show, and Veteran Car Show. This tuning meeting was quite interesting, besides having the best looking car, these guys competed in having the most powerful audio system in the trunk as well. Utility vehicles’ performance on artificial course full of ups and downs was attractive, too. Visiting these kinds of fairs makes me imagine my dream car and consider my chances how to gain it.

Skoda Joyster - Prague autoshow Another spectacular masterpiece for me was the new design study of Skoda Joyster (three doors sporty designed car with glassed-in roof, very impressive, I hope they will decide to produce it) and Skoda Octavia Scout (sport utility version of Octavia). Plus seeing Bentley GT Continental cabrio, couple of Lamborghinis, and hostess girls next to them was an adventure itself.

What I really missed was impossibility of test driving. Well, ok, I’m not planning to buy a car in the nearest future, but come on, that’s not the condition. I think I must visit Leipzig again next year, that is for me something like test driving marathon. My closing? Autoshow Prague 2006 is the best car show Prague currently offers, but if you are a motor addict, you better visit Autotec in Brno on June 7-14 2007.

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AC Sparta Praha in UEFA Football Cup this autumn

Oct 14, 00:36 (Filed under: Sport in Prague, Prague events )

Sparta Praha - football team from Prague Football matches between international teams are usually very attractive, and as it is quite actual now, I decided to write about it a little bit more.

Earlier this month, in UEFA headquarters, Swiss town Nyon, there was a group stage computer draw of UEFA Cup. The Czech Republic has three representatives this year, Liberec, Mlada Boleslav, and Sparta Praha. Other local team, Slavia Praha, couldn’t make it through Tottenham Hotspur.

Sparta Praha AC Sparta Praha plays in group F against interesting rivals including AFC Ajax Amsterdam, and RCD Espanyol Barcelona. The rule is that each team plays two home matches and twice as a visiting team, no return matches. First three teams from each group will be completed by eight teams from the champions league to form the first knockout round. Finally, the final match will be played at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.

The first Sparta’s match is a home one against Espanyol on Thursday Oct 19 at 20:15. Advance sale of tickets to this game is starting on Oct 12 in team’s Customer Centre. The price varies from 250 CZK to 950 CZK depending on the sector. The address is Milady Horakove 98, and the area as you probably know is called Letna. I think they are opened daily from nine to late afternoon, but they have a lunch break between 12-13. You can contact the centre at their e-mail address

Michal Bilek - head coach of Sparta Praha Another Sparta’s home match is against Ajax on Nov 23. I haven’t found any press analyses, comments, or predictions yet, but according to Sparta’s head coach Michal Bilek:

Ajax are the clear favourites and Espanyol are also a very strong side. We can play well-balanced games with the two other opponents and can advance. It’s very attractive group for the fans.

I guess it’s true, it will be very attractive if the full house of cca twenty thousand people arrive to support „Iron Sparta“.

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Earth from Above exhibition at Prague Kampa park

Oct 13, 01:28 (Filed under: Culture, Prague events )

Prague exhibition Earth from Above Yesterday, we visited one impressive outdoor photo exhibition at Kampa park, near Charles Bridge. French photographer, Mr. Arthus-Bertrand, is presenting his collection of more than hundred large scaled photos, all taken from above.

These aerial pictures are showing the human influence on nature and environment. Under every poster, there is some kind of warning about high consumption, exploitation of the resources, and their consequences to remind us that everyone is able to do something about it, to act. Many of them are very emotional, if I was about to pick some, I liked the picture of abandoned town after Chernobyl ecological accident, or the photo of the statue of Christ overlooking Rio. These pictures can be bought as posters in a smaller size in exhibition shop / info booth.

The admission to this exhibition is free, and it’s open 24 hours a day until the end of October.

Earth from Above exhibition at Prague Kampa park As people from production of this exhibition say: “The message of significance of protecting the earth is accompanied by unique visual experience.“ Who knows, maybe visiting this project might be the first step one can do for nature protection and resource conservation.

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The holiday of the Czech patron Wenceslas

Sep 27, 20:42 (Filed under: Prague events, People )

St. Wenceslas statue in Prague Wenceslas Square It is coming the day of 28th of September. In the most of the countries all around the world it is just ordinary day without anything special. Here in the Czech Republic it is a legal holiday, the trams and buses will have a small Czech flag, people won’t work and the streets of the city will have a calm holiday atmosphere, but what did happen that this day is a holiday?

As written above it is a holiday of the patron of the Czech Republic, the saint Wenceslas and the 28th September is the day of his death (maybe more likely jubilee). There aren’t many historical sources about his person. It is said that he was very smart and praying (this is why he is saint). He began to hold rule in his 17 and had a big broils with his brother about a way of governance. They divided mainly in the question about religion and about its expansion in the Czech principality or about paying regular ransom to the Saxony realm.

Those clashes were the reasons of his death, but there aren’t exact evidences about that. Some say that it was willful murder by his brother, but some say that it was for more the accident when both of them began to fight.

The fact about his death is that it has happened in year 935, in the 28th September in the church in Stara Boleslav. He was one of the most popular Czech prince and after his death, there began to appear a legends about him.

There are many reminders of him in Prague. For example the Wenceslas square is named after him and there is his big statue on the Vysehrad, where is the original statue from the square moved there after making a newer one. He is also often demonstrated on the paintings and in different artworks, for example even in England is known the song called Good king Wenceslas

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The spirit of Bawag Bank Grand Prix - part of Prague international Marathon

Sep 16, 00:16 (Filed under: Sport in Prague, Prague events )

Prague International Marathon As every year also Bawag Bank Grand Prix run was unforgettable – well organised, full of special spirit supported by both the runners and the audience. Both the men’s and the women’s race featured a lot of top athletes from many different countries (e.g. the Czech Republic, Kenya, Great Britain, America, Denmark and others).

There were many special features prepared for the runners to help them get into the right racing mood. Each participant was entitled to have an unusual breakfast for free right at Old Town Square to have enough energy for the race. Before the Adidas women’s run there was an aerobics warming up and the race itself was started by its patron, well-known Czech athlete Ludmila Formanova. Both men and women were supported during the race by the rhythms of great drummer band Tam Tam Batucada. Also the support they received from the audience, tourists and passers-by was excellent. After finishing the race, each contestant received a medal and small refreshment. Moreover, each of them got a 50 percent discount for the performance of the Brazilian singer Célia Mara in the club Roxy that night.

A special programme was prepared even for those, who didn’t participate in the run. Well-known Czech personality, Leila Abbas, led them through the morning full of interesting performances, contests and music. There were also some catchy attractions for the children, where they could win a lot of interesting prices.

After all races have finished, the runners gathered at Old Town Square to wait for a huge tombola (in the tombola all the numbers from every Prague International Marathon race of the year 2006 were included), where they could win one of more than 150 worthy prices. These consisted mainly of cosmetics, nutrition, beverages and other gifts donated by the PIM sponsors. The first price were 2 flight tickets to Brussels + a 3-day stay in a four-star hotel in Brussels, wow!

The weather was sunny and the atmosphere was brilliant. Everyone, who managed to catch just a piece of this spirit, was returning home satisfied, with a smile on his face.

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Sculpture Grande - Slightly Different Art in Prague city centre

Sep 13, 09:08 (Filed under: Prague events, Culture )

Sculpture Grande in Prague Wenceslas Square If you are a fan of modern visual arts plus you want to see something striking and unusual, you should definitely visit the festival (or to be more precise exhibition) Sculpture Grande in Prague:.

The location is really attractive, it is right in the city centre. However, it is not a gallery, as you might suppose; the sculptures are erected directly on the streets and pavements of the Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí).

Sculpture grande exhibition This open air festival has already been held three times in the previous years. This year it consists of 22 sculptures made of all kinds of material (metal, wood, plastic, stone). As the name of the festival already suggests, most of them are really huge ( the highest about 11 metres high!). The sculptures are a contribution of artist from different parts of the world, including Cuba, the United States, Spain and obviously the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

There is a variety of themes employed, which may be best illustrated by the names of the sculptures : We Are All Immortal, Aerial Water Closet, The Centre Of The Centre, Morning Star or The First Floor. But don´t be surprised if the sculptures don´t correspond with your own visual representation of the name – this is what modern art is about!

You are free to observe the sculptures till the end of September, then all of them will be removed.

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Slalom Racing World Championships in Prague

Aug 1, 08:14 (Filed under: Sport in Prague, Prague events )

If you like white water sports, let me invite you to ICF Canoe and Kayak Slalom Racing World Championships. It takes place at Troja area (near the zoo) in Prague on 2.8.-6.8.06. I found this coincindetally as I live nearby and sometimes I go running along this slalom course. And there was too much activity and construction going on so I had to investigate what’s happening. Well, the organizing committee must have had a stressfull time when two months ago Vltava flooded out. And a month ago again, this time it was not that serious. The water is going down, though, and everything will be ready on time.

Among many participants, one should not miss Štěpánka Hilgertová, the olympic winner from both Atlanta and Sydney in category K1-women. I’m especially looking forward seeing C1-men final on Sunday 13:30. I hope to see there one or more Czech or Slovak guys such as Ježek, Indruch or Martikán and Minčík. If you need tickets, they are still available e.g. at Ticketstream network, and 4-day pass costs 450 CZK. One can buy ticket for each day as well. There is also a possibility to become a volunteer, and therefore to meet the Olympic winners personally.

If you are considering a visit, to make the most out of it, you can also visit the famous zoo, the botanical garden and Troja castle. That is more than enough for one day. The easiest way to get there by public transport is to take tram no. 17 or 14 and get off at stop Trojská or take bus no. 112 from Nádraží Holešovice to Trojská. Hope you are interested and maybe we will meet on the opening ceremony on Tuesday evening August 1, at Krizik’s fountain at Exhibition area at Holesovice.

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Music festival Love Planet in Prague with Pet Shop Boys

Jul 28, 07:39 (Filed under: Culture, Prague events )

It is ridiculous how I gained my interest in this summer festival. Get this.

I was regularly watching football TV matches of World Cup, and I guess I was not alone. After every match they played an instrumental part of the song ‘Go West’ from Pet Shop Boys. I think.

Few days later i got a flier promoting Love Planet, main headliner – British Pet Shop Boys along with Scottish Franz Ferdinand, American metal band Ministry, Finnish The Rasmus, and many others. For hip hop culture ‘Yo! Ice-T n his boyz from Body Count gonna break it down for ya. Fo shizzle!’ As a non-native English speaker, I admit, I like to explore this urban language. Back to the festival, though. I cannot say that I am a loyal fan of any of these bands, although I like and listen to some of their songs (F.F.-Take me out, The Rasmus – In the shadows, ok, enough, I’m definitely not a music expert), but I feel like paaartaayyying.

So I did some research. The festival takes place at Bruselská cesta, Výstaviště (Exhibition Centre), Praha 7 on 11.-12.8.06. The tickets are available at for 795 CZK. I think I will take some friends and go there, and we’ll party like one of us has his or her birthday.he he. Needless to say, It’s a great place to meet new fun people.

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Boulevard Crocodile. Jam session at Ridgeback

Mar 7, 07:31 (Filed under: Prague events, Out and About in Prague )

The only bonus about having to run out to Hradcanska (for a new passport) and Dejvicka (to get health insurance) has been being able to do lunch at Boulevard Crocodile. That??s about as thrilling as my trips downtown get these days.

Well, there??s also the joy of the B-line. Quite a while back I clipped and pasted a chat that Jitka C. and I had about grabbing and keeping a seat on the metro (unfortunately I can??t find the article as the archives in this blog are still a nuisance to wade through ?? my apologies). I think about that chat a lot while on the metro these days. Because of my bum knee I??m not able to sit without extending my right leg, something that simply can??t be done on a crowded metro, partly because it??s rude and partly because if somebody nudges my leg I??m in for a world of pain.

So, the baguettes kinda make up for that. Pretty thrilling, eh?

However, I may venture into town this evening as fellow Canuck expat Charlie Kosman is hosting a jam session at Ridgeback (Zitna 41, Prague 1 ?? beside the location indicated on this map). Here are the details from Charlie??s email:

Cool place, no cover, not expensive beer, can smoke in the back room.

Most nights a bunch of African dudes bang on their drums, but that evening they have agreed to let us jam with them and some of their friends. I will bring my drum, violin, harp and a few light instruments, and 200W amp with 2 inputs, so I am sure we can whip up a bit of a storm. Anyone else who wants to bring an instrument or amp etc. are welcome.

Will try to organise this where people can sign up with me if they want to lead any songs, stating if and what accompaniment they can tolerate/desire. Those who are inspired/allowed can then join in. Would prefer to keep it more of an open jam instead of individual solo performances, cause I didn??t drag my shit down there to watch someone else play. Will try to organise things in a Bohemian yet hopefully tactfully anal way to ensure an enjoyable evening for all, and will even be the benevolent dictator and allow the audience to boo me and my violin off the stage!
Hope to see y??all :o)

Of course, my attendance is kinda dependent on the knee ?? it ain??t no fun limping around the centre of Prague feeling like a total gimp??

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Fatty Lumpkin Interview

Feb 3, 08:40 (Filed under: Prague events, People )

Well, I’m a bit late with this (the Lumpkins’ most recent gig was last week), but is giving Prague’s hardest-working rock band Fatty Lumpkin some much overdue exposure.

I’m not sure about what’s happening with their line-up – I know that Fatty’s bass player Joe Cooper is back in Prague, but I’ve heard nothing from sax player/singer Lord Nelson and drummer Uria Kormerchero. If the original quartet is back in action, pay attention: the last time I bumped into guitarist Ladi Kolsky, he told me that Fatty Lumpkin will not be doing the insane amount of shows they did last year in order to concentrate on recording.

In 2005, Fatty Lumpkin was practically a staple of Prague’s live music scene. I’m sure there were times when you could catch them in town (or at least on Prague’s outskirts) seven days a week. Two of the best shows they played were at Rock Cafe and Akropolis – at the latter show the folks in the front row (including myself) were pounding their hands on the stage for an encore after 10 pm (shows at Akropolis have to stop at that time owing to Prague’s noise bylaw). My hands were aching for days after that, but it was worth it as we coaxed one more jam out of them.

One thing that draws Fatty Lumpkin the odd diss is the fact that their jams go on forever. Well, no shit, they’re a jam band! And a damn good one at that. Here’s hoping that 2006 brings them much deserved success – not only because they deserve it, but also because I’ll get even better bragging rights (I’ve performed with Nelson, Ladi and Joe, and rehearsed in a few of Uria’s rehearsal studios).

Supposedly their January 26 gig at Rock Cafe was to be their only one in Prague, but I kind of doubt that. Check the Fatty Lumpkin website (currently under construction) for updates.

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Prague's New Years 2006 fireworks starting early this year

Dec 29, 09:48 (Filed under: Prague events, Out and About in Prague )

In order to accommodate the wishes of families with children, the City of Prague’s New Years fireworks will take place on January 1, 2006 and begin earlier than usual. The first rocket to kick off the “Country of Smiles” show will be lit at 6 pm this year.

Sounds pretty sweet – it’s always nice to watch a good fireworks display without having to duck for cover as locals and tourists alike get retarded with their bottle rockets and roman candles, as they tend to do all over Prague – hell, all over the Czech Republic – at midnight on December 31.

In my opinion (and in the opinion of far too many other people), the best place to view Prague’s official New Years’ fireworks is Charles’ Bridge. If you want to see the display from closer to the source, head up to Letna Park.

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Richard Muller in Prague, Poezie a Provokace, Full-price second-hand TVs

Dec 13, 11:40 (Filed under: , Prague events )

Over the last few days I’ve managed to do a few things I haven’t done in ages. First I saw Richard Muller perform at the T-Mobile Arena on Friday. I’m not all that familiar with Muller’s work, but I was getting a bit sick of being bound to the notebook. So, when Jitka’s friend Daniela called and told us to join her and her husband Tomas, we figured it was high time to get out and do something interesting. It was the best decision we’d made all week.

Muller had a group of American musicians playing with him and was generous with the spotlight. For instance, guitarist Hiram Bullock laid down a lot of incredible solos, perhaps a few too many. I’ve never been crazy about solos of any kind, even back in my metalhead days. On top of that, a few of the jams that Bullock led sounded very Pink Floyd, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but they all sounded like the end of Comfortably Numb.

Aside from the solos, and the fact that all of T-Mobile reeked of fried klobasa, Muller & co. put on a show that I have to say was far better than Moby’s Prague gig earlier this year. Muller himself is a treat to listen to – he has a far greater range than the casual listener may expect – and his lumbering arrhythmic dancing (rather, ambling or plodding) is kind of amusing to watch. Definitely a performer I’ve got to see again.

Saturday was spent working, then Sunday I performed a couple of pieces at Villa Incognito during the Poezie a Provokace reading. It was all open mic with four or five poets, including myself, some belly dancing and a ukulele-strumming singer-songwriter. It was short and sweet and intimate; the highlight was the belly dancing bit, mainly because Bubu (or is it BooBoo?) provided music for the dancer when her CD crapped out. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it out to more of these as it was great to hear live poetry in Prague again, and it felt good to be onstage again, doing Progress Report and Open to Burn (which I’ll post tomorrow). Though I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake my pre-performance jitters??

Finally, I took a day off yesterday and bummed around Prague with Jitka. Well, not exactly “bummed around” as we were busy being consumers, mostly looking for computer stuff and office supplies and furniture and a TV for Jitka’s mom, something that I’ve got to digress on??

We were originally going to buy a medium-sized Sony at the Globus here in Blackbridge. We discussed delivery arrangements with one of the sales clerks and reckoned we were good to go when the clerk tells us that the model on display is the last model. The display model had been on the shelf and turned on for the last six months. So, can we get a discount? Jitka asks. The clerk looked rather embarrassed when he told us we couldn’t.

Jitka turned to me and asked if we should make the purchase. You’re joking, I said, You realise they’re basically selling us a second-hand TV for full price. The clerk obviously understood English, because he was looking away sheepishly when we looked back at him.

Well, to hell with that, I said. Fortunately, the Sony shop at Karlovo namesti had the same model in stock, not just on display.

Anyway, after dealing with the boob tube, we took a stroll through the centre of Prague, sipping hot wine and perusing the wares at the Christmas market kiosks on Wenceslas Square, then metroed our way back to the ‘burbs.

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I can't be bothered to think of a title for this entry

Oct 26, 17:58 (Filed under: , Prague events )

Today’s not-to-do-list

Caught up with Bethany and Chris Crawford last night. It was nice to get out and socialize after so much time spent burrowing my way through a rather slow paced travel and tourism translation.

At one point during the evening, Bethany and Chris were discussing their teaching schedule for the next day. For some reason I went through my to-do list for today out loud:

1.pick up my new business license (something I was supposed to do two weeks ago)
2.sign papers at my bank to switch my business account into a normal savings account (something I was supposed to do last Thursday)
3.return library books (over a week overdue) and get new ones (I am way overdue for some good reading material)
4.proofread Jitka’s translations (we’re working together on a collection of essays for the History Department of Charles’ University)
5.translate the travel & tourism blahblah (natch) Czechlisters for a few drinks a friend/client for drinks and dinner

Well, here’s the long of it: after putting in a few hours of work at Incognito, Bethany and I went to Blind Eye for what we reckoned would be one beer. Then Chris showed up and I had the pleasure of getting re-acquainted with Freak Parade bassist Mike Bowling. So much for that one beer. And so much for my sobriety, despite the fact that Bethany and I had just talked about how boring getting wasted has become. I rolled in at around 2 a.m., which got me in Dutch with Jitka as I hadn’t told her I’d be out late. Ah well, it won’t be the first time and it won’t be the last and weathering angry female shitstorms is something I’ve gotten good at over the years. Though “shitstorm” is probably an exaggeration this time – it was more like a shitdrizzle. Fo’ shizzle??

Anyway, needless to say I didn’t get anything more than a few pages of proofreading and even less pages of translating done. I watched a little bit of Arrested Development, which I had borrowed from Incognito John. I should be getting ready to meet my mate Vladan for dinner (he, rather his company, owes me a meal and some drinks for a couple of gratis translations I did a few weeks ago. I should have gone for a barter deal to score a new mobile). I suppose this blog entry is the most productive thing I’ve done all day.

Alchemy: 16.9.2002-17.10.2005

Three years, one month and a day after its birth, the Alchemy Open Performance Series passed away – last Monday’s English-language poetry reading and open mic was the last such event to be organized by Ken Nash. Bethany Shaffer’s Poezie a Provokace open mic at Villa Incognito on the last Sunday of every month (or is it the fourth Sunday of every month?) will keep running.

This is probably too little too late, but I want to give massive props to Ken for organizing Alchemy and keeping it going for so long. Having had a little experience organizing open mics myself, I know first-hand how draining, frustrating and thankless it can be. I also know there are times when the exhilaration and a crowd’s appreciation of a successful event compensate for all the blood, sweat and bullshit that goes into putting it together.

I stopped going to Alchemy a while back for various reasons that I’ve mentioned on a few occasions in this blog. It was a good idea with good intentions to nurture a community of expats with literary ambitions and appreciation. The problem lies in the fact that there is no such community here in Prague, but a group of people who like to get together on occasion and read and perform to one another. Which is not such a bad thing. Ken tried to take things a step further by bringing in features, a lot of whom gave stellar performances, often for free. Most, if not all, of us took this for granted, and this is, in my opinion, the clearest possible proof that this city does not have an expat literary community.

Yes we expats have writers of all sorts – journalists, poets, novelists, essayists, content managers, screenwriters, etc. I even know of a few small writing groups (if you can call two people a group) that get together to exchange ideas and critiques. But what prevents us from building a cohesive and, more importantly, constructive community?

I’ll leave that open for now, as nothing is coming to me and I really should get my ass downtown for my free grub and grog.

And once more, cheers Ken.

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Tulip's powered up again. Last. Alchemy. Ever?

Oct 18, 10:21 (Filed under: Prague pubs, restaurants and cafes, Prague events )

The situation at the Tulip Cafe remains unclear – at least amongst those of us chatting about it over beers at U Zpevacku. They got their power back yesterday, though somebody said something about the kitchen being closed. Losing Tulip would suck as much as losing Marquis. Hope things have been sorted out there.

Also got an odd sms from Bethany last night, asking me to come out to the Globe for what was supposedly the last Alchemy ever. I’ll post more when I know more. If it’s true, then the monthly Poezie a Provokace (Poetry and Provocation) readings will be the only game in town as far as expat poetry open mics go.

Please note that I said POETRY, not prose, not grocery lists, letters back home, letters to the editor, journal entries, or anything else that may be interesting on paper but glazed-eye-inducing when delivered orally. Once again, Poezie a Provokace is a POETRY open mic (btw, songs count as poetry).

Why the overkill? When I – no, wait, I just hosted and called a few people to cajole them into showing up, so Bethany deserves the props for it – put together the first PaP (no jokes, please) at NOD, despite the fact that we made it clear that it was to be poetry only, what did the first reader do? Abused the fact that a dearth of readers meant she could take the mic for as long as she wanted, and read intense stream-of-consciousness prose that diminished an already paltry crowd. Not cool.

Of course, I should have stepped up and nipped that in the bud, but I decided to be all Canadian about it and keep my mouth shut. Ah well…

Anyway. Tulip has power again, though apparently their kitchen is closed. I’m sure I’ll find out more today. If you’re in Prague, keep an eye out for flyers for the next PaP, which will take place later this month at Villa Incognito.

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