Sunday, July 24, 2011

Prague 2001

One afternoon I went to U Fleků, spurred on by the "Rough Guide to Prague" descriptions of ambrosial beer and a beer museum in the back. The beer was indeed ambrosial, although back in 2001 the craft beer explosion hadn't fully hit and I was still willing to drink things like Heineken, so my perceptions may have changed since. When I went back in 2006, the bar was full of drunk loud Germans so I passed it by in favor of a club where bad folkies were playing to hippie American expats.

The beer museum, though: I asked an employee about it, me with no Czech and he with limited English, and was led back into a courtyard. He indicated that he needed to get the fellow in charge of the museum -- he also indicated that this wasn't something that came up often. I waited, and waited. Finally, he reappeared -- and bear in mind that it was about 4 p.m. -- shaking his head. "Still asleep," he said. "Still asleep."

* * *

Pretty slick, wasn't it, how I spent all of June nursing this blog back to life, then spent the first few weeks of this month holding a metaphorical pillow over its metaphorical face? Yeah. I've been working on something else writing-wise, which will hopefully bear fruit soon, and I've been busy as hell regardless. To sum up: Colorado was lovely, and everyone who doesn't live there is an idiot.

* * *

Books. I did continue to read.

#23 -- "Sag Harbor" by Colson Whitehead

I'm thoroughly in the bag for ol' Colson now, and I'll read anything he writes, even if it's on the disappointing Grantland site. This, man, this is so good. A book about the teenage years that doesn't feel romanticized or idealized: dead-on funny and heartbreaking. My memories of childhood summers stem from the two weeks we'd spend at a Michigan lake -- this felt perfectly accurate, and wonderfully written.

#24 -- "Roumeli" by Patrick Leigh Fermor

I felt like I should pay tribute to the late PLF somehow, but in retrospect I probably shoulda just read "A Time of Gifts" again. This has some beautiful parts, but really, unless you share Fermor's rapturous love of Greece -- and it exceeds my love of all things Slavic -- a lot of this will seem over the top.

#25 -- "Pfitz" by Andrew Crumey

Some of this feels way too cute, some of this feels like genius that's a few levels above me. On finishing it, I was torn between a sneaking suspicion that I'd just wasted a few days, and the desire to read this about two more times to sort it out.

No comments: