Two weeks ago, I introduced you to Bristol, the city where I now live for most of the year. This week, I want to do the same with the city where I grew up - Prague. Of course, Prague is famous as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and the world, so it will take nothing more than a Google Images search to draw up hundreds of thousands of photos of the Charles Bridge, the Prague Castle, and Astronomical Clock. It is rarer to find photos of the things that locals love about Prague. For me, that is the streets. The old city is a maze of narrow, winding cobblestoned alleys lined with baroque churches, tiny cafes and basement art galleries. It really doesn't get more charming. It's easy to get lost in this maze, and that's kind of the point. You'll find your way eventually, and until then, relax, explore and reflect.
What do you love most about your city? Would you like me to share more posts about Prague? Comment below x Until next week!
Recently, I took a little trip to the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery to have a look at their current temporary exhibition. I didn't know quite what to expect, but decided to check it out; and how pleasantly surprised I was.
The exhibition is entitled New York City Apartment, and what is currently on display here in Bristol is actually only part of the full piece, a life-size replica of the artist, Do Ho Suh's West 22nd Street apartment. Here's where it gets cool: it's all made out of netting material. The room on display in Bristol is the ground floor corridor. What is charming about this piece is the fact that you can walk through it, and that every time you do, the seemingly simple, minimalist piece comes to life as you discover more and more minute architectural details. The banisters of the stairs are only the beginning: look closer and you'll discover light switches and fire sprinklers, water piping and a thermostat, painstakingly embroidered into the netting. Even the door hinges are made of fabric, supported by thin wire. The craftsmanship in this corridor is truly fascinating, and it is essential to walk through several times, for with each walk, more details reveal themselves.
The artist, Do Ho Suh, grew up in South Korea, and came to the United States to study painting. He has lived in the US since, and his experience of living in a foreign culture, and the effect of cultural displacement inspires him to create art that reflects the gap between the physical, and the internal ideas of home. 'Each time I left home, I entered an entirely different world.', says the artist, 'My desire to guard and carry around my own intimate space makes me perceive space as infinitely moveable. [...] Space for me becomes intrinsically transportable and translatable.' As an expat both in my hometown of Prague, and Bristol, where I am studying, I can relate to the overwhelming desire to have a space that is mine and mine alone, and a place that I can call 'home', even if I am a foreigner in the city that it is in. The unusual material of Do Ho Suh's installation reflects that need for a transportable personal home, and the fragility of that space.
The New York City Apartment exhibition is on at the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery until September 27th. Do Ho Suh's other works can be seen at world-famous museums such as MoMA and Whitney Museum in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Tucked away in the trendy Vinohrady neighborhood, popular with expats and young people, is a cozy and atmospheric cafe, aptly named the Coffee House. It is cleverly set across several small rooms, giving a feeling of warmth and privacy. Best of all is the tiny courtyard filled with trees and vines. Although the selection of baked goods and cold drinks was very limited, the coffee options were certainly not. Chalkboards displayed several coffee bean options, including daily specials, for connoisseurs to choose from. Not having the expertise to make such serious decisions for ourselves, we left it to the baristas, simply ordering cappuccinos. We were left happy with our coffee, and the croissant we ordered was fresh and pleasing, despite being the only option of baked good. The place drew a cool, largely English-speaking crowd, who lounged in the heavenly garden with their laptops and espressos, making use of the free wifi and early spring sunshine.
Overall, the Coffee House is a lovely hideaway in the middle of the city, where one can happily while away and afternoon with excellent coffee, enjoying the fresh air and youthful urban atmosphere.
My name is Emilie. I live between Bristol and Prague, travel, drink coffee and explore as much as I can.