Saturday, February 28, 2009


It's a nasty bar from long ago but now it's just another Herna bar like all the rest. I have many stories about this place from back in the day including meeting an American there who wanted to hire a hit-man. Story called "Briketa" in the book.
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A Clockwork Orange

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Dave kept telling me the story about how his kitchen wall got blown out. The lightning rod was grounded too near the fuel tank situated just outside his kitchen which had just reached the perfect fuel:air vapour pressure and had exploded when the storm started throwin lighting bolts.


From Mustek you get down onto the other line from here. Remember?
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Top Tonda

This, on the other hand is one of our favorite pubs, "U Medvidku"
Here I am with JB and Kevin Thompson otherwise known as DJ Logic. Both Tim the Tooth and John Robeson arrived shortly thereafter. Sitting across from us was a table of Czechs. They were of the variety that my Canadian friend Andy down in Krumlov aptly named "Top Tondas." This refers to the Czech male behavior when in groups of trying to out-yell, out-goof and out-embarrass themselves in front of the crowd and the public. It's some sort of mass hysteria that happens all around the country every night mostly in the pubs. So the Czech guys across from us were yelling and screaming all at once and carrying on with their "Ty Vole" this and "Ty Vole" that when JB got sufficiently drunk enough and started to tell our table a story. His story telling technique is world famous and he can out-Tonda the best of them. JB started telling a story in his outlandish style of gesticulating and spitting and screaming. His face went purple and the veins were pumping out all over his face. He emphasized points of the story by using all sorts of falsetto squeals and baritone grunts while the gob and spittle rolled off his chin. He was humping and pumping the table. It was outstanding. Even the Czech Tondas across from us shut up and watched in amazement. The fucker was wearing my shirt that he stole from me the last time he stayed at my house (as if he hasn't stolen enough from me over the years) and then proceeded to spit and slobber all over it. Disgusting!
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The Speakeasy

I was kinda reluctant to put this one up because it is a nicely kept secret and a bit of an iconic Bolshevik throwback and I would hate to fuck it up by letting on to the tourists. But according to the traffic to my blog it won't make much difference so here we go. When I first got here in 1990, I noticed so many of these types of places around the city hidden away in obscure alleys and passageways. They were low profile hideouts where everybody had their liaisons with their lovers. They always had dark interiors and intimate seating arrangements where the one table could not see the other. This place has not changed at all since the revolution and is like walking into a time machine. From the street it looks innocuous enough. It just says Lahudky outside (or Delicatessen.) You walk in and in the front there is a Deli but then you go thru some curtains and there is a bar, then you go thru another curtain and there are two small rooms with very intimate seating arrangements. They even have really narrow stairs going up into a little "shagging room." Next time I visit I will try to get the waiter to let me up into that little room for a photo. It looks intriguing. I was in the Speakeasy one time with a girlfriend back in the early 90s for copious amounts of wine, chemical support and a bit of naked slap and tickle. Nobody bothered in the slightest.
The Speakeasy is at Hibernska 8

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Avoid this Place

Not really sure what this place is supposed to be. I think it says Himalayan food or some such. Whatever they want to say it is does not matter because I have been there twice, had two different dishes both of which I can akin to Pig slop. And to top it off the little man who served me was rude. I looked at him and thought "you wouldn't eat this shit, why you tryin to feed it to me?" Fuck those guys. AVOID. On Ruzova street and sign says Hallal fast food
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V Cipu

I walked out of Bredovsky dvur and it turned out that the other guys left too. They were also pissed off with the staff over there. We walked around and ended up at this pub behind the Palace Hotel called V Cipu. Now this is a good pub. Zlatopramen 11 degree beer from Usti nad Labem on tap, hot chics serving, good food, good music, friendly staff and not expensive. What more do you need? Highly reccomended. In fact I may go back there this evening. Sexy waitress indeed! That's Welsh Martin in the photo.
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Bredovsky Dvur

I can tell immediately from walking into a bar/restaurant here in the Czech Republic whether the owner is an asshole or not. You can tell because his behavior or attitude towards people percolates down to his staff and he is predisposed to hire like-minded people. Bredovsky Dvur is run by an asshole and most of his staff are too. I have so many places in my mental map where I say "I'm never going back there again" even though I fail and sometimes swagger in hoping that things have changed. I went in here the other night, against my mental map, with good intentions and high hopes and got disappointed immediately. My friends were sitting at a table for two. I asked the waiter if I could pull up a chair. He said "Ne" and abruptly walked away. I told them I would go to the bar for a beer and wait for a table to free up. All the bar facing the entrance was "Reserved for Regulars" and the only two guys sitting there were a couple of muscle-bound cab driver bone-heads. I went to the next side of the bar around the corner and was ignored by about 5 bartenders who just kept walking by without even acknowledging me. I was getting wound up! Then I saw a large table about to free up so I went back, told the guys and then went over and stood nearby to take over the table. This is a pub! Remember, this is a fuckin pub! The people left, I took off my jacket and started to sit down when a waiter ran up confrontationally and barked at me "what do you want?" What do I want? I'm in a pub so what the fuck do you think I want you asshole? He basically told me to piss off so I went over to the guys and told them I would see them some other time and left. Bredovsky Dvur AVOID at all costs. Too bad because as you can see in the picture they have tank Pilsen. Oh well.
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Tram Pub

I had heard about this place for a long time and finally made my way out there the other night with my pal Wlodek from Poland. I made the mistake of letting him direct us there which took us on a scenic tour around the city. Finally made it there after about 30 minutes and 400 Kc even though it should've taken 10 minutes and 150 Kc. Anyway, we got there, checked when the tram was leaving and ordered some drinks. I don't have much to say about this place: it had a great selection of alcohols that looked like they were there more for show than for sale. I mean I own a bar and I can tell that most of his stuff is just stored there; nobody is drinking much of it. So, they had a nice selection of booze and the interior was not so bad. Granted there were also knick knacks from all over the world but somehow it just didn't go together. The music was atrocious and the bar wench was one of the most despicable individuals I have met in a while. She was from another dimension I think. Everything made her eyes roll in her head. Even when I asked for directions to the toilet she got visibly upset. She had a haircut from a bad 80s band and we even were not sure whether it was a woman or man after a while. So overall it is worth a visit. One visit.
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Friday, February 27, 2009

Tired and Emotional

Here we are Honza and I with Gordon from Ireland at Bukowski's at some ungodly hour. You can see that Honza on the right is getting somewhat "tired and emotional!"
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Past to the back

Saw this old ad on a wall just near the river next to na Frantisku hospital. I think its from a film because I have never noticed it before and have been walking past for years. May be wrong. Anybody know?
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Klaus Eco 101

The Czechs are really quite enterprising. This contraption up at the castle is I think a ground breaker. This is the end of a complicated and intricate web of cathedral-pigeon shite catchers. The shite flows slowly down along the cathedral-pigeon shite gutters and down into this pipe. Then once a week they connect up a long pipe and let it flow, by gravity, across the way, through a courtyard and down the side of a steep wall into the castle gardens below. Klaus himself likes to inspect these weekly events because as he says, "I love to see ecology at work." But actually, he likes to be there because he perceives it in his own strange way as a metaphor for what he has done for this country: filtered out the shite (ie all the cash for assets in old floundering communist state enterprises) and sent it over the side into the quagmire in order to grow flowers (ie funneled the money to all his bum-buddy scum-bag friends so they could enrich themselves.)
Sometimes at night, at the right time, if you are lucky you can catch old Klaus on his knees in front of this pipe; his lips touching.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

God of Smog

This photo is from last year and it seems they have cleaned and painted the old Totem. It was given to the Slovaks as a parting gift by the Canadians back in 1980. Another one exists in Katowice Poland where we also built a paper factory. The last time before that it was in bad shape and the beak of the Thunderbird was laying on the ground. I took it and it is now in my friend's factory in Bratislava. He says it has brought him extreme good luck. So much so that when I tried to get it off him to put up in my new bar he refused. What a prick! Anyways, the locals called it Boh Smogu which means the God of Smog. I tried to get the owners of SCP to move the Totem to the city center so that people could look at it properly. It's probably the only authentic west coast Totem in Europe not in a gallery or museum. SCP told me "no way." I don't understand. It sits in front of an ugly building in a non-descript field at the far end of the factory. It really is beautiful and should be for public viewing.

Hang on, I'm gonna try to find a better picture and tell the full story behind this bad boy! Coming soon.

To learn more:

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tim the Tooth

Tim the Tooth. This my 100th blog with photo in February.
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Russian Hangars

These airplane hangars at the abandoned base have grass growing on them to hide them from the sky

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Russian Tank Base

This was the Russian tank base where they would train on the tanks. The officers would stand in the lookout tower and orchestrate the training. Then the tanks were put back into that big tank garage you see in the second pic.

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Slow Exposure

Goofing around with my camera at slow speeds at night.

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