Monday, March 12, 2012

Prague Day 2

Going at Bernardo’s office for lunch, I walked through what I think is one of the city’s best streets: Vinoradska, but more on that later.

Starting from the metro station Mustek, very central, I walked up Vaclavste namesti until the national museum and then, with the main railway station on my left, I waited a second before taking up Vinoradska.
I looked down, from the national museum along the avenue that eventually flows into Na Prikope. No wonder that Russians thought the national museum to be Parliament, and therefore surrounded it with tanks when they invaded the country in 1968. The national museum is not only magnificent, it dominates the town, whose eyes can’t help looking at it.

Then I walked down a passage underground, which communicated the sidewalks at opposite sides of the Museum metro stop. There smells like pizza and kebab and bakery and underground. It is incredibly lively, with students buying snacks on their way home, workers buying something to fry on a pan, employees having something to eat and a chat.
I remember in Parma, we used to have one of those, by the remains of the Roman bridge under Piazza della Ghiaia. When I was a child, I remember it was full of lights, underground, with a bar and a shoe store. I remember I used to ask myself how could a bridge stand under another bridge. It was by the underground market, with a preponderant smell of cheese. I have not been there under for a while, perhaps because last time I went, there was no store left.

Like I was saying, I repute Vinoradska one of the bests in town, because it has the splendor of Prague, without the touristic touch of the centre. The result is a truly authentic street: old people passing from the baker to the butcher with the bags of their daily shopping, mixed up with the new middle-class symbols, such as night clubs advertising “Russian Ladies Night”, and modern totems such as gay clubs.
It feels as if the “socialist architects” felt that it would be a shame to interrupt the street’s harmony, so the main street of this neighborhood, which ends in to the very graveyard where Kafka is buried, has the character of Prague which fortunately the architectonic real-socialism left nearly untouched, although sometimes they cannot hold a grip and had to leave a mark somehow.

In streets like this, time seems to have past fast. One has to go to side streets in order to get a fairer vision of how time really past: renovated buildings lay aside untouched and needing-renovation ones.