James Dean may have only made three movies but his memory and fan base continue to live on and grow. The James Dean Prague, a 1950’s style diner, keeps that memory going. It is one of my favorite places for breakfast and one of the only places in the Czech Republic that serves anything similar to an American Style Breakfast at a reasonable price.
So when I thought of doing a small shoot there that went beyond the decor, design of the establishment, and of course their wonderfully delightful waitresses, I thought of my James Dean enthusiast friend Michael Macák.
So Michael being the sport he is met me at the restaurant and we did a 1950s style diner shoot. The results I am sure you will agree, truly pay homage to an American Movie Icon.
Enjoy the gallery to the 50’s sound of Tami Neilson of New Zealand with her song “Holy Moses.”
The last Saturday in November is always a special day. For the last eight years I always start my vacation on this day and always go to Old Town Square in Prague for the start of the Christmas Markets and the lighting of the tree. Over 40,000 people showed up for the opening despite the shadow of a terror threat.
Always a spectacular scene with the red roofs of the markets, the 80 foot Christmas tree adorned with 20,000 lights, with a backdrop of the medieval square’s Tyn Church and the Chapel of St. Micheal, always create a festive and romantic atmosphere.
The small lanes leading to the square with the Christmas Tree in the background create such a magnificent scene that one is anxiously drawn into the square for the celebrations of choirs from around Europe.
Of course the food is always a highlight after the initial awe of the spectacle. Fire roasted Prague Ham and Sausages are quite delicious, as well as the pastry known as Trdelnik, a sweet pastry baked over an open fire and coals, originating in Transylvania, but now the culinary heritage of several European countries.
The markets go until the 2nd week of January so there is plenty of time to experience this magical time, as all the squares of Prague are adorned with trees and Christmas Markets.
Prior to the big opening of the Christmas Markets in Prague many people were involved in decorating. From City Employees and shop owners it seemed the whole city was involved.
Some bulbs were as big as tires and lights were as numerous as 20,000 for the tree in the main square coming in at almost 80feet tall. No small measure to decorate as those decorating had to be lifted by cranes.
From Old Town Square to the Lesser Square and all the squares in Prague, trees and decorations were going up in preparation for the Advent Season and the start of the Christmas Markets.
There’s a new place in Prague which is part Club and part Restaurant. In our first photography event we chose this location for its edgy design and industrial urban feel. Marija Neringa and BozhiDara Boyadzhieva showed up for the event and really stole the show.
Located at V Kolkovně 5 they do breakfast, lunch, and dinner upstairs starting at 8am Mon – Fri, and 9am sat – Sun. Then as dusk approaches the underground club in the basement opens up and is there for your drinking and dancing pleasures until 4am. We had the opportunity to try the food there and it was quite nice, clearly made fresh, and was reasonably priced with good value, despite being in the tourist center of Prague.
Enjoy the gallery below while listening to “In The Wind,” by Take One Car, out of East Haven, Connecticut.
Above the Vltava River is a small cliff side jutting out from the river which is said to be the first settlement of the Czechs. Known as Vysehrad, the hilltop fortress was the seat of power before Prague existed and before the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles the IV, built his new royal residence where Prague Castle sits today.
Most tourists miss this area, wich is nice because it is still quite peaceful and not overrun by them. Today the site is dominated by the 17th century ramparts and fortifications, but as you pass the remnants of Medieval gates you come across, Basilica of St Peter and St Paul, the Tábor and Leopold gates, parts of the Romanesque bridge, the Romanesque rotunda of St. Martin, and Vyšehrad Cemetery.
Unlike cemeteries in the United States, the Czech cemeteries, even those that are not filled with the famous or historical are all National Geographic Moments. Beds of flowers will outline a grave or tomb, all are visited quite frequently and tended to by relatives. Some graves have generations of family members beneath the hallowed ground who are cared for by the descendants. It can be quite a peaceful and tranquil experience.
by Leopard Print Photography, Photos by Bruno Galle
Just off Kampa Park, between the John Lennon Wall and the John Lennon Pub, on Hroznova 3 lies the Velkopřevorský Mlýn Restaurant. With a birds eye view of the old canal, the old mills water wheel, and the bridge of love locks, this little restaurant has a garden terrace wich seems quite magical.
If you are looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, or for a chance to escape the tourist crowds, then this secret garden is the perfect place. Flowers adorn a terrace of tables topped with pretzels and chairs layered with soft and fury throw overs to help swallow you like a cloud, and suck you into a world that seems quite removed from the rest of the city.
I was there for just a beer and a cigar in order to enjoy this magical place after putting up with crowds of tourists all day, so it was a welcome oasis. After looking at the menu I decided to order a boneless pork chop with a green peppercorn sauce, which did not disappoint. Very well done and the cold Staropramen draft was a perfect accompaniment and helped make this early spring day even more enjoyable.
The terrace has an additional covered terrace wich is right on the canal and has a perfect view of the old mills water wheel. I was impressed by the use of fresh-cut roses used to decorate and accentuate the planted spring flowers as well. The prices are not cheap, but you are not just paying for your order. I am sure the location pays quite high rent, and the atmosphere wich takes you somewhere else with the addition of fresh-cut roses, well….. need I really explain.
If you’re looking for a touch of detail that creates the perfect environment then this is the place. If you’re a bit more price conscience then go to McDonald’s.
by Leopard Print Photography, Photos by Bruno Galle
There is an ever changing wall on a hidden side street away from the common touristy streets at Velkopřevorské náměstí known as the Lennon Wall. After John Lennon’s death in 1980 young Czechs made a memorial to john at the wall with lyrics and political messages. The secret police continuously painted over the wall as well as jailed anyone playing western music.
The wall however never stayed white washed for long as the peace loving youth continued to use the wall to paint political grievances against the communist government and of course continued to add pictures of John Lennon and and lyrics from his and the Beatles music.
Owned by the Knights Of Malta, who have an embassy near by the wall, even after the fall of communism is constantly changing. A picture you take this month could easily be replaced by another. Czechs and tourists from all over continue to this day to add to the ever changing John Lennon Wall.