Prague and Petřín

Much like Manhattan’s Central Park, Prague’s Petřín is (in part) a demonstration of the will and effort required on the part of a city to maintain green spaces. Once they become part of the city’s identity (as in those aforementioned cases), they exist in a space orthogonal to modern real estate development.

Prague and Petřín

Charles Bridge

Prague’s Charles Bridge is centuries-old, covered in statues, and seemly perpetually mobbed. We visited during the off-season (November) and never saw the bridge without plenty of company. Perhaps the best part of the visit, though, was staying adjacent to the bridge in the Smetana Hotel, looking out over the Vltava (and crossing the bridge on many of our adventures around the city.)

Charles Bridge

From up close, the hotel is easier to find, but small triangle park across the street from the hotel is still not visible from this angle, making the the geometry of the ground floor and the street outside escheresque.

Smetana Hotel

Smetana Hotel

We were visiting Prague in the off-season—that’s what we heard from every cab driver and waiter. Though gentle spring breezes had been replaced with nascent winter gusts, there were numerous benefits; the relative sparsity of fellow tourists in Old Town made for easy access to the city’s sights. Two of the subtler benefits are captured in this image: (1) the bare branches opened new views of the skyline, and (2) the Smetana hotel (just across the river) where we stayed had a spectacular room overlooking the Vltava open for us.

Smetana Hotel

Old Town Hall

Prague’s Old Town Hall may appear ancient from its exterior, but its recently-renovated interior includes this dramatic elevator (the four lights are the bottom of the car) in its helical cage.

Old Town Hall, New Elevator

The view from the top (where that elevator leads) is far more traditional. My favorite detail of this big image is the contrast between the enormous, dramatic Prague Castle in the distance and the little shop door in the foreground.

Street Entrance and Castle

Old Town, New Ship

Tomorrow marks the first day of classes for St. Lawrence’s Fall 2017 semester, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to look back at the strange sights of summer. The cutting-edge stealth trimaran USS Jackson is here juxtaposed with the sign for Portland, Oregon’s Old Town. Hippie holdouts in Portland seem like odd companions to a stoic Navy vessel.

Old Town, New Ship