I used to wonder what I would do with all the photos I’ve taken over the years. It rarely gives me joy to look back on old photographs, because inevitably that takes me to another time and place and triggers a whole chain of thoughts that ends up leaving me stuck with the blues. I generally try to avoid things which are known to trigger melancholy, but today was different. For one thing, I already had the blues, and for another, I couldn’t think what to write about, and I remembered all these wonderful places I’ve visited and the hundreds of photos I took over the years. Hardly anyone has ever seen these photos, so I thought it might be nice to put them in the spotlight.
These are just a few I took in Prague. I’ll pull out more soon enough. I think the trip was in 1995 or 1996. I went with my then boyfriend D, whom I was hopelessly in love with. He had been born in what was then Czechoslovakia and his auntie was living in Prague, so we were mostly going to visit her. She had a flat close to everything, gave us her bedroom to sleep in in her tiny, crammed flat. There were just two small rooms separated by a curtain — a living room/bedroom and the kitchen where there was no sink — vegetables had to be washed in the bathtub. She and I got along famously, even though she didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Czech. The boyfriend was a different matter. We were in one of the world’s most romantic cities, but he was in a bad mood the whole time. I tried to speak to him as little as possible and focused on the wealth of beauty everywhere. My Asahi Pentax helped me to see more clearly things that I might not have noticed. There was just so much to take in, it was sometimes overwhelming. I remember it sometimes feeling surreal, as if we’d walked onto a movie set. Sometimes I think the whole thing was a dream. But then I wouldn’t have all these pictures would I?
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Windows of an apartment building next to where we were staying.
An old couple in a square* — I forgot the name of it, but it’s a major tourist destination — these two just struck me as so interesting. We don’t see people dressed like that in North America.
I was shooting in black & white film that day, but as it happens those graffitis were also done in black and white. I thought these were quite nice.
- A pink building in front of the Opera house where we saw The Barber of Seville shortly after.
I don’t know anything about this beautiful sculpture, who it’s meant to depict, and so on. Walking around Prague was like being in an open-air museum, with gorgeous ornamentation to be found everywhere.
*My friend Geggie, who’s been to Prague 3 times supplied me the following information: The square is the Staromestske Namesti (Old Town Square) with the statue of Jan Hus, the philosopher, in the background.
Pics by Smiler