Dateline: Prague, 6 a.m.

I spent the afternoon writing at Crazy Daisy yesterday, sipping cool Gambrinus and trying to reconcile what I thought I ordered with what they brought me. I’ve never had deep-fried turkey before, but it was pretty good. A woman who acted like she owned the place (could she be Crazy Daisy herself?) parked in the middle of the road outside and unloaded supplies, then left her car sitting there while she sat for an hour and had a couple of cigarettes and talked to the bartenders. She just left her car there, right in the middle of the road.

There are more cars in this town than there are places to put them. Before Marianna left her folks took us out to dinner, and we cruised for some time looking for a place to park, all the while listening to Jiri say that there were too many cars and that there should be a massive automobile tax to discourage any more cars from coming in to the city. An interesting idea to discuss while in a car looking for a relatively less illegal place to park. In many areas you see signs instructing drivers to park on the sidewalks.

In a few more years there will be more parking places, I’m sure, as demand increases even further. If I were king of Prague I would prevent that from happening. Lack of parking is the only thing that stands between Prague and gridlock. (Luckily for all concerned, I am not King of Prague.)

Prague Rain, 5:30 am Well, after čty?i piva (four beers) at the bar I dropped by the pivo store and picked up je

9 thoughts on “Dateline: Prague, 6 a.m.

  1. Yo Jer, which camera were you protecting? Fluffy?

    I can sympathize on the traffic disdain. Fully believe in the concept of actively (physically) in discouraging driving.

    I am very encouraged by the facilitation between Petco (Padres-duh) and the trolley.

    /life is best when it is within beach-cruiser range.

  2. I might think twice about risking a beach cruiser on these roads. The drivers here, well, they’re just not very good at it. That goes beyond the fact that they are aggressive and reckless, they also just don’t drive well.

    The trams are very effective and cheap, but usually I just walk.

  3. I love the reflections in the photo — somehow it reminds me of “Night Hawks at the Diner” — even if really, it’s nothing like that. How wonderful to live in a place where the population is dense enough to support public transportation. New Mexico is now talking about commuter rail from Belen to Santa Fe, which is probably a great idea, but it’s going to take such a huge pile of money to get started that a lot of people are balking. The governor loves the idea, but he spent so much time in Washington as an insider in the Clinton administration that folks back home don’t trust him all that much.

    I think I’d have to agree with Brian that when you start to accommodate cars with parking facilities and the like, you encourage gridlock. But when there are many miles between Point A and Point B, and no two people have the same Point A and Point B at the same time, public transportation just plain doesn’t work. You need the density of a traditional city to do that.

    So I hope Prague continues to make itself hostile to private automobiles. It’s dense enough to support an excellent system of public transit, and it should stay that way.

  4. Ah, yes, the trams do start at 5:30am, and if I had a dime for every time I had to have a couple more beers so that I could take the tram home instead of walking, well, I’d of had enough for those beers.

  5. That’s definitely what Albuquerque needs … New Mexico just got a dubious distinction: Because the DWI problem here is so severe, the federal government is going to use the state to test a set of new, experimental anti-DWI programs. Rio Arriba County is one of the counties where the test programs will run.

    But I don’t think anything CAN work until there are ways to get from Point A to Point B without driving — the government can revoke licenses and seize cars, but drunk drivers will continue to drive so long as they don’t have any other way to get where they’re going.

  6. And then there was the bar near Pojoaque which had the reputation of being very friendly … if someone was too drunk to walk out to his car, his compadres would carry him out and put him behind the wheel so he could weave homeward.

  7. Ah, yes, the good ol’ Red Rooster, where about half of the constructon materials that went into building the place were stamped “AEC.”

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