house of the black madonna

I completely stole that image off of Google, sorry. But it’s where I was this afternoon, and it was awesome. It houses the museum of Czech cubism, and it is the second museum that I went to just on a whim, knowing nothing about it and thinking that I actually would be underwhelmed, and instead I loved it. My favorite artist was Emil Filla. I want a print of his work, or an original if I can have whatever I want in the world, when I have a home to decorate. And the museum itself, in the House of the Black Madonna, is a cubist building designed by one of the Osma, the group of eight Czech cubists.

I realized that one of the biggest reasons for travel and for visiting galleries and museums is a completely hedonistic one, and I feel guilty about that. But I also feel like it’s inevitable. Why do we learn about other cultures, why do we eat new foods, and why do we discover new artists except to enjoy the experience? But is it cheapened if I think about how I want reproductions of Dalí’s plates in my kitchen, and how I want Torres-García and Filla and Renoir prints on my walls, and how I would love to be able to afford to be an art collector, and how I’d like to cook this or that, and how I prefer cava to other wines and champagnes, and how I want to go to Ireland to learn how to sing and then incorporate that into the songs I write? Or is that in fact the most authentic way to travel? I hate these arguments, but I can’t help thinking of them.

hyperlinked photo journalism or, it is so unfair that europe has castles and america does not

I find picture-taking and photo-uploading completely exhausting and unexciting, which is why I don’t do it more often.


Karoline and me with Arnost Lustig after hearing him speak


You gotta love a city with a giant metronome at the top of a hill.


Especially when the view from the metronome is fabulous.


Bars with awesome names must be remembered always, even if you do not go inside them.


It is important to know that the real Budweiser is not made by Anheuser-Busch.


I spent this weekend in the rain in Cesky Krumlov


Many Czech buildings use sgraffito, which from far away looks almost like a layer of wallpaper laid over the actual edifice.


The Cesky Krumlov castle!


The castle there has bears!


This is the view from up there.