My best guess was that somewhere along the Yellow line, from Ceskmoravksa, the metro had passed through a chrono-synclastic infundibula.
Yeah, I know it sounds rather ridiculous at first, but how else can you explain the fact that I was standing on the high end of Konevova street in Žižkov? I had never been to this part of town before and besides that I was getting the eerie feeling that some one was following me. This area is soaked in death and war throughout history. General Jan Žižka (Žižkov, get it?), he only had one eye, and was the leader of the Hussites, who resisted five crusades.
The first crusade, which was the bloodiest, came to an end on Vitkov hill (the park north of Konevova). Vitkov hill now boasts the largest equestrian statue in the world with Žižkov atop it. Throughout history all the way to modern times Žižkov has been a working class neighborhood known for its dangerous streets and rough inhabitants. In fact Žižkovites are notorious for wanting to secede from the Czech Republic to form an independent republic! Maybe it was all that history that was following me around. I didn’t know quite where to go so I just starting walking down the street.
A window crammed with all sorts of things that looked like they had come a long way to sit there caught my eye. After looking up at the sign I learned that this particular store was called Data (110 Konevova). The door stood open so I walked into an overwhelming amount of things from far away (India to be exact) just like the store window had promised.
I realized that if I ever needed things like; intricately designed tapestries, incense, any spice I could fathom, scarves, native masks, elephant statues, sitars, bongos, Indian print dresses and shirts, books on Yoga or the Maharishi, Indian music or anything evenly remotely associated with India this would be the place I would come. And I also found out through a little research that the store was partly owned by a man from India (surprise) who goes by the name of Goevindi.
It was time to move on because I was getting that feeling again, the one about some one following me, remember? Mostly because I was thirsty and partly because there was a Harley appropriately parked by the door I went into Empire (Konevova 89) which is a rock bar to boot with Gambrinus on tap for 13 crowns.
I took a look at all of the photos of large women barely dressed for a while. Then I looked at the other patrons who came in all shapes, sizes and styles until the beer was gone. The traffic was streaming when I hit the street. I noticed for the first time that the streets weren’t so clean and the buildings hadn’t been painted pink or bright yellow like the better known areas of Prague. It seemed that I’d stumbled upon an authentic Prague neighborhood!
I was feeling a bit sleepy suddenly. It must have been from that chrono-synclastic infundibula. Anyway I thought I might go and check out the Bern Hotel (Konevova 25). I headed on in and inquired about the price which I found to be just a little bit under 3,000 crowns which was a lot more than I had in my wallet. Down the street a little there is a non-stop potraviny at Konevova 51 which has everything you could ever wish for around 4 a. m. when everything else is closed.
Down the street is the Hollywood Sex Shop (look for the Statue of Liberty). This place isn’t your regular smut parlor, they have some nice vinyl and leather clothes if you’re into that kind of stuff. Of course they have lots of kinky sex related things too.
The SNOWBOARDel (Konevova 68) was another intrigue on my journey. This place is well stocked with Smith, Burton, Liquid, Ride and Hammer snowboards. Being one of the bigger snowboard shops in Prague, it also boasts a very good selection of Gotcha and Timezone shirts, shoes, jackets and even some ladies’ wear.
Tucked in a little alley, which is actually a different street, is Hospoda U vystřelenýho oka (U božích bojovníků 606/3 130 00 Praha 3-Žižkov, +420 222 540 465, www.uvoka.cz). The name means ‘shot out eye’ literally, in honor of Jan Žižka. This is a nice pub with an upstairs tea shop which is open Monday thru Saturday, 3:30 to 1 a.m.
A little way down the street there was a path leading up a hill. I soon realized that I had entered a park (the Military Museum is strategically located there, look for the tank) where people like to walk their very big dogs.
This park is one of the nicest around, especially with autumn painting all of the trees different colors than we are used to. By the way, it’s a very big park so pack a lunch and enjoy the view of the castle and the other spires that pierce the sky above Prague.
Down the street a little there is Galerie Klika (Husitska 106) which is a nice rock cafe complete with an art gallery like the sign says. Borsalino (Konevova 7), a disco complete with a transvestite show, is nearby too for a little night life.
Perhaps because the thought never crossed my mind I didn’t venture into the neighborhood south of Konevova but if I had this is what I would have found… a predominantly Romanie neighborhood. I would’ve seen the Romanies that live there walking around and conducting their lives.
I also would’ve seen a few Czechs mixed in doing their own thing, as well as graphic designer and other artsy types. What I wouldn’t have found is a dangerous neighborhood full of crazy Gypsy thieves as legend says. I’ve heard Konevova called the Brooklyn of Prague, or the closest thing that Prague will ever have to a Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. Whatever it is it’s well worth visiting, did I mention the cheap rents, as it’s one of the city’s undiscovered areas?