After a bit of googling the other night I discovered that there is a weekly farmers market on the banks of the Vltava river, right near where I live! I always loved wandering around farmers markets back at home, so I headed down there Saturday morning to have a look around. I got there about 9:30am and it was already quite busy, and a few people were already drinking beer! Only in Prague.
The market was selling fresh fruit and vegetables, cured meats, cheese, bread, coffee, just to name a few. The man in the below photo is making fresh apple juice.
Yesterday afternoon a friend and I went along to the Prague Alternative Tour. I am not quite sure how I stumbled across it online, but I am so glad I did. This tour is not for everyone – it is certainly off the beaten track of the touristic Old Town – but it is an incredible tour for those interested in street art and the culture of young people in Prague since the Velvet Revolution. Our tour guide was a young artist herself, and is the only female graffiti artist in Prague. This involvement in the culture and her experiences of having her mother be a part of the generation born and raised under communism made her the perfect tour guide. I learnt so much that you would never find in your Lonely Planet guide.
The first stop was Tuzeks, the only shop where you could buy jeans and other luxuries during the communist regime. Nowadays it is smaller, selling retro children’s toys and traditional Czech glassware.
We then went along to Roxy club. I had heard about this place and assumed it was nothing more than a nightclub, but was surprised to find that it also houses an art space with constantly changing exhibits. The street out the front is also utilised, as you can somewhat tell in the above photo.
Prague has 35 legal graffiti walls, and out guide took us to one of the most popular. I will definitely try to come back to this place, as it is sure to be different every time I come. Apparently graffiti is quite political in nature within Prague.
Next we were lead on a maze of trams and lane ways to an old warehouse turned artspace. On top of an exhibit (about gardening?) the top floor is full of rooms that are studios for artists. There used to be more spaces like this, but due to redevelopment there is less old warehouses available.
After another quick tram trip we came to Trafačka. This building is apparently similar to artist residences in Berlin. Fifty artists occupy the residence, paying no rent, but their squatting is legal. Our tour guide no longer lives on the residence, but she is still heavily involved in organising events there, festivals, and running the tours. She is also about to release a movie called “Girl Power”, based upon the experiences of women graffiti artists, which sounds fascinating!
As you can see, it now gets dark quite early in Prague! This is at about 5:30pm, and it is already black. The above building is the new home of the Prague hackers group. I am not too familiar with them, but apparently they have done a lot of action in regards to the government in the Czech Republic. The current president in particular is quite disliked among the population. Due to all the support the hackers get, they have recently been able to open up a new space, including a hipster looking cafe where one can only purchase coffee with bit coins (ie. online currency).
Our tour ended at Cross Club. This was another place I had heard of and merely disregarded as a club. However, this place is again an artist residence, a recording studio, a radio station, as well as a restaurant and club. All profits made by the club a reinvested back into community projects. Unfortunately the lighting resulting in all my photos turning out awful, but the interior of the club was amazing, as it was constructed out of old car and bus parts. I will definitely be back to check this place out!
Over dinner our guide informed us about some markets to check out, and even sent us a follow up email with links to various films she has worked on. Again, I cannot stress how great this tour was! It has really opened my eyes to a whole other side of Prague.