Friday, November 25, 2011
Our Yoga Mistress had us over to see her new apartment, done up in the style of Hunterwasser http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedensreich_Hundertwasser . . . What a droll place . . . Reminded us of Gaudi in Barcelona . . . Smaller scale, of course, but indelibly as interesting . . . All that aside, she whipped up some sort of chickpea & chicken Indian goulash that was so spicy I got the hiccups . . . Oddly, this is a feeling I crave desperately . . . 8^D . . . Her other guest Simone, a charming Italian friend intent on help to set up her wi-fi and I both went back for seconds while mrs languished on the couch glassy-eyed in satiety . . . We finally did get up to go so Simone could do the setup . . . 8^D . . .
Went over to the DOX for the Jindřich Chalupecký - FINAL 2011 exhibit . . . But I was interested more in the Lucifer Effect exhibit . . .let to an animated discussion with Mrs over the Nature of Art and whether some of this was Art or not . . . All these young artists don't want to paint or sculpt anymore, they want to do multimedia, light shows, installations, video performance art . . . Takes a lot of courage now, ironically, I think, to just-paint, to demo graphical drawing skills, etc, rather than play with light . . .
We kept seeing the charming interior as we scuttled home from the Vietnamese Pho restaurant we love next door. . . So last weekend we gutted it up and went over for brekky . . . Nice place, good food . . . Someplace new to add to our rota of weekend brekkies . . . But we will have to go for lunches and dinners, too, the menu seemed very nice . . . Staff is very gracious, French, but not Parisian, if you know what I mean . . . 8^D . . . Very kind . . . The bakery is very fine, we ate all the bread, out-of-our-norm, it was all so good . . . I think the omellette had more butter on it than was good for us, but moderation in all things, including moderation, is the family motto . . . So bien!
Mosaica Sous Vide is one of those things that has changed my life . . . They totally have it down in ways that others cannot match with their half-hearted embrace of the technique . . . The turkey legs, pork or beef necks, the rabbit are all just fabulous innovations of mundanities (tho' the rabbit may be a little salty from the pancetta wrap), but: the coq au vin sous vide was my absolute favorite, pending a sample of what I imagined to be the most ambrosiacal combination: sous vide lamb . . . And here it is . . . But you see, they don't do it the same way as the others, they adapt & enhance: the sous vide lamb is served as part of a cassoulet . . . The amazing crunch topping with large white beans, potato cubes, and carrot slices really compliments the lamb. We're glad Mozaica isn't even closer to our house, we would eat there everyday . . .8^)
Just off Staromestska Namesti . . . We walked by it hundreds of times till we stopped in on an impulse for Fish & Chips . . . Now we have been back several times . . . We haven't made it there for a Pie & a Pint poledna menu (lunch menu), but it is definitely on the to-do list . . . The beer is excellent, the fish & chips, a perfect example of british comfort food, and the staff couldn't be anymore excellent, their English is perfekt and friendly . . . So a weekend or two ago we stopped off, again on the spur of the moment, and Mrs got the SvataMartinske Menu, including wine: goose breast, knidliky, and red cabbage, num-num-num . . . I had a steak & mushroom pie which was awesome - and filling, with my guinness. I slathered it with HP sauce too, to round out the experience . . . Comfort food so good it makes us feel at home even tho' we're not British, if you see how I mean . . . 8^) . . .
Mrs compiled our Thankgsiving Feast . . . We dined alone but we had company later for 2nds . . . 8^) . . .
Kruti Prsa s slanina (skinless turkey breast with bacon)
Mushroom & Pecan oven-baked bread stuffing
Sauteed cubes of butternut squash
Wholeberry Cranberry sauce
SvataMartinske vina (the Czech version of Beujolais Nouveaux)
Pumpkin Pie from Culinaria
Thursday, November 24, 2011
. . . When a certain moth resembles a certain wasp in shape and color, it also walks and moves its antennae in a waspish, unmothlike manner. When a butterfly has to look like a leaf, not only are all thhe details of a leaf beautifully rendered but markings mimicking grub-bored holes are generously thrown in. 'Natural selection,' in the Darwinian sense, could not explain the miraculous coincidence of imitative aspect and imitatitve behavior, nor could one appeal to the theory of 'the struggle for life' when a protective device was carried to a point of mimetic subtlety, exuberance, and luxury far in excess of a preadator's power of appreciation. I discovered in nature the nonutilitarian delights that I sought in art. Both were a form of magic, both were a game of intricate enchantment and deception.
But then, in a sense, all poetry is positional; to try to express one's position in regard to the universe embraced by consciousness, is an immemorial urge. The arms of consciousness reach out and grope, and the longer they are the better. Tentacles, not wings, are Apollo's natural members. Vivian Bloodmark, a philospophical friend of mne, in later years, used to say that while the scientist sees everything that happens in one point of space, the poet feels everything that happens in one point of time. Lost in thought, he taps his knee with his wandlike pencil, and at the same instant a car (New York license plate) passes along the road, a child bangs the screen door of a neighbouring porch, an old man yawns in a misty Turkestan orchard, a granule of cinder-gray sand is rolled by the wind on Venus, a Docteur Jacques Hirsch in Grenoble puts on his reading glasses, and trillions of other such trifles occur - all forming an instantaneous and transparent organism of events, of which the poet (sitting in a lawn chair, at Ithaca, N.Y.) is the nucleus. . . .
Monday, November 21, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
We had been worried about our timeline, but we were only 45 minutes from Brno in Valtice, and we got to Golf Club Austerlitz before noon -- I had a 1 pm tee time, and didn't want to miss it . . . As far as I was concerned THAT was the whole point of the trip. . . 8^D . . .
Turns out GCA is a social mecca for the whole of Brno . . . All but two of the tables were reserved, and as the English-fluent manager showed us to a table he apologetically mentioned that they had only fish this day, but we tried to console him: WE LOVe fish! They had salmon, tuna, haddock, red fish and some other on the menu today, described very interestingly. Mrs took the tuna, prawns, & scallops with potato stuffed zucchini; I took the haddock with parmesan crust and grilled fennel & carrots. It was a chore to wolf down such a feast so that I could still make my tee-time, and it seemed a shame, too, it was that good.
So I played my round http://bohemianduffer.blogspot.com/2011/11/golf-club-austerlitzmoravia-czech.html, then we huddled in the cottage for a picnic of goodies Mrs had gotten at the Potraviny on our way out of Valtice, plus a couple of bottles of wine. The Restaurant and the cottages are just wonderful . . . Very new, clean, and cozy. The WiFi worked verywell, too, so we spontaneously watched a couple of NatGeo programs, about European cannibals and Early European settlers.
After Brekky, with custom made eggs (scrambled with leeks) and wurst, in addition to all the normal accoutrements, it was an easy drive back to Prague . . .
We first stopped by the battlefield Museum in Pracen (deutsche PRATZEN), just to survey . . . the scope of the battle was kinda huge, needed to be for 200,000 men, I guess . . . it's wooded now, but then it was just bald fields, for better vision . . . I bot a book a bout the battle, but what I know now is that I need to re-read War & Peace . . . I assume that's why I even ever heard of Austerlitz, but I couldná told you on a bet.
We returned the car, bot an IHT, and strolled into Las Adelitas for lunch just at 2pm. The parradilla con queso (sort of like fajitas) with a double-margarita made the rest of the day seem to go by really fast . . . .8^D . . .
They wouldn't let us take pictures in the castle again, dangit, hardly worth the trip . . . Guide spoke only Czech . . . 8^/ . . .and after a while, all castles start to look the same, if you know what I mean . . . But there was one really remarkable room -- the Armoury Room ? -- where the Renaissance makeover from Gothic was really extreme . . . With a marble floor that looked like an MC Escher . . . For you americans: that means it looks like the floor in the lobby of the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas . . . 8^D . . .
We spent the night at the Golf Club Telc (http://bohemianduffer.blogspot.com/2011/11/golf-club-telc-moravia-czech-republic.html). . . Very nice, with a jacuzzi . . . That went down really well, almost as soon as we checked in, after the driving and hiking for 2 days in the cold weather . . . 8^D . . . they have a great indoor swimming pool, spa, and a 2-lane bowling alley, but we just figgered doing anyofthat would throw off our schedule so bad we wouldn't enjoy it . . . I mean, what we want to do is jacuzzi, eat a picnic in our pjs while we watch a movie, and old people that we are, if we have too much fun, there isn't enough time . . . 8^( . . . I wisht there'd been time to jacuzzi after my round of golf, but we hadda hit the road.
To start our Moravian Adventure, we stopped off on the way to see Ceske Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We first checked into the Pensione, in Pensione Row, just off the pedestrian zone, then we walked down into the town, we were hungry enough to eat at the first reasonable looking place, but we wound up at the 2nd reasonable looking place, since the first place apparently was already downshifting into winter mode (no tourists). A perfectly acceptable hibernation, to us . . . So we wound up at the Konvice Hotel (the Kettle). Our amiable host endured our pidgin czech with an amused mien, and always spoke to us in English . . . But he seemed pleased we knew what we wanted to order . . . Mrs got a schnitzel with potato salad; I, a pecene kachna steno, with cervene zeli & brambory knidliky. We both had velke pivos. It was all so good, I had to have a sacher torte, too -- we that close to Austria, I didn't see how I could not . . . But apparently we missed a bet there not having one or several of the -nices there: like plum brandy (slivovice), but also others made from berries, apples, etc.
Then we walked the city, toured the castle (no pictures allowed), and the Egon Schiele museum, which was a little disappointing in the small number of paintings on exhibit, and very tame those were . . . Apparently old Egon got run out of more than one town for painting the young girls in the nude (them, not him). . . Was this close ('') to buying a poster, but Mrs is already a little put out with my poster selections lately anyway. Some of the best are in the Narodni Galerie in Prague. http://janikdypoznat.blogspot.com/2010/08/narodni-gallerie-lautrec.html