Friday, December 16, 2005
So via Matt Welch (who I've read and admired for many years, but never linked to here because I don't really consider him a baseball blogger) I learned the sad news that the Marquis de Sade, our favorite bar/joint in Prague, is no more.
Truthfully, it was my second-favorite. But my favorite place closed down in 1998, so we were left with the Marquis.
Keith and I actually met and first dated when we were both studying in Prague for a summer in the 90's. The Marquis was ground zero for expats making their way through post-communist Prague. Jo's might have gotten better "Let's Go" guide coverage, but the Marquis had a better location, and was the place to go, be seen, and get sloshed with no pesky dancing involved. It was also the place where a lost, drunk, and very confused businessman tried to find out how much I charged. A really strange mistake to make, and one that usually only happens if you are a young woman alone and provocatively dressed in some crappy bar on Vaclav square. I was young and alone, and in a crappy bar, but he missed the rest of the details. Idiot.
Later, when Keith and I were married and on our honeymoon (in Prague) we included a stop at the Marquis on our nostalgia-inspired tour of old Prague haunts. On this auspicious night a familiar-looking guy asked if he could steal the extra chair at our table. We agreed, and I spent a good half-hour trying to figure out where I knew him from. I was getting up the courage to ask if he'd been in the Kafka play I'd worked on years earlier, when I realized the guy was Heath Ledger (back when I was probably one of 20 people with any concept of the name "Heath Ledger" occupying space in my brain).
And just last year, when I couldn't make it to Croatia to visit a friend and be in Berlin in time for my conference, I had my friend meet me in Prague for a few days instead. We stopped in at the Marquis de Sade. It was looking quite sad, the sofas fraying, the air of desperation more noticeable. The moment had clearly passed by. We didn't stay long, and headed over to U Maleho Glena, not really a bar, but our new favorite place in Prague all the same.
Prague is good at recycling. We were confused on our honeymoon when we went to the place we had always known as the Chapeau Rouge (the Red Hat) to find instead a place whose t-shirts declared it to be the Chateau Rouge (the Red House). We finally realized that some enterprising individual must have decided to deliberately take over the location and change the name to something so similar as to be completely interchangeable with the original name. So I suspect that one day soon the old Marquis de Sade location will host a bar named just "the Marquis" or maybe "Marat." Who knows?
Comments: Post a Comment