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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I was shocked, really, that none of the Praguebloggers picked up this NYTimes story by Ian Fisher published in the IHT's travel section last Thursday. It's all about the hip, up-and-coming Prague neighborhood of Zizkov. And it's about the laziest piece of travel journalism I've ever come across. (Scratch that -- I've probably seen worse without knowing it. Doesn't give you much faith in the medium.) Quote:

Trendy young Praguers who might have lived in nearby Vinohrady, an ever-costlier neighborhood now full of upmarket shops and restaurants, are turning to Zizkov, fueling the trendy bars along Borivojova Street.
Excuse me? I know Borivojova Street. I live on Borivojova Street! Do you mean Hapu, just about the only remotely trendy bar that might be on Borivojova Street? (It's actually on Orlicka.) Maybe you meant the Clown and Bard youth hostel? Um, that's not exactly "fueled by trendy young Praguers." Or that tiny pot-smoking hole in the wall down the street from me, formerly called Herba Cafe? Or Luis Cypher, the grottiest fussball joint in the country? Borivojova has historically been known (accurately? who knows) as the street with the highest concentration of pubs in Prague. But if anything, the gentrification of the district is pushing those dives out, not fueling them.

Of the two establishments the author actually mentions, one is Cafe Chef, a rinky-dink little place across from the TV tower that I've never stepped into, nor ever heard of anybody stepping into. Maybe it's a fine place to go, but it's not exactly Akropolis. (Natch, the cultural capital of Zizkov gets no mention.)

Ian Fisher is a globe-trotting correspondant for the Times who probably spent a holiday hear in Prague, and an afternoon walking around Zizkov. Somebody must have told him Zizkov was the hip hood, but forgot to tell him where to go to find the action. Mr. Fisher, if you're reading this, send me a line next time. I'll be happy to show you around.

UPDATE: An astute journo reader (Jaroslav Plesl of LN) informs us in the comments that Mr. Fisher actually lives in Prague.

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