Friday, December 07, 2012

On Display

christmas cards in shop window, prague czech republic
Passing by a favorite coffee shop last year, I saw these cards in the window, the buildings beautiful, layered above them. Cold fingers and all, I stopped for the reflection.

A year later, I pulled up the picture again. This time, I didn't notice the reflections as much as the display. It's very typical for Prague - it declares, rather than dreams. It offers up its prospects in rows of statement. In Paris at Christmas the displays hardly hint at what might be beyond them. Stuffed bears twirl, plastic snow falls, velvet drapes over staged mountains. The store sells table linen.

I'd like to see the Parisian Christmas windows sometime. Walking through cities rich in display thrills me; I redesigned one of our web sites after a trip to Barcelona, the other after a weekend in Copenhagen. But I'm also content with knowing what's behind the windows, with Prague's a to z declarations of intent.

The reflections aren't bad either.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I need a plane ticket. I need one more each time I read your blog.

Roderick Robinson said...

France doesn't do Christmas as well as Germany though I dare say Paris can be relied on to do a fancy show. This time VR and OS are stretching out their Christmas Market visit to include both countries, thus demonstrating an ecumenical spirit and ensuring dinner at L'Atelier Gourmande in Lille. A little reflection on their itinerary reveals that its spinal column is defined by the TGV network

Declares rather than dreams, eh? So Prague's pragmatical rather than mystical? I'd go with that and our first lunch there (A very three-dimensional serving of meat) seemed to confirm the view. Though I'm doing a bit of retrospective dreaming at this very moment, trawling memory for a scene I haven't over-used.

I have it. I'm lolling in a chair in the lobby of our hotel waiting for the arrival of PP and - coming through the door, yes, this has to be her (or she - never too sure about that rule). I get up and I can't remember either of us doing a formal introduction. However (recalling all sorts of embarrassing moments during the first month in Pittsburgh) I do remember saying, "So I suppose we shake hands?" Gravely you say this would be appropriate. And a flash of ratiocinative process offers this tiny equation: PP = Take charge. Leading to: We're in good hands and the coffee will be OK. A bit of early pragmatism you might say.