The urban lifestyle.
PRAGUE, Czech Republic- We changed things up a little for this stint in Prague. Rather than staying on the periphery of the city near my wife’s school, we’re in Prague 2, in the heart of it all. The experience is something completely different.
There are benefits to setting up a base of operations on the edge of a city: the lack of social whirlpool can make it easier to meet people, there are no tourists, so people tend to treat you more like a person. The shops and entertainment are geared towards locals, so has a more authentic feel and often offers windows into the life of a people. However, there isn’t the energy and action of the urban core — the place where everything anyone wants is.
The apartment that we rented was from Airbnb, and it is standard Airbnb fare: really nice, well provisioned, and more than a touch expensive. While you can save money with Airbnb over hotels, when compared to normal apartment rentals you get hosed. But I sometimes don’t mind being hosed when the hosing means that I can book an apartment in minutes, show up, and do nothing more. I don’t want to buy cooking ware, window screens, and a futon each time I book a place for a month — I just want to move in and get to work. At some point in your digital nomad-hood the money/time value systems begin to shift. I don’t like Airbnb but I do like being able to spend my time doing what I want to do rather than endlessly searching for a slightly cheaper place to stay. That’s just not fun for me anymore.
Anyway, this particular Airbnb is exceptional. It was advertised as “romantic,” and it actually lives up to that title. Someone with aesthetic senses put this place together. I don’t usually notice or care about shit on the walls, but the little un-needed extras got my attention — the paintings and drawings of naked women, the Asian brush stroke artwork, the bstract hipstery wallpaper., the jacuzzi bathtub, the dimable lights. The old wood and plush chairs. The corner booth around the kitchen table. Windows that let in refreshing amounts of light. It’s a place that you want to be in; not just a place to store your body for eight hours each night.
The street that I’m staying on is called Londynska. It’s full of vegan cafes, raw food restaurants, organic food stores … you get the kind of area this is. Walkable. Hip. A place that people want to live.
This is very different from where I usually stay. Even in big cities I usually stay out in the liminal zone, where sprawl meets village. I think these places are interesting … but they’re not exactly fun.
Staying in a place where I can step out of my door, walk one or two hundred meters and have an array of places-to-go with sidewalk seating to chose from to enjoy the sunny day … well, that’s the early 21st century’s definition of luxury.
I’m living in luxury in Prague.