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Americans in Prague:
a personal account of life in Prague 1990-96
by Bruce Damer

Prague after the Velvet Revolution: The Story of Americans In Prague
..and my part in it


NEWS UPDATE: Alan Levy has passed away (April 2, 2004)

See our pages on Alan Levy and the news of his passing here.


NEWS UPDATE: James Mitchell Lear has passed away (July 15, 2003)

From Entertainment Insiders July 2003 Obituaries:

Actor/writer James Mitchell Lear was best known for his one-man play "Hemingway Reminisces." Mr. Lear died at age 80. He wrote the play at the urging of Hemingwayís granddaughter, the late Margeux Hemingway. Mr. Lear served his country in North Africa and Europe during WWII. Mr. Lear appeared in nearly 40 films including "Reflections in a Golden Eye" with Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Forster, "Splendor in the Grass" with Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood and "The Blue Dahlia" with Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. Mr. Lear had a long stage career both on and off-Broadway. He performed his one-man show in many parts of the world. Bruce Damer, virtual world guru and computer whiz told me he had the pleasure of Mr. Learís company during his stay in Prague. Mr. Damer funded Mr. Learís performance of "Hemingway Reminisces" in Sarajevo during the Yugoslav war. Thanks to Bruce Damer for use of his personal photo of Mr. Lear. Thanks for being a patron of Mr. Learís work.

 

A Personal note from Bruce Damer:

James Mitchell Lear was a frequent visitor to Eastern Europe during the years immediately following the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was living in Prague, Czechosolovakia at the time (see more on my life there below) and hosted Mr. Lear on a number of occaisions at my home there. He gave us a stellar performance of his one-man show "Hemingway Reminisces" at the Novotneho Lafce club/theater where we held the D-Salon. I recall talking to him about his dream of bringing his play to a wider audience (he was seeking support for a TV/Film version) and I provided him funding to perform in then war-torn Sarajevo and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. I noted that Mr. Lear always drank a big glass of water every morning (he swore by it) and loved pasta with just a little sauce (pomodoro).

Life in Prague in the 90s

Photo of mystery Lucy (foreground) and Prague writer Jim Freeman taken at the bottom of Na Prikope in the Prague New Town, circa 1993

Bruce Damer lived in Prague from 1990-1994 helping set up and direct the Elixir software laboratory in Bila Hora, the Charles University computer science department's Comenius laboratory, the DSalon arts salon which ran in 1994 and the Information Age forum weekly networking dinner with Scott Sheldon. He watched expats start to arrive in '92 and became a regular at Beef Stew and the Globe and was featured in the Prague Post's Prague Profile by Alan Levy. This site is an attempt to document an amazing time in my life and in the reemergence of a society from over forty years of isolation and deprivation.

Galleries and Words (click to go to galleries)


Prague Scenes


Elixir Prague Laboratory

 

Beef Stew Poets and Readings  

Nadace pro Informatiku
D-Salon Alan Levy  

Information Age Forum
Prague Profile of Bruce Damer's vision of a Silicon Castle
  My Life in Prague Coming soon: more contributions

NOTE: these pages are under construction, please email me if you have comments, pictures, input

Working Notes (anyone with stories to contribute here, help!)

Life goes on: Prague in the 00s

See Steven's Interview of Bruce Damer about the Elixir Prague Lab ( on Dec 14, 2001).


Expats.cz: A BBS (web based)
All about expatriate life in the Czech capital and beyond

Jim Freeman's PragueWriter Pages, Jim is a key figure in the Beef Stew poets and writer's community.

Prague Post and Prague Post Archives (requires free registration) paper initially edited and still contributed to by Alan Levy

For the Love of Prague the story of Gene Deitch, one American's life behind the iron curtain for 30 years, includes references from his book and links


Prague TV!

Cyber City Guide - Prague Hotels
Guide to Prague including discount hotels, attractions, travel tips and more

 

NEW: pictures of our year 2001 trip to Prague and parts north and south in the Czech Republic
Click on each for full albums


Prague views
2001

Bruce Damer's
Prague Neighborhood

At Jim Freeman
and Misha's country home

Meet the Anonymous 4

Beef Stew Readings

Czesky Krumlov

Dobra Cajovna and the Elixir Prague Team

Links featuring Prague in the 90s

Jim Freeman's PragueWriter Pages, Jim is a key figure in the Beef Stew poets and writer's community.

Prague Post and Prague Post Archives (requires free registration) paper initially edited and still contributed to by Alan Levy

For the Love of Prague the story of Gene Deitch, one American's life behind the iron curtain for 30 years, includes references from his book and links

See Steven's Interview of Bruce Damer about the Elixir Prague Lab ( on Dec 14, 2001)

The pages of Optimism Monthly, a journal of writers and their life in Prague, Alan Ward (pictured in these pages) was editor for 3 years. This journal features many well known ex-pat Prague writers including Anthony Tognazzini, Jim, Freeling, Jim Freeman and Stuart Horwitz.

Ken Nash's Prague Cartoons, published in the Prague Post from 1992-94 and were included in his toon book "Prague on 13 Beers a Day". Also see Ken's great Cartoon Pages.

Standa Miler's Labyrint Project and his new company Trimedia which engaged in projects like the Czech VR site, outgrowth of much of his work with CVUT and others


The Globe Bookstore and Coffeehouse
perennially popular hangout of Expats in Prague

Prague in the 90s, Paris of the 20s by Colleen E. Feehan

Alt.culture's pages on Prague

Post-cold war youth capital for democratic idealists, film students, and German suds guzzlers. Located in the province of Bohemia, the Czech city was the stage for Communism's most romantic overthrow, the 1989 Velvet Revolution, named for the relatively peaceful transition to democracy (and, improbably enough, for the influence of the Velvet Underground on dissidents during the dark years of rule by Soviet-backed Communists). Czechoslovakia's hippie, rocker, and anarchist counterculture produced many of the country's post-revolution leaders, including the country's president, playwright Vaclav Havel. The post-revolution invasion of Prague by art-seeking, vulgarity-fleeing young Americans waxed and waned in the '90s. American ex-pat Richard Katrovas's 1996 Prague, USA documents Prague's purportedly left-bankish literary scene. With his collection of stories, Katrovas endeavored "to represent the odd love affair between...the people of a tiny country with an ancient culture, and the lost and searching souls of a huge nation whose commercial culture of eternal newness floods the globe." (By 1997, multiplex theaters in Prague and a strict no-smoking regime for 60-a-day Havel furnished some evidence of cultural cross-pollination.)

Jan Kaplan and Krystyna Nosarzewska's Book: Prague, the Turbulent Century

Alan Levy's Bio and Books

The Praha Files, the Wak Wakians' diary of life in Prague 1997-99

Young filmmaker's experiences in Prague

A Warsaw Voice Story on living and working in Prague and Warsaw

SunSITE's history of Prague

The Prague Daily Report with its extensive searchable Links Page

Prague City Server with a total listing of restaurants, clubs and life in the Czech capital

Prague Castle (Prazsky hrad) Home Page

Charles University in Prague Faculty of Mathematics and Physics (Kryl@ksvi.mff.cuni.cz) and their building in Mala Strana

Petr Ohnut's great Czech pages including an interview with David Lynch in Praha

Lonely Planet's Destination Czech Republic

What a difference a decade made, by John Clark

Prague Interactive Map

Praha Metro

 

Other Sites That Feature News and Information About the Czech Republic and Central Europe (courtesy the Prague Post)


Click here to contact Bruce or send comments on this website.

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(cc) 1996- Bruce Damer... want to use something from this site? See rights granted under my Creative Commons license and contact me.