Listen to Canadian-born art gallerist Camille Hunt talking about the way Prague has changed in the last few years. Choose the option A, B or C which best completes the sentences below.
1 Camille Hunt has been living in Letná
a) for almost 10 years.
b) for over 15 years.
c) since 2013.
2 One of the reasons why she loves Letná, an area of Prague, is because
a) she doesn’t need to use any transport to go to the city centre.
b) the highway is nearby.
c) the transport system is good.
3 Camille finds the Letná district surprising because
a) it is very convenient.
b) many foreigners visit the area.
c) there are lots of shops and restaurants.
4 Over the years Letná has changed in that
a) many more shops and restaurants have been opened.
b) the parks are better looked after these days.
c) the streets have many more trees now.
5 When comparing Letná with other areas of Prague Camille says Letná has
a) better pubs.
b) better views.
c) more friendly residents.
6 About her work at the gallery Camille says
a) she has more time to do things at home now.
b) she is happy about the change a couple of years ago.
c) she no longer travels to work.
7 About the changing customs in Prague it is said that
a) her gallery opens now seven days a week.
b) people work shorter weeks, so that their weekend is longer.
c) weekends are becoming livelier and livelier.
For nearly a decade Camille Hunt has been co-running Hunt Kastner, a private Prague gallery that represents leading local artists such as Eva Koťátková and Dominik Lang. In 2013 the gallery moved to Žižkov from the Letná district, which the Canadian-born Hunt has long called home. Our tour of “her Prague” begins with a drink on the terrace of the Letná Chateau, which is adjacent to a beer garden with stunning views of the city.
I have lived in Letná for 15-plus years. I love this part of the city because of the parks, mainly. And it’s a very quick, nice walk into town through the park, so that’s lovely. You don’t have to cross any highways. And it’s nice being high up.
How you would you characterise the neighbourhood?
I wouldn’t say it’s any different… Well, maybe there’s less… it’s a little bit less ex-paty than maybe Vinohrady , which is the area that people seem to favour more, because it has maybe more restaurants and more shops, and is also a very lovely part of town. And Dejvice is also very nice and maybe more foreigner-friendly, just because it has more access to more shops and restaurants and amenities. Letná is actually surprising, because we always say, when are the good restaurants going to open? Because it is such a lovely part, and so close to town, and so many people come here on the weekends. There are some good places [to eat], but they’re few and far between.
How would you say Letná has changed over your living here?
Not terribly much. Of course, there are better shops and restaurants again, going back to that. And the park is maybe better maintained. The lovely part about Letná are the parks. But because we have so many trees and greenery in the parks they don’t put many trees on the actual streets, which I keep on thinking they will do eventually but... So that’s the difference with Vinohrady – it’s got nice leafy trees everywhere, which makes the streets really beautiful.
I don’t know if you find this, but Prague is relatively small and I still find myself hanging out with people who live near me. It’s not London or somewhere. There’s no particular reason that I wouldn’t come over to Letná to go out – but I just don’t do it.
Well, actually we have a sort of running joke with our friends. We have a lot of friends who do live in Vinohrady and there’s a sort of battle between Letná and Vinohrady. We always say that it’s much better here. At least the beer garden, Riegrovy Sady. And I stand by that. Because of the views. But it’s true… I don’t know, maybe as we get older we’re less inclined to travel, even short distances, I don’t know. I mean, I’m always in Vinohrady and Žižkov, because the gallery moved there almost two years. The gallery was in Letná, around the corner from where I live, so I probably got out less, you know. I quite like that it’s not close by and I do have to actually travel to get to work and it’s a nice way of clearing your head. Also after work I go and do more things before I get home. If you live around the corner from where you work it’s kind of hard to think of going away and then coming back. So I prefer this arrangement – anyways for now.
You were telling me earlier that you think Prague is starting to become livelier at weekends than it used to be.
Yes, it definitely is. We always used to have openings at the gallery during the week, usually on Thursday, or even Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. But we never thought of doing it on Friday because everybody would tell us that nobody would show up. And we also thought that. But in the last or so we started doing them on Fridays and there’s no difference. I think young people don’t necessarily, you know, take off on Friday immediately for the cottage, because there’s so much more going on in Prague nowadays.
1B 2A 3A 4B 5B 6B 7C