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August 15, 2022

Peek of the Week 096

By Jerry Seeger

 
Tram barn, Strasnice, Prague.

Tram barn, Strasnice, Prague.

This is not quite the picture I wanted to take, but it will have to do. The tram barn is across the street from a little café that is well-lit for days I'm in the mood to read. I enjoy watching the trams and listening to the rumble of their wheels as they come home to rest. (The older style of trams sleep here; the newer ones, sleeker and more modern, presumably have swankier accommodation in keeping with their station.)

I also find the geometry of the place interesting, especially at night, with the long rows of lights and the trams parked in their orderly fashion. I had for quite a long time intended to get a good picture that captures the feel. This at last I did (after literally months of intending to). The day was fading but there was still plenty of light. I took my little portable camera with me and took some shots. At one point a guy in the office just to the left reminded me that standing in the middle of the tracks was probably not a good idea.

I took several pictures and they were all lousy. I looked them over and figured out my mistakes, and so two days later I found myself in front of the tram barn again, and I took this picture. As I was taking it, a different guy came out of the office and chased me away much more angrily. I got home and looked at my work. Better, but not quite there yet. Next time ...

Ever since, the doors to the barn have all been closed. That a terrorist alert had been issued a couple of weeks before was probably an issue, but there is something else, something I've seen a couple of times before. I assume this feeling has its roots in the fear and suspicion of a police state, which this country was less than twenty years ago. It's probably not even a conscious reaction, but people taking pictures of things they have no business photographing is not a good thing. It's a tram barn. It's where they work. Why would anyone want a picture of that?

A couple of weeks ago I found myself unable to turn down an invitation to join a group of drunken tram drivers in a different bar nearby. They were very friendly, and although communication was awkward at best I endeavored to find out if the door-closed policy was really because of me. I never found out; they thought I was saying I wanted to take pictures. One told me that I had to get permission, while another, the one who spoke no English at all, simply shook his head.

"No. No pictures," he said.

**Do you have a photo or piece of art you'd like to see in "Peek of the Week?" If so, send your photo or file (unreduced) to peek@pikerpress.com. Please include what kind of camera was used, and a brief description of the picture, as well as your name and email address.

Article © Jerry Seeger. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-06-18
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