Today is my friend Martin Krupa's birthday. He stayed in the Venetian room in my flat for two summers while on holiday from graduate school. He was working on his doctorate from the University in Bratislava, Slovakia. He works at a fine hotel in Edinburgh, where he lived with his sister, just recently licensed as a medical doctor. I met Martin through my Polish friend Adam.
Martin was best friend to my three dogs, dear Rose, Prince Rupert, and Renzo. In fact, I called her 'dear' Rose because that's what Martin always called her. Unfortunately she left us just before Thanksgiving two years ago. He also was a very special friend to my Rupert. For the previous two summers Martin had an early job at the Chancellor Hotel on Powell Street near Union Square. When he got off work in the afternoon, he'd come home and take the dogs to Dolores Park and play ball with Rupert for several hours at a time. Of course, Rupert adored Martin. Renzo got to know him when Martin house sat for me during my holiday in Italy three years ago last September and October.
six years ago, I was getting ready to go on a music holiday with Chanticleer to Vienna, Prague and Budapest. I flew into Vienna a few days early, took a bus to Bratislava, and spent the weekend with Martin. Bratislava is a charming city -- the capital of Slovakia. It was Alexander Dubcek's hometown. It has a handsomely restored historical area.
My weekend visit included a Sunday afternoon and evening in Vienna, which is very close by train. We had a pleasant visit with two of his Viennese friends. After returning to Bratislava Sunday evening, I went back to Vienna on Monday morning, checked into my hotel, and had a delightful visit to Schloss Schonbrunn before joining the Chanticleer tour.
Martin is a good guy and I wish him well on his birthday! His friend Susan from the Chancellor Hotel extends her birthday greetings as well!