December 3rd, 2013

Housing in late 19th Century Prague

Setting: Late 19th century Prague (exact dates not set, and its recently diverted into an alternate history)

Search terms: "19th century Prague housing", "town houses prague", "house ownership 19th century Prague", "vinohrady housing 1880", "josefov housing 19th century", "wealthy districts 19th century Prague"

My main problem is I'm not entirely sure where I should be looking to get the information I want. Some of those search terms have provided a few useful things, but for the most part it's just given me modern day information about renting apartments.

I'm trying to work out the living arrangements for two particular characters:

Character One is a very wealthy woman and I want her to live somewhere that reflects this. I also need her to live reasonably close to another character who happens to be Jewish. I've been told that the old Jewish quarter (Josefhov) is now one of the most expensive areas to live in the city, but I haven't been able to find much about the historical 'posh' districts. One of the sites I found mentioned that when Josefhov was incorporated into the rest of Prague, many of the former inhabitants moved away to 'better' areas, but not where those might be. If it makes a difference I need her to own an fairly large house.

Character Two is nowhere near as rich and is going to live (depending on the location of Character One) either near Charles Square in the New Town, or in what is now Vinohrady. I read somewhere that at some point in Prague's history it became more common to live in apartments than houses, but I don't know when this was or what sort of financial situation those living in them were in, or whether this was very much dependent on the area they happened to live in.

So basically asking: Where should Character One live, and should Character Two be in a house or an apartment?

Americanisms....

I am writing a piece on a young man's observations of America- set in current times.

Does anyone know a popular brand of tobacco/cigarettes in the US, particularly a light variety? I found there were Camel lights but apparently they are no longer being made? Or some sort of menthol variety?

Are 24 liquor stores common? Is that the correct term? Do they vary from state to state?

Does anyone know of any dishes (if any) that are popular in Nebraska?

How long does it take to change a driving licence if moving from a different state? The procedure seems simple looking at the DMV website, but there is no mention of their turnaround time....is it the same day?

Any help and insight would be greatly received especially about Nebraska.