Sunday, February 20, 2011

From Foksal to Chopin

After strolling about in carparks and looking at huge murals, Marty felt she must see a little of civilisation and headed into something quite the opposite, H&M. So while she was ohhhing and ahhhing over things she would never actually buy, because H&M quality is just poor at best and dreadful at worst, we decided to continue on down Foksal proper.
Before we left the store, I thought I might as well make the most of if and snap up something, instead of using this idiom to purchase I snapped with my camera instead. This is actually looking out onto Foksal albeit with a big blue head in the way.
So we continued to stroll down Foksal and found the front side of Foksal 15 that we had been staring at in awe from behind. I quite happily took a picture of the door as I have a massive obsession with handles, knobs and hinges. Kind of scary don't you think?
I also managed to take a photo of some rather quirky graffiti of cogs over and around the ventilation holes of the building. Gone are the days that ventilation could be an attractive addition to the building. Now modern buildings just put in horrible grates to release hot wet air and gain a decent flow through the complex. Rather boring, if you ask me. That said, in my disgust of the future progression of buildings and contrutction concepts and materials, I forgot to actually take a photo of the front of the building. So instead see the article here for a pic, and if your Polish is better than mine, you can read all about the property. Also, the marvelous Janus Jedrosz has numerous photos of Foksal features, please have a look here. Inside the building they found beautiful fresco paintings and also very ornate fixtures so, thank you Hania and the Town Hall, it won't be knocked down to make another high rise apartment. Instead, it will be renovated and improved to look like......
This. This is the exact other side of the street and shows roughly what will happen to the dwellings at 13 and 15. I love it when something like this happens. People who haven't been to Warsaw, or don't know the history of it, won't realise that a building like Foksal 15 from the 1895 is hard to find. So this is a great move by the city.
Or we end up with more of these, some extravagant boxes which are also on Foksal. Oh also a brief side note for Londonophiles or car heads, Foksal is actually Vauxhall but they didn't really have a great way to spell it in Polish so this is how it ended up.
Anywho, enough of the griping and the complaining and the slapping of the backs of those politicians and off to the park at the end of Szczygla. It was a park that I have been to a few times before, some of my earlier visitors may remember going through it on the way to see the Warsaw University Library.
One of the cool things in this park and also other locations as seen below is that they have little Chopin benches. These are benches that actually play Chopin when you push a button and you can download the song to your mobile phone as a ring tone too. That is pretty darned cool in my eyes.
There are 15 benches in total around Warsaw and each plays a different Chopin tune. Great idea, no? Each bench is placed somewhere that relates to Chopins life. This one is right next to the new Chopin Museum. For a list of benches and songs click here.
Just next to the museum is large mural depicting different important images of things related to the life story of Freddie Chopin.
So then we look to the other side of the road and a blank advertising hoarding, makes you realise how different a blank canvas really is.....

So now enough Chopin and changing, oh great pun Garth, and off to Tarabuk Cafe for a coffee.

9 comments:

Paddy said...

Great photos. I love the Chopin walk thing, I really feel it should be rolled out further across the city! One question I've been meaning to ask is why was Foksal named Foksal, do you happen to know?

Gee Em said...

Hey Paddy, yeah as I said it is named after the Vauxhall in London, as at the end of Ulica Foksal there were some big private gardens which held lots of balls/parties, theatre for the elite of Warsaw and so it was named after the Vauxhall gardens where a similar thing occured there. Also there was originally 4 pavillions there that were designed in the style of the seasons, this was mind you all around the mid-late 1700's. Then in the later 1700's the land was parcelled out to form the same street as is today.
As far as I remember, when told by my lovely wife. :)

Paddy said...

Ah thanks, I have always wondered. I remember from reading a Sharpe novel that the Vauxhall gardens were very popular around the early 1800s. Your wife is clearly learned!

I really like how English language names get converted. My favourite at the minute must be fajerwerki for fireworks.

Anonymous said...

Detail, but fajerwerki probably came from German to Polish.

Anonymous said...

Fajerwerki probably came to Polish from German, but nevermind.

Gee Em said...

Or maybe it came from Russian as their word is also quite similar. :) But the German influence may have been stronger. Even though originally fireworks came to Europe from either Marco Polo or the Crusaders you would think it would be more related the the "artificial fire" words used in the Latin based languages. :)

Pan Steeva said...

You may like to see the pictures at http://grono.net/opuszczone/topic/15341570/sl/ulfoksal-13-i-15-warszawa/.

Gee Em said...

Thanks Pan Steeva, I did like them. I saw them earlier when I was researching Foksal. I think, "DAMN! How did he get in there to get those pics?!" Thanks for sharing the link!

Paddy said...

He must have broken in. I've always wanted to know what the inside of those buildings look like. Amazing!

Me on Google+