Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Street stroll No.2

Next from the Plac I continued my amble down Marszałkowska. I popped across this nicely adorned scooter, all the sun made it shimmer like stars.
As I have mentioned previously there are so many different styles of building in Warsaw, some old some new, some borrowed and some blue. This one just has great repetition, some people may find that boring. Not me, I love the simplicity of repetition, maybe because I am so bad at doing the same thing twice....
It was so warm that cafes are starting to get their outdoor seating organised, this is Green Cafe on Marszałkowska, I am yet to coffee test there, but it is rather popular and has a great view of the Palace of Culture.
You know it is "THE" season, when all the big big sunnies come out. I was looking just the other day at all these people wearing sunglasses and as an already bespectaled, I am not sure if I envy sunglass wearers or not. In the old days when I did wear them, I know I was always dropping them, breaking them, losing them or just plain forgetting them. Anyway, the cool kids, especially the women in Warsaw, are right into them now.
As are these two on Marszałkowska as they power walk all the big brand shops
and this one on Świętokrzyska.
While Mr. Wieslaw conquers the world, apparently.
There were plenty of people out on Krakowskie Przedmieście, just soaking up the sun.
Skwer was heaving.
Whilst others perused the Easter market.
They sell Palms here that are blessed for Easter at the church directly behind or their own favourite family church.
It was a free for all, there were people buying these things, lord only knows why. Oh hang on, he probably does, too.
So I might as well finish again on what will probably be a recurring theme for a while in spring, yes, you are right. Women in beige.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

And off for a Saturday stroll

Last weekend the wife was off at university making her grey matter work and improving constantly, whilst I would normally sit around and watch football or chat to Australian friends or maybe bake something. This week, it was full of bright sunshine and encouraged me to pop outside and see what the world of Warsaw gets up to on a fine spring day. I didn't really have a plan but I wanted to get some street photography in as well as maybe pop into some parks. So I jumped on the ol' Metro system and headed to Politechnika station and got the camera ready. I thought which way..... uni or town, I chose town and headed towards Plac Zbawiciela, as I know it is where lots of "cool kids" hang out, and there are some great arkady to hide in to snap people goofing about.
As I strolled in past the Karma Cafe which I refuse to go to because of their completely shite service and inability to be productive for fear of not looking cool. I breezed past the tram stop:
I saw a group of elegantly dressed more senior individuals and I am guessing they were off to the Theatre as there was something big happening there, I noticed later in the day.
The plac is really a great people-watching spot, it has many cafes and the big Church of the Most Holy Saviour - no I am not making this name up - on the southern end.
You might even get lucky enough to see an old man who looks like a garden gnome doing sudokus with a pen that doesn't work so that every time he writes something he has to shake it afterwards.
People just turn their faces to the sun and soak it up, notice man in background shaking pen.
The old and the new in the Arkady.
Click so you can clearly see this man's lion impersonation. So after hanging out around the plac Zbawiciela, I thought it was time to double my plac intake and head to the plac Konstytucji.
It is interesting, prior to my move to Poland I had neither interest in women's legs or shoes but since coming here I have seen an increase in interest in these areas. I am really fascinated how women in Poland whether in the bigger cities such as Warsaw or even the small regional towns have a vast collection of shoes. Not just that many, but, many I would consider to be applicable for extreme sports. Even in the dead of winter you can see women wearing 5 inch heels on iced and salted paths. Then not just that, but they are happy to wear very short skirts (like this) with or without stocking/tights or jeans/pants so tight it must cost a fortune in lubrication. It always brings me to a great quote probably from Austin Powers:
" - How do you get into those pants?
-Well, you can start by buying me a drink".

So, the short of it, probably much to the chagrin of my beautiful and long-legged wife, I find myself always looking at the myriad of high heeled shoes, boots and associated long legs of the Polish female species, as no doubt many foreign men have and also I have noticed many Polish women do themselves. More on this no doubt in the future.
So strolling along Marszałkowska into the plac, I got to see a really cool art installation with multiplug electrical cables.
Also, I got to witness the final of street badminton, just below the fish and chips sign.
LIPS! Yes they advertise lips here, they are always wanting to buy new ones, oh hang on, it is just me being smart and changing the PHILLIPS sign. Sneaky, no?
Something nice about the old communist architecture in this place are the wide arcades (arkady) that let great shadows form, and fun places to hide and take photos.
So the rest of this is just stencils, I like them, they are a fun source of graffiti.

Cans on shelves...... not sure it has the same impact in English.

Zbaw sie means save yourself, it must be a dangerous tiger-cat, but it is always nice to finish with a cat born on the 13.8.2004 awwww makes it nearly 7 now!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Królikarnia or The Rabbit house, is an amazingly simple concept as a residence and environs, the curator Joanna Torchała has done a wonderful job. It is basically, and this is purely my interpretation, that art should be accessible to people, life should be about fun, and places of significance are only significant if they can affect people in an efficient and effective positive manner. Sometimes, humans do have a tendency to over complicate things. Warsaw's parks can display this with their habit of wanting to look and be too perfect. Which is great in the sense that we all like to see pretty and perfect things, but it can be to the detriment of the people who are visiting there. Where there are some great green spaces in many parks but many that can't be sat on, laid on or attacked viciously in the form of walking barefoot on them. So here at Królikarnia as you can see by this sign (please click on it to be able to read the fabulous wordings),
it is all about people, people and art, people and nature, nature and art. Great combinations if you ask me.On the way in you get a plaque,
and face on each side of the gate. So the art starts at the front, or is it just a facade? Bad pun!
Lets start with a fish with boobs getting horny.
or is the "Fish with Boobs" just sucking her icecream out of the bottom of the cone? Come on, we have all done that at least once.
Strangely erotic or over eater?
I like this guy he looks so darned mischievous
Rather smug looking guy with a big hat.
Little happy ceramic things.
Who's moustache is it, Lech Wałęsa or Josef Stalin, you make the choice. I am voting for a third party, ex-Australian cricket captain Graham Yallop instead.
A bit of an old boar! haha classic pun that one.
So a trip to the Królikarnia is well worth it, especially if you have a beautiful sunny day at your disposal. They hold lots of Jazz and classic music there in the summer too apparently, I have not yet appreciated this. So ponder it as an option, like Marty is here with the view over the gardens, surrounding town houses and the "beautiful" and omnipresent Sadyba Power Station.....
So we shall end with a rather easy, what is it photo? Have a guess and see how smart you are.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

With the sun come the grannies

One of the fantastic, or horrific things, if you look at it from some aspects, is the appearance of the granified, the granulated, the granular, the grandiose, and the all round granulicious. I believe they come from old granaries or maybe from Gran Canaria either way, they appear to be solar powered and, at least for the moment, are clad in coats. Later in the sun season, they are out there, skirts rolled up above their knobbly knees, their knee high stockings pushed to their ankles, and their shirt sleeves pushed up as high as possible exposing the turkey wings that winter hides. Yes, I am talking about one of my favourite things in Warsaw, the infamous Granny. Babcia, babunia, babula, babka or simply baba are what they Poles call them. They are the ones who limp onto buses only to run to a seat when they see it available. A possibly hypothetical situation: If you are seated on a busy and seatless tram reading your book on the history of the Thames, they will stand above you and cough, if that doesn't work they will hold the rail near your head whilst their plastic shopping bag tries to knock off your beautiful flat cap that you bought in Lisbon, as a possible example. Yes, they are indeed wild creatures.

Anyway, they are, as I previously mentioned, solar powered and now that the spring sun is poking its timid little head out, we are seeing a higher incedence of grannies roaming wild and free and claiming all south facing benches.
Grannies in their natural habits are known to eat fruit such as bananas.
Others like to use a walking stick like they are a 1990's hip hop singer as they wax lyrical.
Here is one in her natural environment absorbing the sun's energy to assist in her later endeavours, possibly grandpa hunting.
Here is one prowling looking for something, I am not sure what, possibly a banana.

A granny in training, notice the lace mane that is characteristic of a young granny at heart.
Here is a weary grandpa, notice he has mirrors on his bike to protect him from sneak rear attacks from a hungry granny.
A classical granny powering up. Possibly to attack the naive grandpa next to her. As you can see, he is not moving and probably already incapacitated.

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