Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I watched with great fascination this video clip (in the New York Times today). Titled "The Warsaw Way," it depicts the freewheeling approach to fashion young people have adopted for themselves, particular those who hang out around "Savior Square" -- identified as the place of a hipster movement. Paris is elegant, Warsaw is relaxed -- says one young woman as she shows off her layered look.

Now, I have two thought to offer here: first of all, I smile at this new way Poles view Savior Square -- epicenter of hipster culture indeed! I lived a quarter of a block from this square in my youngest years in Warsaw. It was (and it remains) a busy place where tramcars crisscross a circular open area and cars and buses push their way along the awkward and type space reserved for street traffic. Loud, chaotic and not too safe to navigate if you're a mere six year old passing through on her way to school.

But the square is proximate to the School of Engineering and, too, it's home to a number of language schools and the single metro line has a stop nearby -- all this means that there is now an influx of young people who are quite comfortable in the old and somewhat crumbling arcades that span many of the buildings here. (I write about a cafe on this square -- Charlotte; I visited it on my last trip to Warsaw... I called it a "hip" place then.)

My second comment is that Warsaw young people have always dressed with care. This isn't a new post-communist enlightened youth. Oh, sure, so many have access to better *stuff* now. But you cannot say that this generation is the first to glorify cool clothing or a careful presentation of self -- I surely saw it during my university years in the late sixties: appearance mattered.

Thinking now of my last trip to Poland (almost a year ago) made me glad I wasn't going there again this December. It's an icy cold and dark time to be in Warsaw. But I do recognize a faint feeling of a need to go back. In warmer times maybe. In spring, or summer. Yeah, when I'm retired and time flows according to a newly improvised schedule.

In other news -- you guessed it. It is a tough work day and so there is no other news.

Ah, but there is always breakfast. Eaten on a foggy morning. Gazing out, gazing in... Always, always, no matter how harried the day ahead, always there is breakfast.

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Still on Rosie today. To work, in the fog...

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...then, in the evening, back home in light drizzle. To chili. And the guys.