Tuesday, October 27, 2015

from Warsaw

My flight landed last night at Warsaw Chopin Airport by the light of the (almost) full moon. You could have turned off all airport lights and it would have still been a bright landing. I did not take a photo, because I knew whatever I snapped would not give you even a fraction of its beauty.

My sister greeted me, as always and we took the bus to her home, where she and I spent many hours talking into the night and munching on beet soup, herring on dark bread, and cabbage slaw. We cracked fresh walnuts which are in season right now. Did you ever eat a fresh, soft walnut? Mmmm... There is an earthiness to October (mushrooms, walnuts) that you forget about when you shop in stores that supply foods year round. (I can almost hear the question: you mean walnuts have a season??)

In the morning, we have some bureaucratic stuff to take care of, right after breakfast, of course. My sister cooks me her favorite which happens to be my favorite as well -- oatmeal. With kefir, blueberries, honey.


After our paper work, we go for a walk. It's the classic one for me and so you will have seen bits and pieces of it in prior Warsaw posting.

This is a square (actually a circle, one of our favorites for very nostalgic reasons: we went to high school steps away from it) that starts us off...


... and from here, we do a detour to a favorite cafe (Oleandrow 3), one that represents the new, younger, more intense and at the same time take-things-for-granted Poland.


Then Lazineki. The best park anywhere. So very beautiful on this cold but sunny autumnal day!






Yes, Snowdrop! We have very friendly red squirrels here!





We take an early dinner break at Zorza -- a wonderful new eatery that does "from scratch, innovative and informal" very very well! I have the stuffed cabbage with buckwheat and chanterelle mushrooms -- so authentically Polish but so creative and clever!


We continue our walk. Sunset over one of the key arteries of the city:


Onto New Town. Lovely old (though not that old) New Town.


... where I always stare at the Polish doughnuts: fried in lard, with rose jam inside and orange rind outside. Like no other!


Finally, Castle Square. Nearly the end of our walk.


We do something unusual then: we look at an apartment that's for sale. I'm curious what homeowners (or potential homeowners) deal with here and we look at a place that's beautifully located between the old town and the central, more commercial Warsaw. What would it be like to be a Varsovian now, in the new Poland?

Back at her house, my sister turns on the radio and we hear songs about the Polish autumn -- songs that date back to our high school days. She muses how she's been with the city of Warsaw through many of its epochs and turmoils and changes -- and she has. As have my friends who all still live here. Me, I come and go. I always return to the farmette, but then, I always return here as well.

Tomorrow though, I leave for Paris.