Sunday, 31 October 2010

1,000 posts: Best of Jeziorki

Well, this is my 1,000th post since I got blogging in April 2007. So, to celebrate, some of the best pictures from the first thousand. This post is dedicated to my most enduring readers, my parents; Bohdan and Maria Dembinski, of Ealing, in West London. May they enjoy the next thousand, and then some more!

Lesson no. 1 from the past three and half years - always have your camera with you. Below: a blazing bus, ul. Puławska, June 2008. Full story, more pics, here. Good pictures sell. I got one onto the front page of Gazeta Stołeczna the next day.

Another public transport mishap that got into the pages of Gazeta Stołeczna, commuters abandoning a broken-down train outside W-wa Powiśle station (below); January 2010. Story, pics here.

Meteorological phenomena up next. I had never seen a mammatus cloud formation in my life, so when these showed up over our house, in April 2007, I ran out to snap away. Awesome, literally.

Jeziorki's had its share of extreme weather since I started blogging, but no event affected local residents more than the Great Corpus Christi Flood of 2010.

Here's ul. Puławska, water from one side of the six-lane highway to the other. People living on our street just six numbers further down were flooded and without electricity for six days. We stayed dry and were without prond for a mere 36 hours. Stories here (Pozytywki and Puławska), here (Trombity and Kórnicka), and the storm itself (here).

My favourite photo from these past 1,000 posts is not one of mine, but from Rysiek Szydło, over in Warsaw with his infra-red camera (below). This is the far end of ul. Trombity. More from this ethereally sublime series of photos here.

Blogging Jeziorki over the past three and half years, I'd say the biggest single change to the neighbourhood has been the dismantling of the aggregate loading ramp (rampa na kruszywa) on ul. Karczunkowska. This splendid and unusual feature, 12 metres above ground level, was a local landmark.

Above: the line running down from the ramp. Mysiadło in the distance on the left. Below: the unloading ramp itself, looking north. Aggregate would be dropped from wagons onto heaps below for trans-shipment to building sites by road.
The ramp has been levelled with the ground for a Spanish property developer, who had intended to build hundreds of homes on the site. So far - nothing. The global recession put a stop to that. "Grass triumphs. And I must say I'm rather glad," to quote John Betjeman, however, the ramp's gone and we'll not see its likes again.

The other big development story - this one more positive - is the commencement of work to build at least a part of the Warsaw southern bypass (Południowa Obwodnica Warszawy), the S2, and the link to it from ul. Sasanki, the S79. Work got underway in September 2009 and proceeds at a rapid pace despite a long snowy winter and flooding this summer. Below: in January this year, work started on viaducts linking Sasanki to the new southbound expressway.

Back to April of this year, and the numbing state of shock the country was in after the Smolensk tragedy. I blogged my reactions to how I felt Warsaw was reacting to it (here); my blog was -flatteringly - turned into a pop video by director Nick Morris (embedded below):

Post-Smolensk, political passion ran high; the most-commented post on my blog to date was this one about the fault-lines in Polish society, which ran to 21 comments.

The saddest event in our own lives was the passing of my father-in-law Tadeusz Lesisz in September 2009. His obituary was carried by the The Times, the Independent, the Liverpool Daily Post and The Scotsman. His funeral is recorded here.

Interestingly, the most-visited page over the years has been my translation of Julian Tuwim's Lokomotywa (here). Illustration from the 1958 book with the poem (below) by Jan Lenica...
...And my own homage to the above illustration, taken in January this year in the woods north of Czachówek (below).

Readers of W-wa Jeziorki are mainly situated in five countries, according to the recently launched Blogger Stats; 41% from Poland, 29% from the US, 17% from the UK, 4% from Canada and 3% from Germany. The remaining 5% are from the rest of the world.
These, then, are my own personal highlights from the past 1,000 posts - have I missed anything?


student SGH said...

A beautiful summary of over three and a half years of blogging.

Keep it up and never let us, your readers, down, as you've never done hitherto.

I'm sure you have energy and ispiration for another one thousand posts, so I'm looking forward to reading lots of witty and well-thought-out postings laced with excellent pics.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations from a Polish expat in NY! I discovered your blog perhaps a year ago, and have been enjoying it ever since. Excellent mixture of commentary, photos and history references.
Best wishes.

student SGH said...

have I missed anything?

And "The best post on W-wa Jeziorki blog" award goes to... Balancing on the Edge of Chaos.

Anonymous said...

Michael - wonderful posts over the years - I hit your blog on a daily basis.


Adam Kosterski said...

I shall continue to follow your blog as I've always admired its (generally) measured tone, the writer's exuberance for life and the interesting and informative content.

Difficult to chose a favourite blog entry but this one had me phoning all the media to get them to acknowledge (with no success unfortunately) the additional significance of the 10.04.2010

Kolin said...

I value this blog for as a thoughtful, artful window on aspects of our Warsaw life and environs. Congratulations on your dedication to the blog and your readers, and thanks for your perspective. Keep it coming.

Anonymous said...

Congrats and 7,615 more!

basia said...

What an achievement!
Your keen eye and thoughtful insights are an inspiration. It's been lovely sharing the last 18 months with you.
Keep 'em coming

jan said...

Keep on blogging !

Pacze Moj said...

Your translation of "Lokomotywa" is a service both to English and Tuwim. (And my entry point onto your blog!)

Congratulations on your 1,000th.


Island1 said...

Congratulations on the millennial milestone.

I enjoy it as much as everyone else, but also recognise it will one day be an invaluable historical document of everyday life of a fascinating period of Polish history.

Rysiek said...

Never a dull post.... am continually amazed at your polymathic obervations and comments..

Wojciech Wysocki said...

Dear Michael,

Congrats! I wish you several thousand more posts! I have discovered your blog by accident a couple of months ago and I keep following it!

Wszystkiego najlepszego, trzymam kciuki,

Wojtek Wysocki

Michael Dembinski said...

Thanks everyone! It's comments like this that keep me blogging :-)

Enough wallowing in self-gratulation - on with the next post!

Decoy said...

Much delayed - seeing as I read this post a few days ago, but belated congratulations!