What struck me about this view is the total absense of any element in the picture that could place it any time later than 1991 (when Trabant production came to an end).
Time, I think, to fish out more photos, where car and background hark back to another age. Worldwide, the Trabant is probably the most iconic vehicle of the communist era, even though in Poland it was relatively rare compared to the Fiat 126P Maluch. Yet the Fiat 126's more modern design, and the fact that it was a familiar shape in western Europe, deprives it of icon status outside of Poland.
Right: another Trabant in Warsaw (photo from February 2008). This is ul. Rzymowskiego in lower Mokotów, not too far from Galeria Mokotów. Everything is right in this picture, down to the fetching shade of orange for the waste bin and the pre-MSI signage on the entrance to the flats, built of course using wielka płyta (pre-fabricated units).
Left: FSM Syrena 105 in Saska Kępa. The Syrena, an indigenous Polish design (both body and engine) was built in smaller numbers than the Trabant (half a million vs. three million) and was built mainly for the domestic market, so its communist cult car status is reserved for Poland; sadly the Syrena is not widely known abroad.
The 105, unlike its predecessors, had front-hinged doors. Nicknamed skarpeta ('sock') because, well, it looked like one. Or indeed, as some wags put it - because it smelled like one.
Above: Zielona Góra, January 2009. Another photo where nothing gives away modernity; this could be 1991 or even 1981. The Trabant is a late-model 1.1 Universal, or estate car (kombi). Like the Trabants above the 1.1 was powered by a VW Polo engine rather than the original wheezy and polluting two-stroke unit originally fitted to the Trabant 601 from 1963 to 1990.
Above: W-wa Zachodnia, 2009. Or 1989? Can you see any signs of modernity in this, Warsaw's (if not Poland's) worst railway station?
And so: a challenge to my fellow bloggers: Can you post a photo from present-day Poland that still reeks of the atmosphere of the communist era? Extra points if you can do so in Warsaw, rather than some miasto powiatowe in the middle of nowhere. Photos will be rigorously scrutinised for signs of modern advertising, signage, decoration, fashions, mobile telephony etc.
Original posts are here (Mokotów), here (Saska Kępa) and here (Zielona Góra).
This time last year:
Warsaw's wonderful nooks and crannies
This time three years ago:
Viaduct to the airport