Friday, 3 February 2012

Under Rondo Dmowskiego

Whether I come to work by Metro to Centrum or by train to W-wa Śródmieście, or if an eastbound tram or westbound bus drops me off at Centrum, I have to go across Rondo Dmowskiego via the subway passage that leads pedestrians across Warsaw's central intersection. Located at the intersection of Al. Jerozolimskie (east-west) and ul. Marszałkowska (north-south), the roundabout is named after Roman Dmowski, pre-war National Democrat leader. The man was clearly highly influential in Poland regaining independence in 1918, but remains controversial in Poland today for many reasons, not least his anti-Semitism.

Above: emerging from Metro Centrum, or coming by foot from W-wa Śródmieście, one passes through the Patelnia ('frying pan') as it is known by Varsovians, a concrete square below street level. Vivid street art covers its walls. Commuters are dressed for the cold - few animal rights protesters make a fuss about the wearing of fur when it's -20C.

Above and below: the steps leading up to street level - to tram and bus stops. After December's occupation of the Central railway station by ads for H&M, the Swedish clothing retailer strikes again, this time by plastering black and white images of David Beckham all over Centrum. He seems to have been struck down by a disfiguring skin disease of his upper arms and shoulders, or else he hasn't washed them for months. Note the strong, low sunlight and the shadows it casts.

The underground passage forms a circle under the roundabout. Inside there are small shops selling footwear, used mobiles, knick-knacks, newspapers - and toasted cheese sandwiches that are responsible for the unpleasant stench of burnt casein that infests the passages.

Above: on my way home, about to dive into the underground passage en route for W-wa Śródmieście and a Jeziorki-bound train. A bit early today, as the electricity failed in the office; my brave new laptop's battery lasted until four pm before it gave out.

This time last year:
My Most favourite bridge

This time two years ago:
Street lighting under the snow

This time three years ago:
Ul. Poloneza - archival video before the S2 was built

This time four years ago:
Aerial juxtaposition over Jeziorki

1 comment:

jel said...

Patelnia is also a place where people like to present their political views. They make it using different forms; sometimes v. odd.
I like your photos - as always.:)