Saturday, 11 July 2015

Seven days in Warsaw in seven photos

Ul. Marszałkowska, after the thunderstorm

Panorama of Warsaw's skyline, from Most Siekierkowski

Storm clouds threatening Ursynów; Al. KEN at Metro Stokłosy

Rural Warsaw; wheat and wild oats, ul. Trombity, Jeziorki

City in mid-summer; ul. Emilii Plater

Rondo Jazdy Polskiej (no, that's not a palm - its the Polish cavalry monument)

Metro Świętokrzyska - post-modernism on Line 2
This time last year:
Best Bacon From Poland: ad on London bus, 1969

This time six years ago:
Sunset across the tracks, Nowa Iwiczna

This time seven years ago:
The storm the forecasters missed

This time eight years ago:
Peacocks in the park


Anonymous said...

7 days
took her for a drink on Tuesday
we were making love by Wednesday
and on Thursday & Friday & Saturday we chilled on Sunday
I met this girl on Monday
took her for a drink on Tuesday
we were making love by Wednesday
and on Thursday & Friday & Saturday we chilled on Sunday

DC said...

If you said "seven days" to a member of the Polish diaspora in North America (having left say 1955 or earlier) I have a pretty good guess what he would think of: Mały Władziu. I think I've only ever heard this polka in english.

Polka music, brought over by immigrants (Polish, Slovenian and others) took on a new life over here. I know it's not appreciated in Poland, but it really is too bad. This is music that I grew up with (along with The Smiths and Heaven 17) that was glue for our family. When my sister got married, there was a polka band, of course.

So many are gone now (Eddie Blazonczyk was the biggest shock) but others carry on and try to honor our forefathers, and oh yeah, have a great time! It's mostly centered around the Great Lakes, and there are multi-day festivals to bring together the rest of the faithful. To me, it's the opposite of indifference, joylessness and social distance (I used to think cool was, well, cool. Now I view it as social disfunction.)

If you ever make your grand road trip to the US or Canada Michael (and I really think you should) maybe taking in something like one of these performances would please. And, for better or worse, you could talk endlessly about what people think about their connection to Poland. (You probably won't meet later immigrants here in large number - they don't seem to favor the tradition.)

--dave in DC

Michael Dembinski said...

@ DC

Many thanks for the YouTube link. The sight (and sound) of nine accordions, four trumpets, two clarinets plus assorted fiddles - quite something! The melody and beat put me in mind of Western Swing - Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys (I've been into these guys since I turned 20). Polka was an important ingredient in Western Swing as it evolved in the radio big-band days of the 1930s and '40s.

As you point out, polka is not Polish music, hailing rather from central and eastern Europe - most probably with a Czech heart. The word 'polka' comes from 'pół' for 'half' (as in 'on the half-beat') rather than from a female resident of Poland.

Wonderful stuff, the musical DNA of nations, connecting the plains of Central Europe with those of Texas. Add a west African beat, the technology of the electric guitar, and out of Country & Western came Rock'n'Roll.