Friday, 9 October 2015

Chill beneath blue skies

The first frost has made itself manifest; since Wednesday night, when I returned to Warsaw from Wałbrzych, it's been cold. From 22C on Sunday to 1C this morning, it's been a massive drop in temperature. Yet the skies remain clear and the rain stays mainly somewhere else. Here it's sunny and dry - and cold. Today's maximum temperature was 9C in the early afternoon.

Our City looks fabulous today. A day to put on the polarising filter and seek out the Sublime Aesthetic - the City of Steel and Glass beneath a Sky of Indigo. Those frequently felt familiar flashbacks keep flashing away.

Below: the fountain to the north of Pałac Kultury. In the background - from left to right - Złota 44, the Intercontinental, Rondo ONZ 1 and Warsaw Financial Centre. Beneath the fountain, a touching sight - a group of primary-school children laying wreaths at the Janusz Korczak memorial.

Left: the InterContinental Hotel with the sky cranked up to max. The cutaway in the building allows sunlight to fall on the blocks of flats behind it.

The swimming pool on the 44th floor of the hotel, at the same level as the clock on the Palace of Culture, is the highest in Europe. To the right of the InterContinental is the Warsaw Financial Centre.
Right: not a poster - another photo with the polarising filter intensifying and darkening the blueness of the sky.

Taken from outside Warsaw Central railway station, looking up at Złota 44, with the glazed copulas of Złote Tarasy shopping centre in the foreground, and the Lumen building to the right. Warsaw's looking right grand today.
Below: ul. Świętokrzyska, near my office (to the right of this photo). I like the Iberian typeface on the awning over the shop, the American flags and the 1,000cc Kawasaki police motorbike parked out front. Since the second line of the Metro opened, the stretch of Świętokrzyska (Calle Santacruz) from ul. Marszałkowska to Rondo ONZ is looking finer than ever, with broad pavements and a cycle path. And a great kitchen-equipment shop.

Left: looking at Złota 44 and the Palace of Culture from the west, in the late afternoon. This view, along ul. Złota, one of the two streets bisected by the Palace footprint (along with ul. Chmielna) shows nicely the postmodern, the neo-classical and Warsaw's surviving pre-war tenements in one shot.

In two weeks time, the clocks go back, the hammer comes down. Five months of gloom. Any sunny day is a bonus. The darkness makes us appreciate the summer months all the more; it is a time to work hard, earn money and save up to enjoy the easier living that summer brings us in the Northern Hemisphere.

This time last year:
Art Deco architecture in Renfrewshire and Ealing

This time two years ago:
Vote to see off HG-W or not?

This time four years ago:
Poles vote for continuity

This time five years ago:
Our daily Polish bread

This time six years ago:
Why we should abandon the car; Palace of Culture in October sun

This time seven years ago:
Proto-park+ride, Jeziorki (then a dozen cars a day. Today, it's 70+ cars left on the verges of ul. Gogolińska).


Bernd Z said...

Nice description, as always! And indeed, beautiful weather right now

Anonymous said...

The last photo is along ul. Złota, not along ul. Twarda. Twarda goes NE from the crossing which is visible behing the pedestrian.

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Anonymous - you are right; I took the photo from ul. Twarda which ends on Żelazna, Złota starts on the other side. Will correct.

(In general I still have a problem with bisyllabic Warsaw street names! Polna, Rolna, Dolna, Wolna, Smolna, Prosta, Piękna, Chłodna, Chmielna, Sienna etc)