Friday, 6 April 2018

Łódź is a film set

Back from London, four hours' sleep, and off to Łódź for a conference. And to see Moni after work, to show me the sights of city she now calls home.

"Take me back, carry back, down to Instagram Alley where I started from." This is weird. This is Pasaż Róży (lit. 'Passage of the Rose'), where the buildings have been stuccoed with shards of mirror. We were there at exactly the right time - the westering sun was shining right down the alley against a perfectly cloudless sky. Tourists and locals alike were in for a treat.

Łódź - an up and coming city, stranger and more intriguing that most Polish cities. Willed out of the despair that overtook it in the 1990s, it is sprouting new appendages - such as Brama Miasta (lit. 'city gates' - right in the middle of the city), which will be rising skywards right by the new Łódź Fabryczna station.

Is this Liverpool? Are we by a ventilating tower of the Birkinhead Tunnel? No, this is a fragment of the facade of the old telephone exchange on  ul. Tadeusza Kościuszki.

Is this a Punjabi palace? Are we in Guadalajara? No, this is ul. Piotrkowska, Europe's longest shopping thoroughfare, pedestrianised for the main part. One by one, the industrialists' Art Nouveau palaces that line the street are being renovated to their original state.

A kiss at the corner - the weather creates a Mediterranean atmosphere, the strong sunlight pulls the contrast from the stone, the architecture a theatrical set.

Łódź. One big film set. Literally. This is the cinema from Wojciech Marczewski's Escape from the Liberty Cinema (1990).

There's shabbiness, there's flash but above all a sense of a city with many faces which know where it's going.

We ate at Laxmi Indian restaurant (excellent) and imbibed at Piwoteka (excellent, but the Delirium Tremens on tap was off). Łódź impresses me more and more with each subsequent visit.

This time last year:
Contemplative imagery, Ealing and Warsaw

This time six years ago:
Baffled: my first visit to Jeziorki's Lidl 

This seven years ago:
In vino veritas?

This eight two years ago:
Are we getting more intelligent?

This nine three years ago:
Lenten recipe: tuna, chickpea and pesto salad

This time ten years ago:
Coal train sidings, Konstancin-Jeziorna

This time 11 years ago:
Jeziorki from the air


Anonymous said...

It's ul. PiotrKowska (that is, leading to PiotrKów Trybunalski), not Piotrowska!

Not just a typo, it's a heavy insult for Lodzermenschen. :D

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Anonymous:

Many thanks, spotted and corrected. It's been a long day :-)