ul Piotrkowska with Jo 

restlessjo has been a blogging friend for more than a year. She lives in England, I in Australia, but we both have Polish connections and here we are meeting in Łódź, a fact that has us hugging frequently in disbelief. What a day of talk and photography, as we stroll along Piotrkowska, delighted with each other, Łódź and the ease of speaking English.

A bit of Łódź background. It was one of the biggest European textile centres in the nineteenth century. Its city icon is a boat, which is what “łódź” (pronounced woodge) means in Polish: it appears on man hole covers, the base of lampposts, garbage tins, and trams, as the mermaid does in Warsaw. I wonder at the boat, when there is no sign of a river in my limited explorations. I discover that once upon a time, according to “Łódź in your pocket”, there were eighteen rivers running though the town , keeping the factories connected to the world beyond Łódź. Chronic pollution led to a campaign to cover the rivers, which are now slowly being restored. 

Łódź is also billed as the city of film and cinema, this history memorialised in a Hollywood style pavement of the stars: Polański and Wajda both studied film in Lódź. Textile warehouses have taken on a new life: the director David Lynch has plans to set up a film studio in a former 19th-century power plant.

What are the immediate pleasures of Piotrkowska St, exposed by the observation of a pair of casual strollers, unmediated by too much information? There are a number of dramatic and enigmatic murals, over forty featured as a permanent exhibition, created by the best street artists from all over the world, including an Australian, Shida.

Then there are the bronze street statues of notable citizens, of children, and of characters from children’s books. On Saturday afternoon I watched a bride and groom being photographed near the seated children, the bride’s hand resting in the cupped hands of the smaller child.

Julian Tuwim, poet

Three factory owners

Władysław Stanisław Reymont, Nobel prize for literature

The main part of ul Piotrkowska is a promenade, the only motorised traffic being the odd taxi or delivery van. Otherwise it is occupied by bikes: cyclists, including families with young children and only occasional helmets; and rickshaws carrying the lazy up and down, including one astonishingly obese man whose belly almost scrapes the rickshaw’s canopy. This makes ambling from one side of the road to the other relatively safe, and enables the post-tall-building-photography stagger and the deep-in-conversation-as-you-snap meander to be undertaken in relative safety.

Jo and I disagree about one thing: my camera and I enjoy dilapidation, the more dilapidated the better. She however opts for the pretty, although she will admire the grandly shabby. My eye is caught by mouldings and decorative features, intimations of grandeur, but also by peeling paint and grunge, to which I’ll devote a separate post. There is no shortage of architectural pleasure.

And so ends a perfect day with a perfect companion. Thank you so much, Jo, for your warmth and conversation, and for introducing me to Łódź.

Postscript: Shooting for a documentary about Ringelblum, who built up an archive of life and death in the Warsaw ghetto which became a major source of knowledge about the Holocaust, begins in Łódź in May 2016.

About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
This entry was posted in photos, Łódź and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to ul Piotrkowska with Jo 

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Decayed or pretty, I will photograph both and this city is beautiful so my camera would be happy. You must have had such a good time and don’t tell her i said so but isn’t she gorgeous?

    Liked by 5 people

  2. restlessjo says:

    That’s how I felt too Meg. You’d gone and we’d barely started. I was bereft but so glad to have met you. You have done great justice to Piotrkowska and I can’t wait to see more of Lodz through your eyes. I remember reading long ago about the covered rivers when I first thought to visit the city. Thank you so much for helping me fulfill a whim. Love you xx xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    Woodge? Would never have guessed that! It looks a beautiful city – and sounds as though your companionship was beautiful too.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sue says:

    Sounds like you had a great time, Meg! It’s wonderful to meet blog buddies, and have a real chat rather than a virtual one… As you well know, I’m for the decrepit, so looking forward to your grunge an dilapidation post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pommepal says:

    A truly fantastic post, so many murals, I love the one of the sailing boat on the wave storming into the city buildings and the small parked cars giving it great perspective and is that a diminutive Jo taking a photo? Great sculptures and so much fascinating history and grand architecture. How you must’ve both enjoyed sharing and talking and photographing together. It is a joy to meet up with virtual friends and spend time together.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is indeed a diminutive Jo. I did think of a post with a “Where’s Wally” feel, interspersing all the photos in which Jo appears. A mural walk would’ve been a pleasure had there been more time. Made me really appreciate extended time in Warsaw.

      Liked by 2 people

      • restlessjo says:

        I’d make a great Wally! 🙂 🙂 Given the opportunity, I will go back to Lodz someday. But then, I’ve only spent 6 hours in Warsaw so I need to return there too. But not this year 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Tish Farrell says:

    I think it’s so wonderful you two have met up. Just makes me smile and smile, and what a feast you have given us here, Meg. All that wonderful street art, and well, just everything. And such lovely pix of Jo.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Heyjude says:

    I too have a huge smile on my face imagining the pair of you chattering endlessly as you snap this and that., My goodness isn’t Jo an elegant and beautiful looking lady? Oh, how I wish I had her slim build; as you are well aware, I’m rather more rotund… A lovely looking city (very much like Prague and Bratislava another city that loves the bronze sculptures) with lots of interesting architecture to gaze at. But I would never in a million years have pronounced it ‘Woodge’ 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. restlessjo says:

    I just followed the link to the graffiti article Meg. I was at the breakfast table when it read the post and saved it for later. It’s brilliant and now I won’t have to do any research either. I won’t have a clue where to start when I get home xxx


    • There’s also a Facebook page: Facebook.com/StreetArtToursInLodz – you can practise your Polish with it. We could’ve done a tour, for €50 each! There was also a leaflet from the info centre which sent me off on the hunt. I am so eager to see your Piotrkowska, but I know what you mean. I was up most of the night trying to knock three more Łódź posts into shape. The botanical gardens were far more to my taste than Manufaktura.


  9. Pingback: Six word Saturday | restlessjo

  10. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Meeting Meg | restlessjo

  11. I came from Jo’s blog, because I find it so fascinating how the blogosphere got you two meeting on an adventure in Poland 🙂


  12. Becky B says:

    Hi Meg lovely to meet you and isn’t Jo wonderful. I was lucky enough to meet her at the end of last year and we’ve met up a couple of times since in her beloved Algarve. She’s such fun, and clearly you are wonderful too having read her post on your stroll and now yours.

    Love this post, and wow what a city and what a stroll. So so much to see. I think I’m a little bit like both of you as I seem to vary from the pretty to the dilapidated!

    Looking forward to following you.


  13. findingnyc says:

    What fun that you and Jo were able to meet up! And now I will be following your blog because she mentioned you in hers. I’ve loved the opportunity to meet fellow bloggers when they come to New York City – there’s something really special about new friendships like that. And I love all of the public art in these photos! I recognize the styles of a couple of the muralists – the artist who painted the mural in your second photo also painted one in New York City recently. And the bronze sculptures are really great! I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future. Best, Susan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Susan and welcome to Warsaw. It was great meeting Jo, and having Jude to stay at Potato Point. I have another treat in store here in June, and maybe a gallivant to England later in the year.

      I’ve just had a quick look at one of your posts, the one about the Dumbo neighbourhood, and you make it look wonderfully attractive – I’ve never been drawn to NY before. I’ll be back when I’ve catered for tonight’s influx of twins and hungry parents.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. restlessjo says:

    Reblogged this on restlessjo and commented:
    In case any of you missed this! I couldn’t let you, could I? Many thanks for your friendship, lovely lady. Smiles and hugs coming your way 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a beautiful post Meg – so interesting to find out more about Lodz and see the city through yours and Jo’s eyes. I have found your blog via Jo and will enjoy reading about your adventures in Poland, best wishes Rosemary (Le Chic En Rose)


  16. This sounds like a wonderful time, and your pictures are fabulous! What a charming town. Like you, I adore the shabby chic look and am always attracted to dishevelment.

    I also met Jo when I was traveling in the Algarve in 2013; she kindly welcomed me as a guest to her Tavira home. It’s great to see pictures of her here, as it’s been a while since I’ve seen her in person. I know the scene well: chatting, laughing, snapping photos, and wandering all over creation. It’s a memory you will always cherish.

    It’s so nice to meet one of Jo’s blogging buddies with a Polish connection. I’m glad Jo shared your post! 🙂


  17. Love the statues – especially the pianist!


  18. Dina says:

    This post put a big smile on my face! 🙂 Great tour of Lodz and I’m happy to see that you both had such a lovely day and got on so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. How wonderful to spend some time together exploring part of Poland – isn’t the internet, and blogging, a fabulous thing?! I love those statues – each and every one of them.


  20. Sherri says:

    Hi Meg! I came over from Jo’s site to say how much I enjoyed your post…the narrative and your gorgeous pics… and how wonderful that you both met in Poland! What a fantastic day you both had 😉


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