When I visit Warsaw last year I heard about the pre-war tenement quarter on the other side of river Wisła in Praga and I took the tram … and walked and walked … asked and asked, but no luck. But I found a bridal dress market instead, the Różycki Bazar …. the black market trade once thrived under Nazi and communist governments, but nowadays the historic market (it began in 1901) is a ghostly image of its former self.
So when we met Meg and she started talking about that the quarters was used as film locations for Roman Polanski’s award-winning film “The Pianist” from 2002. It was a lot easier to find the locations for the quarter on Goggle, but Meg took Sue and me there so we didn’t have to walk around and look for the streets. There are tram stops in both ends: tram 26. It was a very hot morning, even if we gave ourselves an early start.
“The Pianist” is the true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, at the time Poland’s most acclaimed pianist whose life is transformed during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw beginning in 1939. The film spans several years and maps his many personal trials in addition to providing the perspectives of his family, rebel factions, and sympathizers.
I haven’t seen the film yet.
So we walked around and just looked at the two main streets; Mała and Konopacka, it looks like some houses (apartments) hasn’t been touch at all and some have been converted into modern living inside without any changes has been done to the houses outside, very cleverly done. But noticeable because of the new windows and balcony doors.
There is also many newly finished and ongoing development. Praga has many old buildings that are left to their own destiny … not only in the area we spent a couple of hours. A true shame. Today Praga are an up and coming, artistic, bohemian, etc – but still, there is a lot in decline.
It’s the oldest part of Warsaw and Mała means “Little”.
Sue and Meg talked to a lady that lived in one of the buildings that look like it hadn’t been touched, I don’t know even if they were talking the same language. *smile
I met two street sweepers … the one with most chatterer wasn’t up for a photo, but he gave his partner away … even if he didn’t say no, he didn’t look too happy to getting his photo taken …. but I did it anyway.
Personal I saw so much beauty in all the roughness … and decline.
It started to get really hot around 11.30 am already and we decided that we need somewhere with A/C, and Meg had was tide up for the afternoon, so we decided to take the tram to the Old Town (Stare Miasto) and change into bus 160 that took us back to the main bus station next to your hotel.
Back at the bus station we went for lunch at our favorite waterhole at the A/C chilled shopping mall … Sphinx. Great place, there is loads of places to eat at the mall … but we liked the menu and the service, plus there is a great view over the mall from the over-pass tables.
“In life, toughness and roughness go together.”