AU in Krakow

6 American University students, 1 coordinator, and 1 professor--in Poland. This should get interesting.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Irony and Contrast in Warsaw

My first impression of Warsaw was the faster pace, the nicer cars, and the noise of a city. It looked and acted like a city. It also had a stronger reminder of communism in the architecture. The architecture gives Warsaw a sense of a working atmosphere. The large, boxy, boring, buildings, statues, and monuments impart a communist feeling. Warsaw is the place to come and work, not play. It is like there is a gray cloud saying "work, work, work" floating over Warsaw. This is mostly true, except inside the seemingly post-communist shops, that have their own character. In contrast
My first impression of Warsaw was the faster pace, the nicer cars, and the noise of a city. It looked and acted like a city. It also had a stronger reminder of communism in the architecture. The archictecture gives Warsaw a sense of “working” atmosphere. The large, boxy, boring, and uncreative buildings, statues, and monuments impart a communist feeling. Warsaw is the place to come and work, not play. It’s almost like there is a gray cloud saying “work, work, work” floats over Warsaw. This is mostly true except inside the newer shops that are seemingly post-communist, that have their own character. In contrast Wajinkski park is a paradise within this tormented city. The grass, trees, ponds, and music festivals are a huge contrast to the Kultural palace. An ironic escape into a secret world away from the constant noise of the city.
Warsaw is a place of contrast. A few blocks away from the reconstructed old town was a facinating monument to the bravery and betrayl of those in the Warsaw uprising. The civilians depicted rise out of the seemingly rubble of a sculpture. Some with guns, grenades, and strickingly one with a bottle. A simple glass bottle would not kill a well armed German soldier-but it brings to light the Polish pride and dedication to defending Poland. In another part of the sculpture a Polish solider is holding a baby. Although I am sure there was not a live baby in the uprising it shows a deeper sense of the uprising that goes beyond a mere retaliation. This uprising was for future children and the existance of Poland. A few blocks away the new, bright colorful old town buzzed with tourists, street muscians, and merchants selling their wares. It’s difficult to imagine the old town was once leveled to the ground. But life now goes on, children play in the water of the fountain, splashing with happiness on a summer day.  Lazienki park is a paradise within this tormented city. The grass, trees, ponds, and music festivals are a huge contrast to the Kultural Palace.  Lazienki park is an ironic escape into a secret world away from the constant noise of the city.
   Warsaw is a place of contrast. A few blocks away from the reconstructed old town was a fascinating monument to the bravery and betrayal of those in the Warsaw uprising. The civilians depicted arise out of the seemingly rubble of a sculpture. Some with guns, grenades, and strikingly one with a bottle. A simple glass bottle would not kill a well armed German soldier-but it brings to light the Polish pride and dedication to defending Poland. In another part of the sculpture a Polish soldier is holding a baby. Although I am sure there was not a live baby in the uprising, it shows a deeper sense that goes beyond a mere retaliation. This uprising was for future children and the existence of Poland. A few blocks away the new bright and colorful old town buzzes with tourists, street musicians, and merchants selling their wares. It’s difficult to imagine the old town was once leveled to the ground. But life goes on now, children play in the water of a fountain, splashing with happiness on a summer day.


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