Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

They Tore It Down Faster Than I Could Visit It, plus More Warsaw

Last night, I went by the Red Pig for dinner and... well, I was turned away. It's so popular that they're booked up weeks in advance, so if you're ever planning on eating there, you'd do well to either go at around 2 pm (they said there should be no problem today) or book well in advance. Instead, I took a tram way out to the biggest mall in Central Europe and had a fine meal at Bierhalle, including microbrew Pils and Weizen (both excellent), Polish brandy (miserable), and sour soup, pierogi, and something like blini for dessert. A wonderful place, nonsmoking even, and I'd go back again given the chance.

This morning, I got up early and headed out to the Warsaw Rising Musueum, a blatantly politicized musuem built at huge expense two years ago by the Kacyzinski brothers, the two men currently running Poland. It was interesting, but again frustrating as museum staff were not only unhelpful but also rude as hell (ironically, I put 10 zloty in the donation box because I couldn't find anywhere to pay on my way in, and on my way out of the museum a guard got angry with me for not having a 4 zloty ticket, taking me by the arm and leading me outside and show me the signed-in-Polish-only ticket booth that was nowhere near the museum entrance). Oops. Anyhow, ultimately it was interesting and I think I better understand the origins of modern Polish nationalism (from Radio Mary in the south to the talk of "Lublin Poland" that I hear so often here).

This is the view from the top of the museum:



What you're looking at here is a big empty lot. This used to be the most remarkable supermarket in all of communist Europe: this was Supersam!



Uniquely, this supermarket did not buy anything from state companies, but instead had private contracts with their suppliers. It was built in the 1960s and was famous throughout Comecon countries for having goods you simply couldn't find anywhere else at any price. Shortly before it was demolished, Poles tried to save it as an example of the best of 1960s architecture that they had, but they were too late.

It was torn down a few weeks ago.

Oh well.

Heading back into the city center, I went to the People's Museum to check out the 20st century artwork only to find this:



Damn you, Poland, and your nothing's ever open ways!

On the bright side, this was across the street:



Look! Tango and Cash are alive and well and offering extra pierogis! Wow!

I'm off to check out of the hotel in a bit. There's apparently a museum with a special exhibit of Socialist posters nearby, and then it's to the Red Pig for lunch and then the train to Berlin. Woohoo!

Oh, and I'm happy to report that I've finally started to grok the transit here: trams are your only friend, and some of them even have been modernised to the point where they announce stops before you get there. Awesome.
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