I have been avoiding museums lately. There is only so much pain and suffering this country has gone through that I can take. I have been passing what time, when I am not on the computer, out walking around the parks and neighborhoods of the city. More than museums and cemeteries, this city is filled with parks of all descriptions.
The parks are well maintained. The photo above is of what used to be the driveway to a house, not far from my place, which is boarded up. Sometimes when I take photos I don’t realise that I have turned on iPhone’s Live Photo function. The gif at top is the live photo of the still. I am not sure which one I like best. Most of the inadvertent live photos are pretty lame, I have to admit.
Above and below are views of a type of residential block that can be seen in the area of town where I live. Unlike my block; which is an oval roadway with a park/parking lot in the middle, and the buildings built around the outside edges; this block is square with the buildings facing out toward the thru roads. There is a common courtyard in the middle.
It had taken the bike rental company 12 days to straighten out my account so that I could rent bikes again. While it wasn’t the 14 days they had warned about, I still wasn’t happy about the situation. There are several bike stations around the park, so I was able to finish my outing with a bike ride.
It wasn’t a smooth rental. The first bike I rented, I couldn’t get it out of its dock. Since you are not charged if it is less than 20 minutes. I was not charged for that one. I returned it on the app and tried to rent another one. That one I manhandled out of the rack, since it too was quite stuck. I took it for a ride around the park. It had an irritating squeak in the front wheel, so when I came around back to that station I returned it. Only to find that he had never rented out properly and I wasn’t charged for it.
I switched the second bike out for a third. That one was much better. I finished my ride on that one. I was charged 1zt, which was okay because an hour of riding is 1zt (about 27 cents US), and my two rides added up to an hour. If you ride for less than twenty minutes the ride is free.
Riding the bike didn’t quite close my rings on my apple watch, so I walked around the lagoon path until I had met my exercise goal. With the bike ride there wasn’t much left to go. I was on the other side of the lagoon from my favourite bar, Bar Kępa Potocka, when I finished, and realized that I was thirsty.
I went over and got a beer. It was rather crowded, so I took my beer and went to sit in an area where folk wait for takeout food. No one was there but me. Usually at this bar, the beer is served in glasses. I guess on weekends people are more likely to go outside the bar with drinks. It isn’t officially allowed to drink in the parks outside restaurant and bar areas, but people do it anyway.
Rather than having a second beer, I decided to check out another park bar, which I often pass. Prochownia Żoliborz is located in the Park Stefana Żeromskiego. Normally when I walked past there were a few people sitting in beach chairs in small groups in the general vicinity of the bar. On this day the whole section of the park were it is located was filled.
I ordered a beer at the outdoor bar, and got into a conversation with the barkeep about rules for drinking in public. He told me that outside drinking is supposed to only take place in at tables and chairs which belong to the bars and cafes, but that people stretch the rule. I was lucky to find a lone chair unoccupied well away from everyone.
These photos were taken at nearly 1900 (7pm). Sun doesn’t set here until 2100 (9pm). Sunrise is currently around about 0420 (4:30am).
I was sitting facing the round building which was part of the old fort. It has a sod roof. Looking up I saw a hooded crow watching the people. He looked a lot more ominous in person. I took my time finishing my second beer, and began to think about going over to the Da Aldo for late lunch. I had really been torn between having the gnocchi and the risotto when I was there before.
I was in no hurry, so I strolled out to the fence of the park to look at the plackards I had seen there before. The fence is near the Plac Wilsona, a metro station, which I have cut through to pass under traffic when it is too thick. Speaking of being thick; I have been rather thick myself. I have passed the sign below many times without realizing that the area was named for President Woodrow Wilson. I like the Polish spelling of his name.
“An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.” Woodrow Wilson, in the 13th of his 14 points in a speech to Congress on 8 January 1918.
I was surprised to see that the placards I saw before were gone and a new set were in their place. I guess I should have taken photos of all the old ones, but I had no idea that they were not permanent. The most recent ones didn’t have English subtitles, but the photographs alone tell a tale. From the rough condition the city was once in, through the times of Lech Wałęsa, to John Paul II.
As I was finishing up looking at the photos, I got a message from a friend in Hawaii. We arranged a voice call over Viber. She was walking in a park in Honolulu as I was walking down the street in Warsaw. Technology isn’t all bad. I had on my headset so I was able to keep my phone at the ready to take phones, but only saw one bit of graffiti that was worth recording.
We talked and talked. Not just on the way to restaurant but all through my meal. At the end of the meal, I thanked her for keeping me company for dinner. I was glad to have been able to get a table on the sidewalk without a reservation. I thought that the waitress was telling me that the risotto didn’t have much of a lemon taste. It was wonderfully tart and lemony, perhaps she was trying to warn me of how much limon there was in the dish. The risotto was a little on the thick side, but that can be forgiven since the big plump fresh shrimp were perfectly cooked. The tastes was well worth eating, though it will not edge its way into my list of lifetime favorite dishes.
The waitress convinced me to have the tart for dessert rather than the pannacotta. She returned later to confess that another server had sold the last serving. I am rather glad they did. The pannacotta was wonderful. I forgot to take a photo of it. I guess I will have to go back and have another one to get a photo. When the waitress set it down in front of me she gave the plate a quick jiggle to show me it was perfectly set. It was!