Sunday, June 27, 2010

Łódź Poland

We've been traveling a bit lately and it's time to catch up and post some pictures! I spent a week in Łódź for work and was able to enjoy walking Piotrkowska Street (shown below) which is one of the longest commercial streets in Europe. It is full of cafes and restaurants, many of which are out on the street which is mostly pedestrian.

 

It is always interesting to see what is similar and what is different when you are in another country. I was certainly taken aback to see a sign, familiar in Vermont, for a snowboard shop!



Some of the older textile factories have recently been reinvented as an upscale shopping and entertainment experience called Manufaktura. The economy in Łódź seems to be booming; there is a surplus of well educated and affordable (compared to me for example) engineers which is attracting many companies to the area.

I really enjoyed my week in Łódź. There is an optimism in the air that I haven't felt here in the US for many years. Things are getting better and though many challenges remain (apparently you cannot safely park your car in Łódź without using a guarded parking lot), people are really enjoying themselves. 

Oh and the food was great! I got to have zurek again for the first time since 1999, I tried beef tongue for the first time and really liked it, and I was able to quench (momentarily) my fondness for Polish beer.

This last shot is from Liberty Square which holds a statue of General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a military polymath who served as the head engineer of the Continental Army during the American Revolution (responsible for securing Philadelphia as well as West Point from British attack) and whose statue graces Lafayette Square near the White House.
 

3 comments:

  1. How interesting you should point out the contrast between our country and Poland. There is no optimism here. I see more and more dread and despair.

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  2. Hey Tyler,

    I did not realize that you were so much into photography. A lot of very nice shots over here. Well done!

    As to Łódź - I think that your view might be a little distorted by the people in our office. Most are young, well educated and earn significantly more than the average salary in Łódź (which I would say is about 600-700 USD per month). They have all the reasons to be happy. But, Łódź is not such an optimistic place (sorry for my Polish mentality coming through ;). It has historically been a working class city and it shows. There is less cultural events and so-called high-culture than in other Polish cities of comparable size. It is too close to Warsaw, which sucks in a lot of the more entrepreneurial and better educated individuals. Did you know that over 100 thousand people travel from Łódź to Warsaw for work EVERY DAY? But things do change, and they change for the better, I hope. There are more class-A offices being built, the airport is expanding, in 2-3 years two major highways will have a crossing 20 kilometers from Łódź... Fingers crossed for the future!

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  3. I opened an office in Lodz over 4 years ago and love the area. The working class roots, technical universities and the fact that 100K people travel to Warsaw make it a great city to open a business to attract that talent that is leaving for other European cities. 7 people that work for me came back from abroad to work for us. But yes, all are young, well educated and very happy to make much more than the average - but this is the start of a city turnaround that is evident everywhere you go. I love Lodz!

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