Monday, February 28, 2011

59/365: Piotrek's kitchen

59/365: Piotrek's kitchen
59/365: Piotrek's kitchen, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

February 28th

A while back I sold Piotrek this cabinet and shelf set for pennies- it was cluttering up my living room. He sunk a sink into it. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

58/365: Zulka

58/365: Zulka
58/365: Zulka, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

February 27th

Asleep in a wire basket. Well...pretending to be asleep.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

57/365:Granola and code

57/365:Granola and code
57/365:Granola and code, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

February 26th

I made some granola yesterday, because the stuff you get in stores costs way too much, and always has raisins in it. I hate raisins!

So I bought a bag of spelt, a bag of barley, and a bag of rye, mixed it up with buckwheat honey (best honey ever ever), canola oil, cinnamon, baked it and then stirred in cumbled chocolate and walnuts. I'm set for breakfast for the next two months :P

Oh, and it made a good midnight snack. I'm building a website for a friend and...well, I'm not a programmer, so it's kind of uphill.

Friday, February 25, 2011

56/365: Critical Mass

56/365: Critical Mass
56/365: Critical Mass, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
February 25th

I don't know what kind of a dumb idea of mine it was to declare the start of bike season at a Critical Mass in February, when it's -13 degrees Celsius outside... Brrrr.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

55/365: February is heart month

55/365: February is heart month
February 24th

While I was in Dresden, a friend texted me about this heart. "You should go take a picture!" she said. It's just got such a strange face.

I didn't get around to it until well after Valentine's day, but the heart was still there. This flower shop is on Kilińskiego, one of the main city arteries, and at the same time one of the poorest and dodgiest streets in Lodz. I guess it suits it :)

Other photos from the area:


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

54/365: Bar

54/365: Bar
54/365: Bar, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
February 23rd

There's no bar there anymore. Just the neon, which no longer works. It took me a good year to first notice it was up there, even though I walk down this street very often.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

51/365: Snowy Germany

51/365: Snowy Germany
51/365: Snowy Germany, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
February 20th

A photo from the train ride home. It was very crowded, but we had seats because we got on at the first stop, in Dresden. After the border, people were packed like sardines.

Train ride home

Train ride home

Saturday, February 19, 2011

50/365: Dwarf at the Cholera Well

50/365: Dwarf at the Cholera Well
February 19th

In 1841, an epidemic of cholera broke out along the Elbe. Through some fortune, it never touched Dresden. In gratitude to God for sparing the great city, the local baron Eugen von Gutschmid commissioned a Neo-Gothic fountain of granite and sandstone. The architect of this piece was Gottfried Semper (author of the eponymous Semperoper which stands across the street). The fountain looks like a church spire, with four figures on its four sides: Wittekind ,an 8th century Saxon prince, St. Boniface , the first apostle of the Germans, John the Baptist, and St. Elisabeth of Hungary. The basins are supported by dwarves, and green lizards climb over the edges.


Lizards on the Cholera Well

Friday, February 18, 2011

49/365: The Golden Rider

49/365: The Golden Rider
49/365: The Golden Rider, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
February 18th

Goldener Reiter, a golden statue of Augustus the Strong, a Saxon prince who was also king of Poland, and so the statue depicts him riding East. More information about this king on Wikipedia- the story is tangled (what's a Polish king doing on a pedestal in Dresden, you might wonder) and full of silliness.

For example, Augustus did not actually win the election (Poland had been electing its kings since a bout of interregnum in the late 16th century, with hilarious consequences...but that's another story) but he decided that he didn't care, and raced towards Cracow, where all Polish kings were crowned. He arrived there before the actual winner of the election, the French prince Conti, and bribed his supporters to grant him entry into the capital. But once inside, he discovered an insurmountable obstacle: the doors to the castle vault, where the royal insignia were kept, were shut, and six of the seven keys required to open them were in the hands of men who favoured Conti!

What to do? To break down the doors would be a sacrilege. So, believe it or not, a hole was knocked in the vault wall. The sacred doors remained intact, the insignia were recovered, and in 1697, Augustus the Strong was crowned King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (we were a Commonwealth back then).

Seven years later, he was dethroned by the opposition...but refused to acknowledge the fact until 1706. And in 1709, he came back again! Backed by the Tsar Peter The Great, he climbed right back up on that throne.

That's just a fraction of this guy's story.

No wonder that his son decided his shamelessly perserverent parent deserved a golden statue in his honour.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

48/365: Dresden bei Nacht

48/365: Dresden bei Nacht
48/365: Dresden bei Nacht, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
February 17th

Riding the tram back to the gastewohnung, I decided to catch some city lights.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

47/365: The corridor

47/365: The corridor
47/365: The corridor, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
February 16th

Boring photo of boring building we boring sleep in.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

46/365: Hauptbahnhof

46/365: Hauptbahnhof
46/365: Hauptbahnhof, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
February 15th

The Hauptbahnhof, or Main Station in Dresden. Not a particularly good photograph, but it was cold and I was in a hurry to catch the tram. I'm so sick of the cold weather, it's really dulling my appetite for photography.

Monday, February 14, 2011

45/365: Dresden is a decent place

45/365: Dresden is a decent place
February 14th

The sign is visible from Postplatz, a good hub for tourists since it's right around the corner from the Zwinger and the Semperoper and all the monuments a serious tourist must see. I always thought it was lovely- it means 'Dresden welcomes its guests!'

But yesterday was the anniversary of the Bombing of Dresden. Although it might have been hard to feel sorry for the German city in 1945, a sober look today must admit to the destruction of a beautiful baroque landmark, the so-called Florence on the Elbe- and that is to speak only of the city, and not the estimated 25,000 people who perished in the bombing. Dresden, much like my home town Warsaw, was razed to the ground. War has its rules, but it would be callous to feel any joy at this retaliation.

And here is where it gets complicated. Every year, on the anniversary, thousands of extremists and neo-nazis arrive in Dresden to demonstrate.

Dresden counters them with just as many policemen, a fantastic anti-Nazi march...and signs like the one in the photo. The black banner is an addendum to the permanent greeting, and the full phrase now reads:

"Dresden greets its guests...but we don't welcome the Nazis!"

Dresden doesn't mince its words. I was very deeply moved, as this was not the only sign of its kind. The nearby Dresden State Theatre proclaimed: No room for Nazis in our city!

No room for Nazis in our Dresden

Banners were hung from civilian balconies, and a heartwarming short film was playing on the public transport advertising system, in which a group of Dresdeners of all ages stood together to (non-violently) protect a black man from an obviously racist bully.

What can I say. Dresden has class.

44/365: Guten Morgen Dresden

44/365: Guten Morgen Dresden

February 13th

Remember how I said we hoped the spring had come? Guess not. First morning of work in Dresden, the snow came down like crazy.

By the time we were in the tram it was a regular blizzard.


It didn't last, but the cold certainly did. Brrr. I ended up wearing all of my changes of clothes at the same time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

42/365: Prisoner Dwarf, or a day in Wrocław

42/365: Prisoner Dwarf
42/365: Prisoner Dwarf, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

February 11th

A while back I wrote about the Orange Alternative. The Wrocław Dwarves are a whimsical monument to that movement's struggle against Communism. They are scattered all over the town, and you have to keep your eyes well peeled if you want to find them all. More information on their official website:

A lot to see in Wrocław, even on a single rainy day. I spent the night there before hopping on a train to Germany. So, what did I see?

Tumski Bridge

The Tumski Bridge, for instance, built in 1889, which has apparently always been the place for lovers and those seeking love to go- old stories speak about chance meetings, special prayers (there are two churches close by) to find the one and only, and mistletoe hung from the beam. But in recent years a new tradition has grown. If you have found your true love, you must walk across the bridge, snap a padlock shut on the railing and throw the key into the river. This will guarantee you 'til death do us part'.

Padlocks on Tumski Bridge

Wrocław also has a gas lamp district, on an island in the middle of the Odra river. The above-mentioned bridge is one of those leading onto it.

I was lucky enough to catch the lamplighter at his task.

Lighting the gas lamps

And on that same island, my favourite part of the walk:

The Nativity

In the Blind and Deaf chapel at the Blessed Virgin Mary church, there is a mechanical nativity which is lit up from Christmas until Lent. Although we have a similar one in Warsaw (which I even got to turn on and off as a kid, since my parents knew the priest in charge), it's not nearly as insane as this one. The lights flash in time to the music, and there are countless figurines, toys and souvenirs all rigged up to the mechanism. They move, dance, twirl, sway, ride around and pop out of peep-holes.

The Mechanical Nativity

This Nativity was built in 1967, and features toys and trinkets from all the years since. I found quite a few Disney characters hiding between the Christmas trees, next to wooden folk toys and soviet-era tchotchkes.

The Mechanical Nativity

The Mechanical Nativity

And of course, Evil Android Papa Smurf:

Scary Smurf

A big thank you to my former flatmates Marta and  Maciek for showing me around

Friday, February 11, 2011

41/365: Tumbledown with new windows.

41/365: Tumbledown with new windows.

February 10th

A day of sunshine, as warm as spring. We hoped winter was over...we could see the blue sky reflected in all the dirty old building windows...

Sunshine in Lodz

Sky in the windows


Thursday, February 10, 2011

40/365: Sixteen neodymium magnets

40/365: Sixteen neodymium magnets

February 9th

For the animation workshop, I bought some neodymium magnets with bolt holes, put screws through and fixed wooden pegs as handles. This will make the magnets easier to move and will help cut down on the number of crushed fingers. :P

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

39/365: Print shop

39/365: Print shop
39/365: Print shop, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

February 8th

Full colour canon xerography (the top sign would say, if it wasn't busted), and many other things. Fax, printouts, cleaning dvds, pendrives, dvds with films, copying photos from your camera...

And thermometers.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

38/365: Emptying the fridge

38/365: Emptying the fridge
38/365: Emptying the fridge, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

February 7th

I'm going abroad for ten days and so all the food that could go bad had to be utilised. Colourful veggies!

Monday, February 7, 2011

37/365: Kidney beans

37/365: Kidney beans
37/365: Kidney beans, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

February 6th

Something is wrong with me, all my most recent photos are...well, they're not terrible, but they're much worse than my usual. And I just can't get a proper exposure to save my life. What is going on?

Maybe my apartment is just too darn dark.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

36/365: Just about midnight

36/365: Just about midnight
36/365: Just about midnight, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

February 5th

Phone photo. Had to run out to get some necessities. What I love about this neighbourhood are the 24h shops, if you want something in the middle of the night, you got it. Alcohol, medicine, food, flowers.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

35/365: Two little houses

35/365: Two little houses
35/365: Two little houses, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

February 4th

Two old houses. This neighbourhood is at the very edge of town, so you'll find quite a few old, wooden buildings there. I love the way they look but I bet it's really uncomfortable living in one of them.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

33/365:Green leaf

33/365:Green leaf
33/365:Green leaf, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
February 2nd

Someone decided that the iron-wrought fence around the Music Academy deserved a bit of colour. It counts as graffiti, I guess, vandalism...and that particular building is actually being kept in good shape, unlike the many others in the neighbourhood. So, I'm in two minds. I don't like when people spray over historic sites- but what an adorable idea, to have the leaves on the fence turn green in the middle of winter. :)

Green Man

32/365: Good things in my kitchen

32/365: Good things in my kitchen

February 1st

That is powdered sugar in the jar, not celery, of course.

I got a special crepe pan from my mum for Christmas. Now I can't stop making crepes. It's so fast and easy. THANK YOU MUM

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