Łódź (pronounced “Woodge”)
My hometown. The city I was born in and have lived in till I turned 19. Even though I left it then, it still has a special place in my heart.
Located in the central part of Poland, the third largest city in the country was known as grey and industrial and it was rarely considered a favourite. Over the years things changed though.
Today, Łódź is a significant cultural centre, internationally known for its Film School, education grounds for the best Polish cameramen, actors and directors, including Oscar winning Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski as well as Krzysztof Kieslowski, an Oscar nominee. No wonder the city is often referred to as Holly-woodge ;)
Across the city, colourful murals are appearing on the walls of derelict apartment blocks (just like the one pictured above), warehouses and factories in ever-growing numbers.
One of its main tourist attractions and one of the longest commercial streets in the world (just under 5 km) - Piotrkowska Street - is considered an architectural gem as well. It was revitalized step by step, in the 90s, and changed into a kind of pedestrian precinct.
Most of the building façades, many of which date back to the 19th century, have been renovated. Nowadays the buildings, institutions, restaurants, clubs and pubs situated next to this street, create its specific atmosphere, which is said to have a "cult" character reaching even outside of Łódź.
Even though I no longer live there, I try to visit as often as possible.
Over the years, I had to say good bye to a few family members residing there and I lost touch with many school mates but.. such is life. I cherish the family I still have and the friendships that survived the distance and time.
I also know that a part of me will belong to Łódź forever.