Well, while the building may be that old, sadly the doors, windows, gutters, brick facing and whatnot aren't.
Yes - but if those buildings haven`t been renovated over and over again, the windows and the doors wouldn`t have been replaced then they would fall apart centuries ago. According to the law concerning real estates - the owner of a historic real estate is strictly forbidden to make any changes to the estate - he is obliged to keep the estate in a good shape and during renovations he has use the same materials that were used in the original buildings. All of the work that is being made on a historic building has to be monitored by the conservation office - the owner also has to receive an allowance to conduct construction work on the historic building he owns - which is not that easy. And if the owner brakes any of those rules he has to remove the result of the construction work on his own cost, pay a large fine or even go to jail. However sometimes it is impossible to find exactly the same materials, the same windows and the same doors that had been used 200, 300 or 500 years ago - in that case the city conservator allows to use materials that look similar to the original. And when it comes to the interior arrangements of the buildings then of course it is often being replaced by a modern interior. I myself was working in an office that was located in an 500 year flat as well as in an office that had been located in an 300 year old fortification - the interior was very modern however the whole building structure was original.
I just did a quick search on the internet. Within 6 miles (about 10 km) of where I live there are no less than 12 supermarkets (as in stores that sell groceries).
You`re right and that is a very good observation - however in my city, which has c.a. 400.000 inhabitants there are around 15 BIG shopping malls - and 2 even bigger mals are currently under construction. Many people say that this is too much because those malls take away the business from the smaller shops.
And when it comes to Warsaw - there are more shopping malls, most of them is located on the city outskirts where the people from the suburbs make their shopping using cars, however there are also some in the city center.
But it's those differences that, as a simple tourist, I would never have noticed. Only because I spent time with people who live in Warsaw was I able to pick out more of the differences in lifestyles. That was what I found so great about this particular trip. Seeing how much alike in large ways the US and Poland are (or at least the 2 big cities I saw), and yet how many small differences there are.
Well, I also believe that there also aren`t so many differences between us - Especially when it comes to the world view and the way of thinking - you`re the only people who are able to truly understand us :)