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Misery /PRL era tourism in Warsaw


delphiandomine 85 | 17,658    
3 Mar 2016  #1
As a keen lover of all things rotten and run down, can anyone point me towards particularly ghastly PRL-era infrastructure/buildings in Warsaw?

Anything comparable to Warszawa Śródmieście or the rather strange Warszawa Giełda Elektroniczna would be nice.
dolnoslask    
3 Mar 2016  #2
Yes the palace of culture, you can't miss it, It was a present from the communists, it still overshadows Warsaw to show us poles who is the boss, shame no one has taken it down and sent it back to Russia
Harry    
3 Mar 2016  #3
particularly ghastly PRL-era infrastructure/buildings in Warsaw?

There are a couple of tours dedicated to that exact thing, shall I dig out the details?
dolnoslask    
3 Mar 2016  #4
You can go for a commie warsaw tour in a commie car

viator.com/tours/Warsaw/Communist-Warsaw-Tour-by-Nysa-522-Car/d528-5752_WCOMM

I could probably arrange a visit to a Siberian gulag if anyone is interested. Ticket is one way only.
OP delphiandomine 85 | 17,658    
3 Mar 2016  #5
There are a couple of tours dedicated to that exact thing, shall I dig out the details?

Hmm, not so much interested in a tour to be honest, I'd rather go explore myself. I used to particularly love Warszawa Zachodnia with the countless old magazine stalls where you could pick up old copies of English magazines for a few złoty, but it's all gone now hasn't it?

I'm thinking also of that dreadful 'department store' that was next to McDonalds in Centrum.
dolnoslask    
3 Mar 2016  #6
Delph Don't go to Praga Harry tells me you will get your head kicked in as it is a no go zone. and deffo don't go to the glass houses my uncle lives there, rough as a badger, but if you are bold someone will invite you in for some street bought chicken and vodka, you will have a great time.
OP delphiandomine 85 | 17,658    
3 Mar 2016  #7
Speaking of Praga - Harry, what's the story here?

google.com/maps/@52.2661559,21.0396675,3a,75y,78.8h,91.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOgoICB-UVxHU0thznAgauw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
dolnoslask    
3 Mar 2016  #8
Delph do no believe the propaganda about praga you will feel at home and be welcomed.

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rainbow_building_in_Praga_district,_Warsaw_(8121494897).jpg
OP delphiandomine 85 | 17,658    
3 Mar 2016  #9
Delph do no believe the propaganda about praga you will feel at home and be welcomed.

I've wandered around there before. Nothing special, really.

If you want tough, wandering around Lichtenberg late at night is far more terrifying.
InPolska 11 | 1,821    
3 Mar 2016  #10
@Delph: that store was not "dreadful" as over the years it had developed into something very nice (and expensive) but was demolished some 2 years ago (as well as the next door McDo). It was a great store right in the center, to buy very good products, including linens, for home. Downtairs, they had a supermarket, where I used to go to once a week to buy food: they had a wide range of good foods (unusual at the time in downtown Warsaw) including a lot of organic products. They also had a huge variety of cheese at their delicatessen section. Yes, it was expensive (so not crowded) but it was great. Downstairs there were also pastry, sweets and alcohol stores. When the store was demoslished, I was very disappointed and for a while I was missing it but of course I have moved ahead. Basically, as I used to shop there so often, I can confim that the store was absolutely not ".... dreadful" ;).
OP delphiandomine 85 | 17,658    
3 Mar 2016  #11
I have to confess, I was only in there once, and that was in 2006. ;) It was my first ever visit, and I stayed nearby in a strange hostel where the guy at the reception didn't speak English very well.

Is that dreadful Carrefour still there on the same street nearby? (Marszałkowska?)
InPolska 11 | 1,821    
3 Mar 2016  #12
No, now, they have a construction site! That store was really the first in which we could buy a variety of good products in the Center. Sure, it was expensive (I mean by Polish standards) but I used to go there once a week for food. Upstairs they also had linens, some furniture, and a lot of products to clean homes. Their products yes were expensive but of great quality and not to be found anywhere else.

The underground Carrefour is slightly bigger than regular Carrefour Express shops. It is very basic but in terms of Carrefour downtown stores, which are nicer and nice and very close by (within walking distance), there are one at Zloty Taras Mall and another at Rondo NFZ. Stores of same company are different from one area to another. A client this morning told me that even Biedronka stores are different according to areas....

PS: I mean Rondo ... ONZ and not ... NFZ as I have written ;)
porky pok 2 | 127    
4 Mar 2016  #13
but was demolished some 2 years ago

You talking about SEZAM?was the first ever grocery store I visited in Warsaw,and the only one near me then.Now infact across Carefourr on Chemilna,new Biedronka opened up ,is small with 2 floors and a lift.There use to be Kredyt bank in 2000 right across that Czec beer place called Czeska.Sezam was a one stop shop I agree but now they building a new building and mickey dees was opening up in that building next to it,where it was SPHINX before, last month when I was there,I hope they have 24 hr service window like the one in demolished mickey dees. I heard there will be a supermarket.I loved the Grilled chicken they sold from the side.

BTW after that banana prices I started watching food prices and realised here in NJ the Bread prices have gone outrageous min price I could find for a loaf in Walmart was 2.75$ while in Warsaw centre I buy a reasonable loaf for 4 Pln and cheapest is under 2 PLN and no good steak less then 8.99 a lb.

A bit late to add across jerozolimskie on krucha there is that black building called wilka(wolf)has shops of Louis Vuitton, Hermes & Chanel,on top of the building there are 2 restaurants and a deli and wine cellar,its like going up by 4 long escalators or nice elevators,reasonably highend priced but food is great.They sell cheese,meat,jams etc everything mostly organic and very good.I always buy from there if Im invited for a grill.Also there dinners are great and have cigar smoking rooms at the end also.Price is right average 100pln p person with reasonable wino.My wife buys meats/fish from there to take to her village.

Delph Don't go to Praga Harry tells me you will get your head kicked in as it is a no go zone. and deffo don't go to the glass houses my uncle lives there, rough as a badger

Wrong Dolno,there are beautiful restaurants like soho factory etc and on ul francusca whole street is full and crowded with yuppes in summer and weekends.we go there often to get out of the tourist crowd in the centre on bikes then take the ferry back to old town.

Is that dreadful Carrefour still there on the same street nearby? (Marszałkowska?)

Yes the underground one is still there they sell alcohol and next to that is Rossman in underground,but if you get out from the back door escalators on the left front is that new biedronka i mentioned above.
InPolska 11 | 1,821    
4 Mar 2016  #14
@Porky: in Warsaw, as we say, there is "Praga" and "Praga" ;). ul. Francuska is in Saska Kępa and although administratively speaking Saska Kępa is in Praga, people in Warsaw don't see it as "Praga". Not all Saka Kępa is nice (a lot of communist style buildings with poor retirees), but it is very nice (some villas) especially around French Lyceum and it is often referred to as the "French neighborhood" since a lot of French expats live there (close to French high school and to Centrum).

When we talk about "Praga" we mean the rough neighborhoods of Praga Pólnocy which are very rough, notably around Wilewska, Wiatraczna. In southern parts of Praga, some areas are decent Glocław for ex where a lot of lower middle class families settle because real estate about 1/2 of what it costs on the other side of the river.

I read that you don't live in Warsaw so maybe that's why. As a resident of Warsaw, I can tell you that when here we refer to "Praga", we mean the very bad neighborhoods thereof and we do not include Saska Kępa ;) with its ul. Francuska (yest, it is nice as per Warsaw standards but nothing special as per western standards).

As to Louis Vuitton building, I have never been inside..

PS: Yes, Sezam! The downstairs food store belonged to Społem. They had great products although not cheap....

the bananas! "lol"! . As said, I got them at Hala Kopinska where I often go to when no other choice. They do have some good products but basically it is expensive so 7.49 ZL for a kilo (of not nice looking) bananas is nothing special there but before that at the very most I had paid 6.99 ZL (in various stores).
Atch 17 | 2,701    
4 Mar 2016  #15
the rough neighborhoods of Praga Pólnocy which are very rough, notably around Wilewska, Wiatraczna.

Wiatraczna is in Praga Południe.

that dreadful 'department store'

Sezam? Oh, I loved it, especially the upstairs part with the household stuff. Some of it was terrible quality but they had nice crystal and china and such a mish mash of stock, it was very quaint. You could potter around there for hours. I got a lovely cast iron frying pan there about ten years ago. I still have it.
InPolska 11 | 1,821    
4 Mar 2016  #16
@Atch: I have made another of your long boring days! ;). I mention Wiatraczna as being one of those neighborhoods and even if if not in Northern part of Praga, it is very close to it ;). Nevertheless, even in Wiatraczna, there are some decent (and recent) buildings but I would not live there. Recently I had a doctor's appointment at Wiatraczna's Luxmed clinic and on my way back home, I stopped at the Simply store (part of Auchan group) and it was disappointed. I love the Simply store at Wilanów but the Praga store is much different...

Even if I don't know the names of the streets, once a week I go to Biała Łęka and I cross a lot of parts that really look weird and rough.

There is "Praga" and "Praga" and Saska Kępa refered to as the "French neighborhood"' (a lot of French expats as French lyceum is there (kindergarten + primary school are in Sadyba)) is not considered "Praga" by Varsovians (and by me ;)). When people say "Praga", they mean the rough areas ;)
Atch 17 | 2,701    
4 Mar 2016  #17
@InPolska regarding Wiatraczna, I wasn't addressing you. It was an observation for anyone else who might be reading the thread and not know the district. I have no wish to converse with a woman who displays the manners of a backstreet Parisian brothel keeper.
dolnoslask    
4 Mar 2016  #18
Porky Pork "Wrong Dolno,there are beautiful restaurants like soho factory" I know I was being sarcastic because harry said i would get a kicking if i went there It's ok place.
Harry    
4 Mar 2016  #19
not so much interested in a tour to be honest

These are the people I know who do tours and they are very very highly recommended indeed: adventurewarsaw.pl/en
A mate of mine who has been living in and writing about Warsaw since 2003 went on one of their tours a couple of years back and said he learned loads of stuff.

harry said i would get a kicking if i went there It's ok place.

Anybody who can go to Wroclaw and not find decent beer is perfectly capable of going to Praga and missing both the good bits and the bits where he's got at least a reasonable chance of not getting too badly hurt if he keeps quiet and does exactly what he's told.
mafketis 17 | 6,756    
4 Mar 2016  #20
While here, does anyone miss Jarmark Europa?

It used to be one of my favorite places in Warsaw (if not absolute favorite) and I always made a point to visit when I was there. I never bought that much stuff (and made sure my wallet was as inaccessible as possible) but I loved wandering around the different sections, the Polish area, the ex-Soviet area and especially the large sectors with Vietnamese merchants.

Is there anything remotely like that now?
Harry    
4 Mar 2016  #21
Is there anything remotely like that now?

You been to Targowisko Bakalarska?
OP delphiandomine 85 | 17,658    
4 Mar 2016  #22
Excellent tip!

The mind boggles as to what they were doing with cartons of Regal there :

r-scale-44.dcs.redcdn.pl/scale/o2/tvn/web-content/m/p2/i/b3ba8f1bee1238a2f37603d90b58898d/347bdec8-06cd-11e2-9539-0025b511229e.jpg?type=1&quality=95&srcmode=4&srcx=0/1&srcy=0/1&srcw=1024&srch=768&dstw=1024&dsth=768
porky pok 2 | 127    
5 Mar 2016  #23
As a resident of Warsaw,"Praga", we mean the very bad neighborhoods thereof and we do not include Saska Kępa ;) with its ul. Francuska

And as a resident of Warsaw I can argue that nowadays Praga as a bad neighborhood is no more thought of.(I dont know were did you read that I dont live in Warsaw).

Also I dont know what are you talking about western standards?I have seen worst and dirty neighbourhoods in Paris,or even New York,where I will be scared to walk even in bright daylight.Warsaw standards are pretty well comparable to western standards including infrastructure.Honestly most Polish houses/Flats in Poland i have been to are well maintained and have mostly everything one needs to live moderately.I think some expats rant about western standards to show some kind of complex,as they cant live the same standard of life in there own homeland.

Not to offend you but can you please elaborate western standards?
InPolska 11 | 1,821    
5 Mar 2016  #24
@Porky: you wrote (sorry I don't want to go through all your messages, someone else will do it ;)) that you live one month per year in Poland (Warsaw?) and I meant someone who resides 12 months a year. Well, I suppose if you own a place (= pay some tax), you can consider yourself a resident ;). As to "bad" neighboods, there are some in ALL cities around the world so no need to travel much ;). What I meant re ul. Francuska, it may be nice as per Polish or Warsaw standards but nothing special as per western standards. In any small provincial western town, you can find streets with a few cafés and restaurants that put some tables and chairs outside when weather permits.

For sure, Warsaw has developed a lot over the years but it is still very "provincial". I know several people from Moscow for whom Warsaw is a big village. It is still very difficult to buy some things and very often in order to do so, we have to go all over town because nothing or very limited. I often have the situation and I have to ask around when to buy X or Y. Sorry, in the west, we don't have this problem, things are easily available and no big deal to find them. We read many messages here too with people asking where they can find x or y article.

PS: if you shop at Louis Vuiton, I doubt that you can consider this store as part of "normal" shopping in Warsaw. How many Warsaw people can afford stores of the kind? I have never been there and I know only one (American) person doing so (not often though because too expenseive). FYI, the number one is Warsaw (and in Poland) is ... Biedronka so apparently you don't mingle with "average Poles" more than I do ;).
porky pok 2 | 127    
5 Mar 2016  #25
Firstly FYI and again what i wrote was"I GO TO pOLAND EVERY MONTH FOR A MONTH" Ithats what you understand as staying in Poland for a month in a year.

Secondly I DONT shop at LV,but go to the restaurants above that building.Inpolska are you timid or age has got you to understand?No wonder you are hand in hand with some posters here.

Again your so called western standards is a myth about Warsaw(which was true maybe 12 years back).
If one cant find anything in Warsaw is maybe because of language (CAN YOU PLEASE NAME ME ANYTHING)same as in France or Germany.eg:LQQK at the dirty/filthy metro of Paris compared to Warsaw not to mention the clean streets of Praga (where there are trash containers almost everywhere while a rare thing in Paris)with no beer cans and litter than in the streets of Paris. downtown (your home country).

I also have a some very close friends from Moscow who have visited me in the states and who DONT have that opinion,maybe they are not elite{like the people you claim to mingle with here) but are very well off.Also they dont have Plan B as living off welfare with 1000 euros a month which is nothing in Warsaw forget Paris.

And YES i do pay taxes in Warsaw that makes me a legal resident and not SOME but a LOT.

Again I will ask you to elaborate "western standards" by your vocabulary?


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