Every time a foreigner asks me about my city, I am like ‘meh, forget! If you are in Poland, go to Krakow, Gdansk or Wroclaw’. Although I am born and raised in Lodz (Łódź), and really enjoy my life here, I still claim – there is not much of touristic value to it. I think that if you come here as a tourist, you could visit all the must-see points in one or maximum two days.
I guess that this post is a form of auto-therapy for me – I just needed to write it to convince myself that there is really SOMETHING worth recommending in my city!
- OFF Piotrkowska
In 2014, OFF Piotrkowska center was announced as a winner of 7 Miracles of Poland plebiscite by National Geographic and THAT MEANS something.
Old textile factory (my city was famous for textile industry in XIX-XX century) was converted into a trendy complex of more than 20 restaurants, bars, pubs, design shops and workshops, in the very center of the city. NG compared it to New York or Berlin, I just love its climate – postindustrial architecture, hipster style, unique atmosphere. It all makes it attractive to people of all ages. I go there to study, eat lunch or dinner, drink a beer, watch a movie in the open-air cinema in the summer, just seat on the bench, anything, anytime. Just love it.
- Student life
I study at International Faculty of Engineering, Lodz University of Technology. At some point of life, I considered moving to Warsaw to study at the best technical university in Poland, but doing my Bachelor totally in English and not paying for it seemed more convincing, so I stayed in my hometown. And I don’t regret.
Lodz has great conditions for students! Five public universities (technical, humanistic, medical, art, film, music) bring many young people to the city (no matter that they leave it just after graduation and Lodz’s population is aging since years). Many courses available in English, low (for European standards) costs of living, good and constantly improving opinion and the oldest School of Polish Language for Foreigners bring us many internationals too. For me it is the best what can happen to this grey society! If they are not brave enough (or can’t afford) to travel abroad and see that people are people everywhere, independently on their religion, language, culture and skin color, it’s great that this opportunity comes to them by itself! Maybe some percentage of the population will broaden their horizons, get rid of xenophobia and open their minds
That’s out of the way, but we have great music too! From Artur Rubinstein (my Father’s option), through Coma (band of my rebellious teenage years!) with a great vocalist Piotr Rogucki and even greater drummer Adam Marszałkowski, to Kamp! – young blood of Polish electronics. Not much to add, just listen to them by yourself. I bet that if they were recording abroad, they would already be famous worldwide.
4. Pasaż Róży
Pasaż Róży is the decoration created in one of the yards of the main street by a great Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska (other famous piece of ‘art’ is the palmtree in Warsaw city center). It’s a tribute to the artist’s daughter, suffering from eyes cancer and her way from being blind to seeing. The installation was mainly created by the group of students and was a part of Dialogue of Four Cultures Festival. There is not much to comment on – just take a look at the pictures. It looks gorgeous, reflects sunshine, makes a great impression at any time of the day and in any weather. End every time I show it to someone, they are in love, as I was for the first time.
We have quite many of them. I am a total fan! The city does not have that much money to renovate ALL of the grey buildings which are falling apart (Łódź is said to be in very bad state, lacking innovations, however it’s changing from my point of view), so it is great that at least they allow for the cheaper option – decorating them with the murals, inviting the artists from all over the world. It’s a way to make the city cosmetically more vivid and energetic! Here – my favorite ones, but you can spot so many more of them!
That is actually funny part. Łódź is the third biggest city in Poland (after Warsaw and Cracow), but hardly anyone from abroad knows about it. Why? Cause no one knows how the hell to pronounce its name. J
When I try to explain it to foreigners, I go for something between wood and image, to form anything close to woodge, but that is a very rough estimation.
- Miś Uszatek
Wrocław has its dwarfs (I think I’m gonna show them to you at some point, I’m going to visit friends there soon), Warsaw has the palm tree, Cracow has the dragon… And we have Miś Uszatek! Although it’s not the famous super production, it is a part of my childhood – animation made with little toys which you could watch every day at 7pm in public television. After that kids where supposed to go to sleep.
Since Łódź has a top-level Film School with the long tradition, many Polish movies (also animated) were directed and filmed here. And although today most of the TV are some crazy cartoons, we still have a couple of monuments reminding us of the series of our childhood.
- Piotrkowska street
Basing on The Independent’s description: At 4.2km, Piotrkowska is the longest commercial street in the country – and probably the most eclectic. From its northern tip at Plac Wolnosci (Liberty Square) to the junction with Pilsudskiego, you’ll find a hotchpotch of architectural styles from the neo-baroque House of Schiebler to Wilhelm Landau’s Bank House, adding some art nouveau into the mix. Then there’s “Holly-Lodz”, the city’s take on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (it makes more sense if you remember how to correctly pronounce Lodz). Pavement stars honour Roman Polanski, a graduate of the city’s film school, and pianist Arthur Rubinstein.
For me it’s the center of the universe. This is where I go for my yoga classes and German course. This where I meet my friends. Eat lunches and dinners. Drink coffee and alcohol. Visit doctors and tattoo artists. Party. Do lots of shopping.
When it comes to nightlife, Łódź is the most convenient place ever! Most of the important nightclubs and bars are located there, on Piotrkowska. You don’t need to travel far away to change the party if you dislike the music or want to join your friends in a different venue!
And what do you like most about your city?
/// All the pictures come from Pinterest ///