Łódź, Poland

Captured on Fujifilm XT1, XF 23mm F1.4 R

The train ride from Częstochowa to Łódź, a beautiful European city with Parisian architecture and the best film school in the country was just as expected.

Broken table in a train carriage Polska Łódź Poland b
Broken table in a train carriage from Częstochowa- Łódź

I haven’t been to Poland for quite a while, three years in fact so I was hungry to see and experience everything again and afresh. The train ride took around 2 hours, not boring at all – we sat in a carriage (przedzial) of 8 people squeezed like sardines, almost touching each others knees but it was interesting and real and funny. Two uni students had a conversation about philosophy, life, books with marihuana joints falling out from between the book pages. Broken mini table, buzzing carriage speaker that nobody can hear, two hours went fast.

Upon arrival, I found Łódź in a (long-term) construction mode and everybody is deeply unhappy about it and talks about it. Who wouldn’t be, dust and chaos everywhere. Łódź Kaliska Station (dworzec kolejowy) provides little information how to get to the centre, if you’re a foreigner, you’re really are screwed. I asked three different people and got three different directions, (which I didn’t mind btw) thinking to myself lucky I can speak Polish!

steel construction Łódź Fabryczna future train station stacja kolejowa budowa

Life on Piotrkowska St, the main street in Łódź is vibrant, in both hipster and not-so-cool way, just like any other place. There’s plenty of kitsch cafes and predictable Western food chains, pretentious crowd and tourists, including me dressed up for the occasion. But step off the main drag and you’re more likely to see the older Łódź: kids riding their skateboards (deskorolki), not afraid to smile at you and with you, stone paving, echoes of people walking in a distance. Beautiful, historic, eerie..

council street workers chillout relax time Saturday morning coffee
Life on Piotrkowska St

Saturday morning is quiet, long before 10am when the nearest cafe opens up its doors. I sit and wait for a coffee, hoping to get some food but there is none, just some regular cakes which I can’t eat anyway being coeliac. Multilingual smarty pant beggar approaches and asks for money, street cleaners listen to music relaxing before everyone wakes up and they have to start sweeping the memories of the previous nights. Streets are clean and thieves are very brazen here, I photographed a few, they were hungry and kept coming back for more. Nobody else saw them steal.

Polish street beggar ulica Piotrkowska Łódź
Beggar on Piotrkowska Street

People on the bus are tense, when an older guy having a conversation over the phone, says ‘panie, to są oryginalne podróbki’  (man, these are original duds!’) I bursted out laughing. The humour of life and ghosts of the past are everywhere!

But Łódź has a great atmosphere. Hipsters, artists and oldtimers who remember the bad times make an eclectic mix. Opportunity seems to float in the air somewhere yet with over 700.000 people the jobs are difficult to get, say the locals. The proximity of Warsaw leaves some searching for better opportunities elsewhere, but artists and entrepreneurs are here and their presence is strong. A bit like in Ballarat 🙂

Łódź Poland Ulica Piotrkowska street photography
Streets of Łódź
Kaliska kasy dworzec kolejowy remnants of old communist Poland train queue kolejki do kasy
Łódź Kaliska, Kasy – Train Station Tickets
Łódź Piotrkowska street bicycle city Poland rowerowa masa
Masa rowerowa
Piotrkowska street architecture polska architektura
Łódź architecture
Łódź Roman Polanski film school Piotrkowska ulica gwiazdy filmmaker star
Roman Polanski Łódź , Polish filmmaker star
Life is beautiful in Łódź strong character woman street photography
Woman, Łódź
Łódź Piotrkowska street markets photo of thieves
Thieves on Piotrkowska St markets
Street smart Jehovah's Witnesses believers swap doorstepping for standing outside train stations
Jehovah’s Witnesses believers swap door-knocking for Łódź Kaliska train station + VERY inaccurate English translations of what’s on the left!
Trendy woman Manufaktura Łódź
Trendy in Manufaktura arts precinct, Łódź
Sunday relax Łódź Manufaktura factory trendy art shopping district
Sunday chill out day at Manufaktura Arts Precinct
Life is beautiful in Łódź
Life is beautiful in Łódź
OFF Piotrkowska gallery Łódź Fotofestiwal Photography Factory
Fotofestiwal, OFF Piotrkowska Gallery
children playing dzieci Łódź
Kids playing
Starsze dzieci Life is beautiful in Łódź
Older kids playing
tram woman full of reflections Life is beautiful
High voltage view from a tram