January 19, 2008

I am scared to digg the subject of new plants for my garden

so, I will 'torture' you with some other subjects this or another way related with plants, flowers or just nature :) I hope it will be still interesting and I assure you it is still garden blog :)

Today - I cooked for you little art, history and history burlesque .... voila!
Is this a snapshot made in the city with the warm climate?


This is center of Warsaw, capitol of Poland, USDA zone 6.

To make it even more interesting, the building behind is the former 'eye of an evil' - headquarter of Polish Communist Party, built 1948-52.
In the communist times commonly called by people 'House under the blockheads (rams)'.
On the picture below there is special 'contribution banknote' issued in 40-ties to co-finance the construction of the building by the citizens. It says 'We build the house together'.

Since 1991 there was financial center and Warsaw Stock Exchange - isn't it just a 'history laughing loud'??

Palm tree that size, in that place - looks odd. More. It is not real. It is Art-ificial.

Yes, I wrote ARTIFICIAL. 15m high, produced in USA in 2002. It already lost its leafs completely, but as you can see they grew again ;)

It is a very controversial artistic project of Joanna Rajkowska. This is public project in the city space.
There is a story behind. One of the main streets in Warsaw is Jerusalem Avenue (Aleje Jerozolimskie).
Name is rooted in XVII century, when there was an estate for Jews founded beyond city toll-gates - it was named New Jerusalem. From that the avenue was named first Jerusalem Road, then Jerusalem Avenue and it lasted until today.

Palm tree by Rajkowska is polarising a lot. Many people hate it, because it dares to be different.
I see it as a symbol of changes of a country that was for 45 years dying under communists regime and now, after 18 years of changes and progress, still is searching...

The picture above is the banknote from 1988, in so called 'secondary circulation', where somebody stamped: big letters 'Communism farewell', small square stamp on the left, there is picture of Lenin praying 'Proletarians of all countries forgive me'.

Coming back to palm tree, there is an advantage too: easy to locate yourself if you are a tourist or you come from outside of Warsaw, right. You say: 'that square with palm tree' and its clear!

More story you may find here - on special website dedicated to palm tree in Warsaw.


Barbara said...

When I saw the picture with this palm tree, my first thought was "it cannot be possible that a palm tree is growing in this climate (the same we have) without beeing sheltered. And then I read the text, yours and the one on the link you gave. And I must say now, "well done, it is art with a smile" and I like it. Especially when knowing the story behind. Thank you for showing, Ewa. I have to ask my son whether he saw this palm or not during his various stays in Poland (his former girlfriend was Polish).
Have a nice weekend,

Ewa said...

Hello Barbara - yes it makes you smile when you look at it :)
Have a nice wekend too!

Clayton said...

And thanks for some of the history with a wink in your telling. It reminds us that change for change itself can be a trial with its' own difficulties!
I met several people who came from Poland during my time at the University and I will not forget one fellow who came with his wife and several other couples. At one point he told us 2 of the other couples and I think even his wife returned to Poland because they could not get used to the freedom and system here in Canada. Capitalism brings it own walls, we just get used to them! Maybe they are a little more soft!

Ewa said...

I understand them leaving, I did too. I was living in Germany and Sweden for some time, but after communism fell I decided to turn back :)
What bothered me most in those times, was communist brain washing everywhere, in every school and university you had to study marxism-leninism, you did not have passport in the drawer, you couldn't freely travel abroad - it was difficult to get passport etc.
At least now we have a feeling that we are free - to which extend it is always very personal.

I am happy you liked my post, although it is not about gardening :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I really liked your post Ewa. A good read on a cold winter's day. Your city has so much history. Thank you for sharing some of your history. I think the Palm Tree is great.

Naturegirl said...

Ewa this is very interesting historical facts..thank you for enlightening me! hus NG

Anonymous said...

This was a really nice post. A little bit about where you live, and about you too.

It reminds me I should take some pictures of Amsterdam sometimes and post them too.

We don't have such pretty plastic palm trees! Maybe I can find something else...

Minerva said...

It looked somewhat familiar, felt somewhat ominous, yet the light ad on tom and the palm, of course, did not seem to fit. And then I read the text and laughed. I love this kind of change!

Annie in Austin said...

Hello Ewa,

I came to your blog to see the bloom day post and also found this great story. The first photo was quite startling. Now that I've been to the website it's clear that shaking us out of our ruts was the purpose of this interesting art.

Thanks for the story and the beautiful abutilon photos.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Unknown said...

I don't know what I find more entertaining; the palm tree, or the fact that there's a dedicated website for its presence. Thanks for this story, Ewa; gives me another insider look at a far-away city.