fairytale scene under construction

Warsaw is a fascinating and beautiful city, with many stories to tell. It is also filled with many spots that look like they were taken right out of a fairytale. Even this construction site I came across the evening I arrived looked like it was from a storybook page.

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The sun sets on the fairytale scene, still under construction.

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Gilded building blocks, ready to complete the enchanted scene.

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Fairytale roads require precision construction.

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Somehow even the graffiti-covered dumpster appeared slightly magical in the golden light.

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Fairytale onlookers over the construction zone.

The next day, I walked the same way, and the scene looked only slightly less storybook-like by day.

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Fairytale construction work by day. (You didn’t really think it was elves, did you?)

There were other places around the city, as well, where it was clear that a lot of maintenance goes on behind the scenes in a fairytale. Someone has to take care of the magical creatures, after all.

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Taking a break from the care and maintenance of magical creatures.

(These photos were from my June 2018 trip to Poland. More to come soon. Probably.)

I’m sure there’s a story here.

This is a another statue I saw in Poznań, Poland, during my visit there in June of 2018. It was a statue I passed while walking home from dinner, so the light was rather dim. I didn’t get close enough to see whether there was a plaque. I’m not really sure what would have been on such a plaque. There must be a story here. A young child sits on the back of a dolphin (I think) and squeezes a little fish close to his heart. Both the dolphin and the fish are spewing water from their mouths. Additionally, the dolphin appears to have streams of water shooting from ducts near its eyes. Projectile crying? Perhaps there is a fairy tale here. I’m not sure why there is a dolphin in land-locked part of Poland. But perhaps the distance from the ocean might explain the copious tears?

potentially pigeon-proof

I’ve mentioned that I’m often amused to take photos of public statuary adorned with pigeons. In some places, though, the pigeons are prevented from perching. Take this statue, which appears to be of some sort of large angry goose. In case the scowl isn’t enough to scare off potential perchers, spikes have been added, giving the goose the appearance of bristling in anger.

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Then there’s this noble-looking lady. Her hairdo appears to have been given a few hatpins.

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I can’t determine whether the netting on this pair was for the purpose of pigeon prevention, or whether there was some other reason they needed to be restrained. (Perhaps they were prone to dropping things on passersby?)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I took these photos while visiting Poznań, Poland in June 2018 for a conference. (Somehow I appear not to have posted any photos from that trip yet.)

spider, bird, party

You might be wondering about that seemingly random list of words: spider, bird, party. In my head, they aren’t random, though. They have a sort of roundabout connection.

For a start, our house is still decorated for Halloween. We kind of went all out this year, as the kids hosted a bit of a party for some friends a couple of weeks ago. And one of our major Halloween decor themes is spiders and their webs. Here’s a sample.

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Giant spider and web.

We also tend to have a lot of bird-related things. For Halloween, we have some various crow, raven and black bird items, such as the wreath below.

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A wreath of black birds.

But aside from that, the connection between the words for me is a bit more of a tangle. Yesterday’s photo of a bird statue with a spider web reminded me that the words for bird (ptak) and spider (pająk) in Polish are two that I have gotten mixed up before. In case you are wondering why I have had the occasion to mix them up at all, I’ve been casually studying Polish using DuoLingo. (I had a conference in Poland last year, and I started the study as a bit of preparation for the trip. And I’ve just been continuing, with no concrete goals aside from learning some of a new language.)

But thinking about the various ptak and pająk items we had up for our party also reminds me of the most surprising word I’ve learned so far in Polish. The word impreza means party. It just so happens that I have been driving an Impreza (a Subaru Impreza) for the last 14 years, and had no idea it was a party.

Below is a photo I happened to have in my phone of the impreza.

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Impreza: a party?

(I sometimes take a photo of my car in parking garages to remind myself of where I’ve parked. Usually I delete it afterwards, but I happily I still had this one. Because what’s a party if you don’t have photos to show for it?)

So there you go.

a few strands of connection

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This was a bird in New Lanark, Scotland. A bird who stayed perched long enough to host a little spider friend. (I got caught up in the the sticky threads of going through my old photos looking for things to post that relate to the things I’ve been posting. This photo amused me by providing connections to several of my previous posts.)

posing and perching

When I travel, I enjoy admiring public works of art, and have many pictures of statues in my photo library. I am also often amused at the way that pigeons will adorn the statuary, especially in parks. Here are a few photos from our 2017 visit to New York City of  a few statues at an entrance to Central Park.

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I actually have accumulated a collection of photos over the years of statues with birds on their heads. But putting together a retrospective is beyond my capabilities for tonight.

fashioning a fascinator

I’m rather fascinated by the term fascinator. It’s a much more fanciful expression than “funny little fancy hat.” In any case, I fashioned myself a fascinator from a fluffy little friend. Well, really, I just took one of our many spider decorations, and fastened it atop my head. I felt it worked just fine.

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I don’t often post photos of myself on this blog, but when I do, there tends to be some sort of creature on top of my head.