Christopher Brown discovered one of the most colorful neighborhoods in WARSAW – Praga. Not yet flooded by tourist, it has still remained an insiders´ tip, and therefore a treasure chest for a resourceful photo story.
“Rather than opting for an overpriced stay in the tourist clad Stare Miasto (‘Old Town’), we set up camp for a week in the wonderful Praga district of Warsaw. Conveniently located directly across the Wisła (Poland’s longest and largest river), it is still laced with bullet holes and bomb blasts from the Second World War. A strategic outpost during the famous ‘Warsaw Uprising’ of August 1944, the well-worn textures of abandoned buildings and bygone eras were a warm welcome to Warsaw’s most colorful neighborhood.
Upon arrival, we immediately set out to explore the streets of our adopted ‘hood’. As we ducked into a dilapidated courtyard to capture some images, we met our first group of locals: A trio of small and scrawny street boys. All under ten years of age, they had parked their little brightly colored bicycles like bikers at a bar, to enjoy a collective smoke. Their leader (whom we later and aptly named ‘Little Fucker’) approached us and back waved for us to clear out, while barking in his tiny tobacco tinged voice: “Wypierdalaj naszej okolicy!” (“Get the fuck out of our neighborhood!”) During our stay, we ran into him a few more times; shouting from his mother’s balcony as she hung the laundry, riding on the back of another friend’s bike like a little bitch, and walking his three-legged dog.
Reminiscent of Berlin 10-15 years ago (or Detroit now), this part of town is changing fast. A new Metro line has only opened in the last year, and higher-end cafes are beginning to pop up on select corners. Still home to a vibrant under-the-radar nightlife, the district has much more to offer than what would appear at first glance. You won’t find tourists in this part of town… yet, so enjoy it while you can.”
photography by Christopher Brown