Today, Zosia and I went to Łazienki park, or peacock park as we call it, you can just hear one at the end of the video. It was a beautiful day, getting up to 26C at one point and the park was in good shape. I took the panorama video on the iPhone, which is not as good quality as the Sony A55 but is more than good enough to expect from a mobile phone. As you can see there were plenty of people who decided a walk around the park would be a good idea. Quite a few foreigners there actually, meaning not Polish, mostly Hungarian from what I could decipher. We didn’t go near the entrance where the coaches are parked but I expect there were a few tour buses there full of people spending the weekend in Warsaw.
I snapped a few photos as well:
For any photo-heads out there, these are straight from the iPhone, imported to the Mac using ‘Image Capture’. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to get photos from an Apple iPhone to an Apple Mac, as far as I know impossible via the obvious route of iTunes. I’ve then run them through photoshop to use Imagenomic to remove the noise as I find all iPhone photos are noisy when you view them out of the phone. I then did a ‘smart sharpen’ and shrunk the size before uploading to here. Et voila!
By the way – I’ve only just worked out how to view photos at the full size using this new theme I have! In case others are as confused as I am (because the old theme you just clicked the photo once or twice) you click the photo which takes you to another page displaying the photo but at the same size. On the left is the name of the photo, in the case of the top one here it is ‘Lazienki 1′, under that is the date and under the date it says 1000 x 747, which is the full size. You can click this and it will display the photo at the full uploaded size. Phew, glad I worked that one out.
On my way to get some breakfast after dropping Zosia at ballet I came across the early signs of public and media gathering outside the Presidential palace for the anniversary of the Smolensk tragedy. Actually there were far more police and barricades than anything else.
Outside the Palace, April 9
Embryonic media frenzy
Photos taken with iPhone 4. Click for larger version..
Given the extreme public interest in this tragic event, it can only be seen as a massive failure on the part of the Polish authorities that 12 months after the event 2/3 of Poles (that’s around 26 million people) still don’t think they have a proper explanation of what happened. What’s more, they don’t think they will ever get one.
Why is the truth being kept from us? Does it really take more than 12 months to come to some logical conclusions? Do they really not know what happened or do they just not want to tell anyone what it is?
Strangely enough, I watched a programme called “Aircrash Confidential” on Sky, Discovery Channel, the other evening that covered Smolensk and they came to a very clear conclusion – the pilots were put under pressure by at least two other voices in the cockpit to ignore the safety warnings (airport & instruments) and land the plane. They also concluded that the pilots, being military men, were far more likely to follow orders than to do the right thing.
Surely we should know who these people putting pressure on the pilots were, shouldn’t we? Given that they are at least partially responsible for over 90 deaths.
So, if you want answers don’t look to the Polish government, watch Discovery Channel!
The picture below is of the newly renovated Plac Grzybowski, a very ‘tactile’ design with water features, stone elements and wooden benches on rails that you can move around. Worth a visit if you’re in the area.
I’ve now given up completely with any ideas of using this for Polandian. It will post there, with pictures, but videos don’t work at all and those posts that do work will not create a ‘thumbnail’ picture anyway so no point trying any longer. For 20 east though it seems to work well enough, as well at least as the posting by email function. I eagerly await the next release because I’m getting tired of sending crash reports!!
Reconstruction of Emilii Plater, Warsaw
As you can see from the picture, work on the reconstruction of Emilii Plater got started today. Hallelujah!
It is spookily quiet in and around our office once you remove the usual hustle & bustle of traffic and associated people from both Emilii Plater and Złota, which is now a dead-end. That constant background noise is gone and replaced by the intermittent metal on cobble sounds as the JCB’s dig up the road and load it into trucks. I imagine the trucks then take the Emilii Plater cobbles off to a smaller city so they can upgrade from WWII tank tracks to used cobbles!
Wouldn’t it be nice, if you have a house, to repave your drive with Emilii Plater cobbles. Better than buying new ones, a little bit of Warsaw history in your own home.
Anyway, I hear the grand plans for a subterranean parking garage have been dropped and so we’ll have to wait and see exactly what this “remont” will involve. One thing for sure, it can’t be any worse than what was there before!
I last posted an update in November last year when I reported that bugger all is going on. Nothing much has changed but I was sent this update on the situation with the company who were developing it, Orco, which is worth reading for those who are interested in progress. I assume this was originally published elsewhere but I don’t have information as to where or when that was.
Orco repayment plan approved
EUROPE The Paris commercial court has approved the repayment plan for developer Orco Property Group. This will enable the company to restart investment. Since March 200, Orco has been subject to the sauvegarde procedure, which was twice been extended and is designed to facilitate financial restructuring. However, some creditors do not agree to the restructuring plan as drawn up. The decision allows the of 100 pct reimbursement of claims against the company (about EUR 1.5 bln of debt) over the next 10 years. This does not mean unfreezing the company’s flagship project – the Złota 44 apartment tower in Warsaw. Its fate will likely be determined by the Supreme Administrative Court on June 24th, on reinstating the building permit for the project. Up until then, none of the apartments can be sold. By the time construction work was halted, 90 of the 251 apartments available had been sold, and another 30 reserved. The company is in the initial phase of the preparation of new housing projects in Poland – in Józefosław (the company has already planning permission, but is amending the project to be better suit the realities of today’s market), Kraków and Szczecin; but under the sauvegarde procedure, funds for such investment cannot be allocated without the consent of the court. In Warsaw, the company has other projects that are available for sale: Klonowa Aleja in Targówek (now half sold to home buyers), Mokotowska 59 (put into use last year, with only the last apartments now available) and Feliz Residence on ul. Figiel, which has been completed, with about 30 pct of the homes still remaining). Orco Property Group had a EUR 250.6 mln consolidated net loss attributed to the equity holders of the parent company in 2009 and a EUR 390.6 mln loss a year earlier.