Marcin Konkel

Brithday Tetris

WARSAW | Palace of Culture and Science celebrates its 60 years with a game of tetris.

Palace of Culture and Science is celebrating it's 60th anniversary. Originally a gift from the Soviet Union as a symbol of friendship. Today, a symbol of Warsaw and it's city centre. There are many events happening that mark the occasion. One of them was the chance to play Tetris on its facade - probably being the biggest adaptation of the game in the world.

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From Sri Lanka with love

In the end of 2014, Sebastian Linda has quit all his jobs, got married with his girlfriend and left for Sri Lanka. A romantic story so to say. They travelled through the country visiting places such as ColomboMirissiaLittle´s Adams PeakTangalleMount LaviniaTemple of the Sacred ToothYala National Park and many more. Based on these experiences a movie has been made. Guided by the voice of Alan Watts from his "Time & the more it changes" speech the viewer experiences the beauty of this place in a bit of an unusual way. Why unusual? See for yourself in "Loving Lanka".

Flying over Dubai

Together with "The Jetsons" airing on ABC in 1962, jet-packs have entered the mass imagination.They were seen in Bond movies, military footage and on Discovery. They stopped being a dream in the 60s and entered the reality. The most common use of the jetpack has been in extra-vehicular activities for astronauts. Nowadays, the advancement in technology is huge but still we struggle with Earth forces to make the most of the invention. Nevertheless, there are daredevils who accept the challenge and inspire others.

As the authors of the below movie say:

"We mark a new milestone in the chapter of human flight. Join Jetman Yves Rossy and his protege, Jetman Vince Reffet as they explore the limits in the city of dreams."

A tribute to discomfort

Cory Richards by the age of 14 was dropped out of high school. In 2010 / 2011 he went to Pakistan to climb in the Himalayas in the winter doing the first ascent of Gasherbrum II - a trip changed his life forever. You could find link to Cory's website in the 'links' section on my website for some time now. He constantly inspires others by showing how people cope with being on the edge.

The definition of the edge changes depending on the place that he visits and circumstances he encounters. It's a moment in ones life when he or she experiences more. Something that is beyond them. As Richards describes it: "I think adventure is anything that puts us outside our comfort zone". Through intimacy he builds connection with his subjects. One of his main 'tools' to do so is to smile and make someone laugh he says.

Cory has experienced something that Ryszard Kapuściński (a Polish renown traveller) calls 'a contagion of travel': "I can't stop and sit. It's a constant engine that just keeps driving me towards things that are unknown to me" - Cory Richards.

Unité d'Habitation

Mr Le Corbusier (well actually Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris) was a man with great vision. Living in two centuries (1887 - 1965) he was working as an architect (apart from being an urbanist and the main representative of modern architecture). His projects were constructed throughout Europe, India, and America including the master plan for the planned city of Chandigarh in India.

'Pekin' seen from above. Copyright (C) Google Maps.

Few years after Le Corbusier has died a construction of a new building has begun. Designed by a couple of architects Oskar Hansen and his wife Zofia Garlińska-Hansen "Przyczółek Grochowski", or popular "Pekin" as people living there used to call it, has been something extraordinary. The works have ended in 1974 lasting five years. When last workers were leaving the site, the sight was impressive - 2330 flats for around 7000 tenants. All in one building stretching for 1,5 km, consisting of 22 units with a height varying from 3 to 7 floors. Today, it is still the longest building in Poland - not in a single line though but its broken several times under 90 degrees. 

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New York in the dark

There is rather a small chance that in a city as huge as New York or London you can experience long times of darkness. People living in the 'city that never sleeps' are so accustomed to lights that ones heart might start pounding crazy when the lights go off. The only thing you see then vehicle lights that appear now and then. "These places of normally a high volume, high foot traffic felt like you weren’t suppose to be there." - says Michael Marantz who is the author of this video. 

In such a scenario you can start being afraid as something unknown and very rare is happening. The term 'concrete jungle' can than be rediscovered in a quite different way..  

Full steam ahead!

Baltic Sea is surrounded by Scandinavian countries on the North, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania on the East and Germany, Poland and Russia on the South. Additionally, Denmark is 'guarding' the entrance on the West. There are many ports serving as hubs for cargo ships from China and other countries. They are reloading the goods on trucks or rails to Eastern countries and those on the South without access to the sea.

As Władysław Sokołowski (Economic Forum) says: "Belarus and Kazakhstandon’t have access to the ocean, Russia operates several ports of the Baltic and the Black Sea, mostly shallow andwith a small reloading capacity. At the same time, significant opportunities of ports in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine and Poland remain untapped.". There is still a lot to accomplish but major development projects are on the rise - especially in Poland.

George Leonov has visited many of the above ports and made a time-lapse video from his travels . Aboard MV Carat, George was going from Riga, Latvia to Tallinn, Estonia to Klaipeda, Lithuania, Gdynia, Poland, then to the other side of Europe through the Kiel Canal to Hamburg and Bremerhaven, Germany. The movie is great work and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Kudos to Eebpblmah for sharing.

Paroháč and other specialities

KARKONOSZE | Samotnia shelter.

Mountains, in general, are interesting not only because of their beauty but also due to the fact that they often constitute the line dividing countries. When you are leaving in the Schengen Area of the European Union its easy to visit other countries - especially their shelters as they are the closest. A bit earlier this year (on May 15th to be exact) you could read a piece "Early bird catches the worm" and see the sunrise as well as the sunset from Szrenica peak. This was final part of the trip to Karkonosze mountains. Here I wanted to share a bit more about how we go there. You'll read about Polish and Czech cuisine as well as see some of the places we visited. So.. Here we go!

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I've got three words for you

Cokau Lab has asked people of New York about what's special in their city. They were to respond in three words.

Warsaw Festival

Summer festivals are on around the world. Mostly starting in June and continuing throughout July and August one can experience abundance of concerts and other supporting events.

Poland's concert industry has been changing and developing for more then a decade now. Open'er Festival has played a major role here with the support of Heineken who, allegedly, has been powering the budget with around 10-20 million zlotys ($3-7 mln) each year. This cooperation has ended two years ago in such a form. 

Since last few years many competitive festivals have risen. Among them is Warsaw Festival whose main sponsor is Orange. The vibe of the event cannot match Open'er but in terms of bands / price ratio it certainly tips the  favour towards Poland's capital event. Three days of music on three stages. See by yourself below (photos from Istagram).