After so long in Southeast Europe, Warsaw’s chilly weather took me by surprise (as did suddenly seeing hipsters for the first time in six weeks). I coped with the harsh wind and cloudy skies the only way I could think of: I drank a lot of coffee and then rented a bike.

Ponytail – Sky Drool

And what a good day to rent a bike, too. Apparently, that day was a sort of holiday, where all bike rentals in the city were free. I imagine it was an effort to promote more cycling transport, but it took me a while to overcome the language barrier and accept that he wasn’t joking when he said the bike would cost nothing to rent for six hours. “Seriously, it’s free?! Well…OK,I guess…I’ll see you later then…”

A friend who had just moved to Warsaw told me to check out an old vodka distillery that had been converted into a number of art galleries and cafes. It was in the Praga neighborhood, on the other side of the Vistula. (A number of people warned me against going to Praga — supposedly there were occasional knife crimes. I refrained from telling them about my neighborhood in DC. And Praga was, of course, absolutely pleasant.)

Grouplove – Colours

Unfortunately, a few of the galleries were closed when I got there, but I still managed to see some art and wander around the old distillery.


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