It's becoming easy to get used to the architecture lining the streets – a lion's head here, a face appearing out of streaming or curling lines, balconies bulging like ripe fruit. These curving, twisting, spreading layers of art nouveau, its languorous foliage, its plump leaves, its entwined stalks and stems and bowers of the imagination. Here is an arboretum pressed into plaster, memories of gardens preserved like dried leaves, outlined against geometry, sometimes a gridwork of angles, sometimes the lines are softened, melted a little before sculpted into walls or draped around balconies.
Figures draped in flimsy, flowing robes coiled like morning mist round plants, emerge from stonework, hold up balconies, gaze upwards or to one side, their concentration wreathed in a mist that's garlanded with memories. They swirl upwards, following a different gravity.
Streets like Staszica are the once grand and elegant brick and stone lacework embroidery of the city, crumbling, fraying, with empty gashes in the once magnificent fabric. Enormously high walls look like defensive ramparts, although they are the sides of blocks of buildings, with inner courtyards where there used to be gardens with fruit trees, cherry, plum -
I have coffee sitting outside the exquisite Teatr Novy on Dobrowskiego. It is being renovated and sounds of drilling come from inside. Round-backed wooden chairs with round seats stand by a small round table.
On the way here, walking along Dobrowskiego, a man was pushing a shallow trolley, piled high with cardboard boxes and it was coming straight towards me. At least I presumed someone was pushing it for the driver of this small-wheeled vehicle was hidden from view. I moved to the side but the trolley stopped and the man darted out and went over to the waste bins, had a quick look inside them, found nothing, returned to his trolley and moved on.