We interviewed Stefan Markiewicz, Spotter for our Warsaw city blog, a few weeks ago. Here’s an insight into one of the six people that share their insider knowledge of Warsaw with you!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I consider myself to be a real European citizen, I was born and raised in Stockholm. After finishing High School in Sweden, I moved to Salamanca, Spain for a couple of months, after that I decided to start studying in Warsaw. I was already familiar with the city since both my parents come from Warsaw and I visited it frequently. As I began my life in Warsaw I realized how much at home I felt, and I just knew that the culture fit me perfectly. I now consider Warsaw to be my home-base from which I can fly and reach new destinations and discover the world.
I recently finished University with a degree in Clinical Psychology, but due to my big interest in photography and film I ended up working in advertisement.
How do you like being a Spotter?
It’s great being a Spotter since it corresponds to what I do normally, I love food and discovering new and interesting places. The great thing about being a Spotter in your own city is that I can, in a way, rediscover it. A couple of times friends recommended their personal favorites which I now visit frequently. Another great thing is the people I meet. From time to time I help exchange-students from around the world fall in love with this unique European city.
Why Warsaw? What is a must when visiting Warsaw and what isn’t?
Warsaw is full of history at each step you take. I think its history and the way it has been preserved make Warsaw a city with character. As in any city I would most definitely recommend seeing Warsaw at a slow pace, take walks around the old ghetto, and see parts of the ghetto walls still standing and walk into small cafe’s such as my favorite Chlodna25 (which is actually located in the borders of the old Jewish ghetto). So basically my most important recommendation would be to rather walk than take cabs in Warsaw. By walking you’ll discover the real Warsaw.
Which prejudices about Warsaw are true, and which ones are not?
Most of the time I hear people’s fears regarding Warsaw before arriving. Some think that it’s full of cigarette smoking men with mustaches in tank-tops and old grandmothers. However, in reality it’s full of young people and hip places and helpful people with smiles on their faces.
Another typical stereotype would be the vodka drinking. This one is actually true, people are often surprised to see so many vodka-drinkers at the bar, it’s not surprising as Poland is the inventor of vodka (which actually means little water in Polish and other Slavic languages). Most people are however positively surprised when they see the real pulse of this modern city.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
My perfect day in Warsaw would start with a morning bicycle ride to Chlodna25, which underwent remodeling recently. I would have one of their tasty breakfasts, read the newspaper and just simply enjoy the morning weather and observe the people walking by.
On the corner I would check out the recently built art-project that is now a livable house which is considered as the world’s narrowest apartment.
I would continue my perfect day to the Warsaw Uprising museum which reminds me of the struggles and battles Poland fought during the tough times in history. As for dinner, I would stay in the same area and visit a very local restaurant called ‘Pasja Smakow’. It’s a combination of a butcher shop and restaurant. The restaurant’s specialty is their home made steak tartar.
After dinner I would go to the cinema ‘Kino Muranow’ and see what’s playing as they almost always show something worth watching. I would continue my day with a beer at ‘Miedzy nami’ and end the perfect day seeing a local band play at ‘Kow mos Kosmos’
For more of Stefan’s articles please check his page at the Warsaw city blog. And for more interviews with our Spotters, click here.