A look at Polish cities

If you look at the pictures I took with my iPhone in Warsaw, Poznan and Krakow and then looked at my wife’s, you’d be forgiven for thinking we took separate vacations. She takes beautiful images of buildings and scenery while I shoot people on the street, like the accordion player I spotted as I emerged from the subway in Warsaw.

Warsaw: An accordion player entertaining passersby one morning.

Warsaw: An accordion player entertaining passersby one morning.

Black-and-white photography has always appealed to me. Here’s another attempt at “art.”

Krakow: A team of young women on the move near the famous Market Square.

Krakow: A team of young women on the move near the famous Market Square.

Krakow was everything it was built up (by my wife) to be: colorful, historic, architecturally stunning, laid-back and (very) touristy. Crowds of young people, for instance, jammed one street in particular, carousing and laughing and making me wish I were 40 years younger. Still, with age comes wisdom, which I exercised by not getting carried away with drinking. Instead, I ate lard.

Warsaw: The joys of lard.

Warsaw: The joys of lard (the bowl on the right is pure pork fat. For spreading on bread.

The restaurant in question is called Chłopskie Jadło, a country-style eatery operated by Sfinks Polska S.A. Sfinks also owns and franchises Sphinx, an Egyptian-themed chain said to be the largest in Poland. The lard-spread in the upper-right is for the restaurant’s delicious bread.The other small bowl contained a cottage-cheese spread.

Why Poland in the first place? My wife adores the country. She’s been there four times in three years. (I’ve been there twice in one.) It’s a friendly place and it’s not expensive. My wife, in fact, has  taken a group of college students to Poland for the past three years, a travel-study group from Case Western Reserve University, where she teaches. I joined her for the first time in March, two days before the students flew home.

Kathy and I took a train to Warsaw where she had a speaking engagement; I had business, too, interviewing a new Domino’s Pizza franchisee in the northwest corner of the city. That gave us the chance to ride the city’s single subway line.

Domino's Pizza franchisee Jakub Stepien is counting on the 500-unit apartment above his to supply him with customers.

Domino’s Pizza franchisee Jakub Stepien is counting on the 500-unit apartment above his store to supply plenty of customers.

Rest assured, Kathy didn”t snap any photos on our trip to Domino’s .