In a move that won’t help my bank account, I recently discovered a website that complies a list of different swing workshops and events all over the world. And so only a week back from Los Angeles (I was in Los Angeles for the last 2 weeks of February for winter break btw), suffering from a week-long jet lag (this has never happened before so I must be getting old), I boarded a train to Warsaw for Retro Weekend 2017.
Learning from my past weekend retreats in Prague and Bergen, I knew that a two full days of dance classes and parties would not mesh well with going back to work on Monday. So I did what any sane person would do: got a party pass, and danced until 4:30 a.m.
I thought not taking classes would give me ample time to be a tourist (without the company of children) but it turns out that the combination of late night dancing, bed bugs, and loud hostel hallways will really zap your touristic energy.
I managed to make it for brunch at Aïoli (what a great restaurant, named after mayonnaise), a 2-hour dive into the Fryderyck Chopin Museum, and a short walk through the very small Museum of Contemporary Art before collapsing back on my (bug-free) bed at my hostel for a mid-afternoon nap, until it was time to do my hair again for a second night of dancing until 4 a.m.
The Chopin Museum is well worth a visit if you like his music. The first room does a good job of integrating history and its influence on his music, but the upper exhibit halls can veer towards mundane and (dare I say it) boring. However, the whole basement is devoted to a listening center where you can hear practically every piece Chopin ever wrote. Also, while I was there I met one of the bands playing at Retro Weekend, the Shirt Tail Stompers, and now we’re friends so that’s pretty cool.
The Contemporary Art Museum, across the street from the Palace of Culture and Science, is so inconspicuous and obscured by construction that if it weren’t for this neon sign I never would’ve found it. I saved it on Google Maps because I mixed it up with the National Museum, which is much bigger, although it’s probably for the best, as I had barely enough energy as it was. So as it stands, something to leave on my list for my next visit.
Until next time, Warsaw!