Mail from Krakow, today! It was a bit over six years since I’ve been in the beautiful city of Krakow, but I felt very sentimental for it upon receiving a package from a former Milwaukeean, Gabriel, today in the mail.
Gabriel wrote me a few months ago, keen on sending me news + a parcel of Polish independent music to the radio station I work for. Never having met Gabriel (still unknown: Gabriel-boy, Gabriel-girl?), but connecting upon mention of entwined musical admiration and being connected with Krakow familiarity, I felt like I was receiving a parcel from an old friend and a former residence.
Krakow. January, 2007. Ice, snow, cold. Trams, underground vaulted drinking holes, jazz music. Pierogis, borscht, stir-your-own-coffee. Apple juice + vodka. Warming vodka. Cabbage. A separate heater for bath water. Christmas decorations in the town square and Chopin on a boombox in a snowy Wawel Castle courtyard. Swans on the Wisla River. I have many (many) fond memories of my two days spent in Krakow, where my traveling pal (Carrie) and I were in the good graces and company of our Milwaukee pal and Krakow (winter) resident, Paul. Paul offered his home and knowledge of the city and those two days have stayed in my memory long after our brief stay.
I plan to wax nostalgic on Krakow moreso another time, but for the time-being, let me say that it was a nice surprise to get a winter re-visit from the city of wintry warmth, both via music and via my own hometown (once again). Must say, so far, Enchanted Hunters (Peoria) is pretty excellent (and an Illinois-related name, too, strangely enough!). Looking forward to the rest.