Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New York Times: Lodz one the places to see in 2012

Earlier this month, New York Times listed Lodz as one of the places to see in 2012, citing recent announcements by David Lynch and Frank Gehry to establish major projects in the city, future redevelopment plans and cultural projects and of course Manufaktura, Lodz's cultural epicenter-cum-shopping mall.  A bit more than a year ago, I was able to visit the city and write about my opinions about this somewhat grimy albeit rising city.  Although I'm sure Lodz is on its way to becoming a major cultural center in Poland, I think NYT is highlighting the the city merely as a novelty rather than a real travel destination.  Especially if seen in contrast with other Polish cities such as Warsaw, Poznan, Krakow and Wroclaw, Lodz's road to transformation is still long, maybe even going further than the goal of becoming a European Capital of Culture in 2016.  I think it is also dangerous, that this city is being highlighted as a novelty during a time when it is still trying to determine its identity.  Lodz needs time to figure itself out.  It does not need pressures from foreign interests dictating the direction of its development.  Let it be, and maybe in a few years we will see a truly cosmopolitan Polish city, not another Central European tourist trap.

At the bottom of the list, Portovenere makes it as an alternative to Cinque Terre.  It's nice to see them mention a place to potentially alleviate the barrage of visitors that go during the summer months, but I wish they included all of the Ligurian coast.  Oh well, more unvisited places for the rest of us...