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Vistula River’s Story

Agata Mandał, studentka anglistyki, myśli i pisze po wyspiarsku, mieszka w wiśniewie.

Vistula River has always been very important for people living in Warsaw. In times when Poland was not yet an independent country they were using it for transport and trade. Later, in times of war it often constituted a defense wall or border between Russian and German armies. It has always been a place that people liked to spend time in. It has become an inseparable feature of the capital’s landscape and there are a lot of legends connected with the river. The thing is that the area of the Vistula River used to be a crowded place and now it is not.

Volunteers from Ave Foundation decided to bring our beloved river back to life. They came up with some ideas of how to turn this place into what it used to be. One of those ideas that would popularize and somehow advertise our river was to build a pier along the riverside. Our intention was to create a place where people could meet, sit, rest and talk to friends. This could be a place to integrate inhabitants of Białołęka District. (We have already built four piers on the banks of Wkra River, but this one in Białołęka would be much bigger)

Our plan was to construct it in Tarchomin housing estate at the end of Mehoffera Street. The question is: would that be a good idea? We have seen those new boards describing the environment in the river’s area, but they were all devastated by vandals or hooligans. Would that make sense to build a nice pier when it can be so easily destroyed? However, in our opinion it would be nice to have such place in such romantic scenery as Vistula’s bank. We would like to build benches or maybe even shelters where people could meet and spent time.

Our idea is to integrate the society in which we live. More and more people move to our district and they are becoming anonymous. They kind of close themselves within the limits of their estates instead of being opened and outgoing. To change that, we have organized several meetings by the riverside, on which various people were telling stories connected with Vistula River. There were war stories, modern-times stories and even legends that took place near the river. Some were very moving others were quite funny, but all of them were really interesting. Sitting around the fire, eating sausages we could hear even a love story.

We were listening with our eyes wide-opened, when suddenly a car arrived. Several boys and girls got out of it and sat nearby. They started laughing loudly and drinking beer. We told them that they were disturbing, and asked eighter to try to be quiet or to join us. Unfortunately, there was no response except an empty bottle thrown out directly to the river.

This is not what we want. Our goal is to give the Vistula River another life. Do you think that is altogether possible? Do you think it is a good idea to build a pier and several benches by the riverside? And if we do so, will it last more than one week?

We are looking forward to hearing your opinions. Also, if you have any ideas about what could be done (except building a pier or organizing meetings near the river) to make it live, write to us (eighter in English or in Polish) and we will publish your ideas. The e-mail address is aveciarz@gmail.com

Agata Mandał

Słowniczek

  • inseparable – nieodłączny
  • feature – cecha, coś charakterystycznego
  • landscape – krajobraz
  • advertise – zareklamować
  • pier – pomost, przystań
  • along – wzdłuż
  • riverside – brzeg rzeki
  • bank – brzeg
  • housing esteta – osiedle mieszkaniowe
  • devastated – zdewastowane
  • destroyed – zniszczone
  • within the limits – w obrębie
  • outgoing – towarzyski
  • various – różne
  • moving – poruszające, wzruszające
  • quite – całkiem
  • wide-opened – szeroko otwarte
  • altogether – w ogóle
  • Vistula River – (rzeka) Wisła

Nick:

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