March 1, 2014

"If you grew up in Milwaukee and then move elsewhere, surely a return will put you right back into your childhood shoes?"

"I feel that way about Warsaw. Each time I come back, it's as if I am a teen again, with all the angst and worry and rush that is so characteristic of being, say, fifteen. Because Warsaw is for me my coming of age. My eye opener. My adolescence."

21 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

It would for Laverne and Shirley.

Lem said...

I have a lousy memory.

CWJ said...

On my visit to Warsaw, I entered castle square from the same direction as photo #9. In fact, I probably have a near identical photo.

At the time, I had a wave of Epcot Center wash over me, and this Disneyfication of the old city proved correct. I think Nina's photo captures it. The site of this photo and the surrounding area was flattened during WWII.

There's a plaque in the square thanking Polish-Americans, particularly Chicago, for their support in reconstructing the site.

traditionalguy said...

Great post. Thanks Irene.

Titus said...

Milwaukee is gross

Unknown said...

I grew up in Milwaukee in the 60's and 70's and no I don't feel my childhood because so much has changeed there for the worse.

wildswan said...

Th street I grew up on looks just the same when I go back but there are no children in those houses anymore. People still read the Washington Post but it's not the same Post. It's like the start of a story from the Twilight Zone - a strange feeling Creeps. Over. You. - that's the feeling I have when I go back. Why I don't go back.

CWJ said...

The irony of Nina's Milwaukee example compared to Warsaw Poland is that much if not most of Milwaukee's Polish south side is no longer "Polish."

I wonder if seeing if any of us noticed was in any way part of Althouse's motivation in posting this.

In Milwaukee, the buildings are original, but the Poles are gone. In warsaw, the buildings aren't original, but the Poles are still there.

Ron said...

These travel posts of hers seem to be in opposition to the 'stay at home' ethos of Althouse....nice to see the contrast.

Patrick O said...

Santa Barbara has this effect on me. Lived there for 3.5 years from 4th through just before 7th grade. Always feels more like home than anywhere else I've been. I think it's not only the age but also the pace and attitude there, so not LA.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Like Barry Lyndon for me it's the people not the buildings.

rehajm said...

There's a plaque in the square thanking Polish-Americans, particularly Chicago, for their support in reconstructing the site.

Interesting, when Nina says It's not a building that can stand in the shadow of anything, I immediately thought it would look at home, and lost, amongst the towers of Chicago.

And thanks for sharing, Nina. A great eye for the compelling.

nina said...

Third day into my visit here and I still haven't shaken the feeling that I am not my age...

Re Milwaukee: in giving an example I tried to imagine a city that might bring forth feelings of attachment even as an outsider might not fully grasp the reasons for that attachment. Milwaukee, a city with a fascinating and varied history came to mind.

Inga said...

I grew up in Milwaukee and it seems very if different to me, some times I don't recognize certain areas I used to know well. The parts I still love are downtown, and the lakefront area.

chickenlittle said...

When was a kid from around Madison, we pronounced it Mi'waukee, not pronouncing the "l". And yet, according to Alice Cooper, the correct pronunciation should mee-lee-wau-KAY: link

chickenlittle said...

traditionalguy said...
Great post. Thanks Irene.

LOL

Sam L. said...

When I go back to where I grew up, that doesn't happen to me.

rcommal said...

And if you grew up in various places, and eventually went there and back again, it might mean there's no one clear thing.

rcommal said...

I've always had roots in more than one place. Always.

Next weekend marks my 53rd birthday, which of course means the start of my 54th year of life on this here earth.

Some stuff changes; however, most shit does not.

rcommal said...

http://youtu.be/RfpFs8N7CmA

sydney said...

That was lovely, but when I go back to the city I grew up in, I only think "Thank God I don't live here."