Bullet Holes in Krakow

Walking home, I noticed several buildings with bull

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et holes. I was more aware of old buildings, history, and the tension between the past and the present due to the protest I watched today. One of the issues I thought of that probably affects many post-socialist cities is renovation with the new European trend towards sustainability.

While buildings closer to the “center” (aka Rynek Glowny) are more freshly painted and renovated–several buildings like on the street where I live, are more raw. There is exposed brick, bullet holes from G-D knows when, and some building are covered in what appears to be soot because the color is a drab ashen grey.

My professor back in undergrad, who taught “Every Day Life in Totalitarian Societies” said he himself enjoyed living in older flats with exposed brick and concrete walls. But he’s a history professor, not your average customer.

I came across this article in Der Spiegel  about the problems locals have with gentrification in Berlin. I haven’t lived in Berlin for over 18 months–but when I was researching housing costs recently, I was surprised to see that it is indeed true that housing costs have risen at least 10% in the past year or so. Two years ago I could have rented a room in a flat for around 250 euros. Now–I could not find any such price. The least expensive room I found was around 300 euros, minimum.

Here’s what the “less developed” part of Krakow looks like…not unlike some streets in Budapest.

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