pour l'amour du cafe

Thursday, 29 August 2013

            My sister spotted that little place thanks to the Tekstualna blog, since this is where the meeting of Tri-city bloggers was held this summer. She showed me their facebook page and even at first sight I knew we have to visit when we're in Gdynia. They have a chalkboard menu, we're going, I thought. They were soon leaving on their little vacay so they didn't have everything presented in the menu, nevertheless, that place left us speechless and definitely wanting more! It's become a must see place for me, every time I visit Gdynia. Apart from coffee, smoothies, tartas, delicious tea and wine, they serve also cream soups, variations on French bread with additions, salads and even linguine pasta. We were lucky to visit on their last working day before the aforementioned vacation and at the time when the place was almost empty, which gave me more space to take photographs and I must say, an additional boost of confidence that one needs when photographing in a public, little place like this. The Pavlova dessert that I ordered, which was orange flavoured (they apparently have different flavour each day), was really worth its price, although my wallet might have just hesitated a bit at first. We drank jasmine and lavandin tea, served in a lovely pot, which allowed multiple refills of our cups. I was really worried my pictures would not fully reflect the atmosphere of that place, but in the end I feel like I kind of succeeded.

Even though I have another month of vacation left, I really feel October breathing down my neck already, which is frustrating, because I haven't actually used that summer too much. My Prague sally is coming soon and I'm trying my best to stay positive about it, but I sort of miss going somewhere further, the way I did last September, when after 3 months of hard work I was able to fund myself a trip to Italy where it was still pretty hot when Poland was seriously turning autumn mode on. I'm going to give up on too many pleasures this academic year, saving up, and next summer I'm going to go somewhere real, like Venice or Amsterdam at least.

Why did I even open my mailbox today, huh? I've just got a Rewards Style invite to a rooftop party happening in New York during the Fashion Week. A ROOFTOP PARTY, which is invite only. And has open bar and a photobooth Just kill me. I'll go sit under my blanket and cry now. Bye.

Lavenda Cafe Galeria // Starowiejska 11, 81-356 Gdynia

high-rise in the sunshine

Monday, 26 August 2013

You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.

"Life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness."

We all love that movie, we all love that book. My friend & I took a step further and decided to recreate some of the aspects of it in photographs. I had absolutely marvelous time lomoshooting her! You can tell that I tried to focus on details this time. Her room has always been somehow magical to me - I am so happy we made it work, I'm more than happy with how those turned out. I used my Praktica & the new Helios lens I'm so crazy about these days. The film used was Kodak Colorplus 200. Definitely fair results, although due to the fact that I was working under hard lighting conditions, with shutter speed basically always 1/15s or 1/8s, without a tripod, I do see some of unintentional hand movements here and there. Pardon me! :)

On the other hand, I had the most amazing time in Gdynia this weekend! The weather was perfect, sunny, yet a little bit windy. I'll gladly show you some of my snaps next week. For now, I gotta say arrivederci! If you enjoy that post, please drop me a comment, I love reading your thoughts on my work!

Things to be happy about.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

When buying preowned books I always look for the previous owner's comments somewhere on margins of the pages. 14,000 things to be happy about, which I bought few years ago for like 5$ on ebay, is no exception. Overall, I bought it in a pretty good condition , but some of the things mentioned in the book were underlined, some even a few times, but then thoroughly, angrily perhaps, covered with pen. I did my best to read them anyway. The one bearing most marks is "Avoiding people who make you feel guilty." Double underlined, then crossed out, multiple times.

It's been laying on my shelf for quite a long time, but I still have a soft spot for that book. I thought I would take a brief look into it again and tell you some of my faves among those 14,000 things one should be happy about.

the feel of rug under bare feet, tall people, chew face or smash mouth (kiss), eating all your snacks before the movie even starts, seeing old people holding hands, food that means love, that vacation feeling, taking a walk when the world is too much, looking back on the past with as much pleasure as you get from looking forward to the future, carrying cups of coffee out to the porch to enjoy the morning sunshine, just one day of looking terrific, showing a child how much fun life can be, a whisper impossible to resist (underlined two times), reading outside on a blanket wearing a big sweater in the autumn sun, nocturnal drinking expeditions, remembering people's names long after they've forgotten yours, making colored chalk drawings on the pavement, our lives being what our thoughts make them, lessening the impact of a horror movie by filtering it through one's fingers, getting what you want and what you need at the same time, carrying 10 books home from the library, being taken to the zoo, ancient ruins, surviving a summer job, shooting a whole roll of film in one day, controlling the largest empire on the Monopoly board, writing poetry that no one will see, blouses with Peter Pan collars, sitting down and really thinking out an attitude of yours that you are not sure of, talking to yourself, the Greek alphabet: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lambda, mu, nu, xi, omicron, pi, rho, sigma, tau, upsilon, phi, chi, psi, omega, and my favourite (you know I could go on the whole day) the sound of sneakers squeaking against the floor during basketball games.

Why is that my fave? Probably because of how silly it even sounds, no one would ever think that this is something worth being happy about, but now I know. I love that sound, I really do. It reminds me of the times when I used to play, it reminds me of some teenage drama series, of achieving something like the best player of the game title, of being wild and a fighter. Never before had I though that hearing that sound made me happy, but now it truly does and I often hear it in my head.

These are just a few examples. Honestly, it's impossible to read the whole book at once, I come back to it from time to time, pick a random page and even more random line and see what's hiding there for me. Some of the things listed are pretty doable, or shall I say, easy to get to experience, others pose more symbolical associations. You can find a bunch of meals, cities, sayings, slogans, song or movie titles among the pages. Some are personal, some universal. Wouldn't it be amazing to try to capture some of those "things" on film?

"Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have."

Thank you so much for all the beautiful words you've said under the previous post, using that new Helios lens is a real blast, it really makes magic happen and I am so so glad you share this opinion! Thanks for all that positive feedback! ♥

lover of the light

Monday, 19 August 2013

A dream of togetherness  | Turned into a brighter mess  |  A faint sign my spoken best  | Now, now

I love clouds, especially cirrus and cumulus, but there is this special place in my heart for a completely cloudless, blue sky. When looking at it, you've got this perfect sense of clarity and peacefulness, with the wind making the sun's heavy and warm touch a little more bearable. I love days like that. I'm really not into the heat kind of days, unless I'm spending them by the Mediterranean Sea, which this year, sadly, won't happen. At that point, I have a bunch of vacay dreams. The first group is Maldives, Thailand, RPA and Japan, so therefore locations that are one hundred percent unreachable for me right now. A girl can dream though, right? The second kind is vacation in Santorini, Greece. With all the delicious food, sapphire waters and candy-colored houses carved into cliffs! That will totally happen one day. I have no doubts about it.

Summer is about to end, so I invited my girls over to my garden, so we talked a little, drank some more, and I had to face the fact that it was the time for me to finally bake something. For the first time in my life. I knew that AJ, who has a knack for it, will bring some delicious cake, so I decided to make the simplest lemon muffins that exist! I could buy the ready-made, powder ones, but as always I approach everything very seriously, I decided to do everything from scratch. Fortunately, everything went my way and it looks like I haven't poisoned anyone. :) We had mineral water with cucumber, my lemon muffins, two kinds of black raspberries cake, Carlo Rossi wine, fresh watermelon and Au Revoir Simone's "The Lucky One" playing in the background. It's got to be all that one needs to fully enjoy a summer picnic. I shot two rolls of film in one day! :) I'm sure it will be insanely tough for me to do the pic selection once I get them on a cd. (I always write the posts before I actually get the pictures, with analogue photography, you already have to wait a long time, so I'd hate to just waste it.) (edit: it was indeed tough, I hope I did the pictures justice and picked the right ones to get your imagination going, the rest of them will be either on my flickr or facebook, check the buttons that appear at the top of the page for the links, cheers!)

I would like to thank you because I did not expect it to be so soon that there will be people who will want to comment on my posts and photos. Considering that this blog was, from the start, just some place for my sorrows to be dragged into the daylight and now it's become more of a happy place, where you guys can really get to know me, despite our differences and various outlooks on life, I'm really happy about that! Most of you have your own blogs, and some are into analogue photography themselves, so being in that community really gives me motivation and a lot of inspiring photographs to look at, at daily basis. I'm having an absolute blast with my Praktica, shooting one roll after another. My new Helios lens is pure magic, you can probably tell just by looking at the pictures I featured in this post, that Helios 44-2 has some crazy bokeh going on. On Saturday, I'm going to Gdynia for a weekend and I have already made a list of places to visit, most of which are pretty hipsterish caffes, oh me. Having written that, I wish you all a great week, see you soon! Bye! :)

still not a wine type of a girl  |  a snap of myself that AJ took

Cafe L'Art de Vivre

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

I'm a sucker for visuals. I'm a sucker for pretty places and their pretty logos. And delicious beverages I'm about to drink in a moment. Half of my friends, or generally people I hang out with, think I'm weird for taking pictures of food or coffees I'm having. The other half just thinks I'm a hipster and rarely mentions the fact. Anyway, I feel like everyone, at some point, judges me for it. And what's more pointless than taking pictures of food? Caring about other people's opinions, because you know what? Most of the time they don't really judge you, because they don't care enough to do that. And even if they did, they would forget about it in a second. The rest is in your head. So I'd say, chill out, have fun, if you love that sandwich you've just made yourself and you want a snap of it, then do it & enjoy it. (Alright, that doesn't apply to people constantly whining that they need to lose some kgs, being constantly on a diet, but posting food pictures to their Instagram every five minutes. That will most likely drive me nuts.)


I finally started to socialize again! Honestly, that little break I had was the best idea ever. I still do enjoy some "me" time, for example every morning, with a coffee in my hand and on Tuesdays with a new fresh episode of Teen Wolf. I know the title might be a turn off, but considerating the fact that "teen" for American television means in their twenties, seeing a lot of shirtless guys on that show is actually not such a guilty pleasure. Oh come on, I obviously watch for the plot. Yup, and the plot's other name is Daniel Sharman.

Let's just take a moment to appreciate the fact that I finally got the full roll of perfectly exposed pictures! Yuhu! Now just let me to work on my hands so they don't shake too much when I'm photographing. Again, too much coffee. 24 out of 24, some not in their best focus, but seriously I couldn't care less. You should have seen my little happy dance when I looked at the negative. Score. A big one, at least for me. These are the first pictures that I post which are made with my new camera, Praktica MTL 3. I definitely love it. It's easy for beginners, a little heavier than my tank-like Zenit though. First time photographing with Agfa Vista Plus 200, too! A lot of lucky firsts lately.

Cafe L'Art de Vivre // Św. Wojciecha 2, 10-038 Olsztyn 

the heat.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Warmian people suffer from heat like any other. The only difference is, when the heat is too much, we're not dying in bathtubes, we're going swimming. Quite frankly, most of the time I'm even too lazy to leave home, frappes are somehow enough to cool me down, but from time to time, even I drop everything and go to the beach with some friends. I feel like they are not exactly cool with me taking pictures all of the time. As I'm writing this, they are arguing over who looks uglier in a facebook conference window. And they only saw a sneak peek of what's coming. 

No picture will ever truly capture the beauty of a moment, I'm slowly learning that fact. I try and try though. And sometimes it feels as if I "almost" got it right. Taking pictures with such a vintage looking and incredibly loud camera often makes me stand out. Let me just tell you, there is nothing I hate more than drawing attention to myself when it's absolutely not needed. When my friends want to take my Zenit and take some shots of me, my reply is always the same -- this is not how it works. I am wielding the lens. I think I'm content I was born in a beautiful place like this. Sometimes I just wish my city wasn't such a rathole, but apparently that's the price one must pay to experience all the other pros :) I would love to be able to spend my time by the lake in some more creative ways. Kitesurfing, perhaps?

Kodak Gold let me down once again, completely underexposing a bunch of photos I wanted to show you guys, today. (btw it's Monday again!) Fortunately it wasn't anything captured on the spur of the moment and I managed to recreate everything using a different film and a different camera today. The ready post is waiting in my drafts as I'll be getting those developed pretty soon. I actually finished my first Agfa Vista Plus roll, which makes me truly excited because all of you seemed to enjoy taking pictures with that one. I've been shooting with my new Praktica the past few days and although I am still shooting with MC Zenitar lens, I have a good feeling about this one. The working light meter really changes the experience! Although now it takes me about two times what I used to need to actually take a picture, I hope that this means the end of the overexposed / underexposed days of my lomo adventure.

I have also another post coming up, this one will be about introversion (as it's a crucial part of my personality and some people still don't really get it) and  my opinion on the "wholeness" concept. Of course all of these will be accompanied by pictures. I am also happy to announce that after a long discussion, my uni friends and I decided to spend a few days in Prague this September. If you're having any suggestions of places we should see, or things I should photograph in Prague, drop me a comment or an email. (architecture, food, partying, cultural stuff, gardens and parks, etc. etc.) Speak soon! x

 this is what I'm forced to work with. they're always on their phones no matter where we are. RUDE!

Little things are important, Mr. Wind-Up Bird.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Surround yourself with people who are intellectually stimulating. Vada Sultenfuss of My Girl, rings a bell? Anna Chlumsky? Jack Crawford's protege in Hannibal? The arm girl? Nothing? Okay, I'm done trying. To the point now. Today, I'm going to talk about something I find particularly intellectually stimulating. What is going on with me and Mondays anyway? The posts have been that irregularly regular because of the fact that developing film takes time, getting a full film used does too. I've moved onto the 24 frames film, so maybe that will speed things up a little bit.

It's Friday as I'm starting to write this post, but I already know it's not going to be up until Monday when I get my current roll of film developed. Oh schedules. I'm being really weird recently and I am deeply, deeply sorry about that, guys. I know it's the time I put my shit together. My excuse is, I, myself, know best when I need a couple of days off alone and if I decide to be a freak who spends her days under a blanket, with a book and/or coffee in her hand or Orange is the New Black (9 episodes in and I'm already starting to talk like a stereotypical black person on that show does) playing on her laptop, then be it. And origami, lots of origami! I noticed paper cranes while stalking Erin's blog and since I really dig them as a room decoration [and I'm already in the phase of decorating my new room in my mind] (switching rooms again) - I decided to give it a try before I order some fancy origami paper off ebay. If you're a beginner like me or, oh, you just suck at anything manual - see for youself - how to fold a paper crane in 25 steps, easy peasy! I'm going through some serious withdrawal, but I finally have time to do things I love the most. Eating, sleep and reading Murakami.

He's a contemporary Japanese writer, you might or might not have heard about. Even my dad has read a book of his, or two, but on the other hand, my best friend truly despises him. I don't judge. I understand that some people might find the complexity of Murakami slightly hard to approach. For me, stuff he writes is extremely inspiring. So far, I've read 4 books of his and I am currently reading the fifth one, 1Q84, which I received as a birthday present. Someone once told me that you should not trust people who don't read books. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some kind of a bookworm. Not as big as my flatmate anyway :) Aren't people who don't read much, or basically never read much, slightly less sensitive about the world? There are certainly various ways of expressing yourself or taking the world in - sensitivity is definitely not defined by the number of pages one's read, but I can't help feeling that books and lives we live with the characters, that carry inside of us later on, help us shape what kind of people we are, almost as significantly as our own actions. If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. One of my favourite Murakami quotes. Norwegian Wood - named by the name of one of the Beatles' songs. So I started a year ago, with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and let me just tell you, it brough so much joy, acceptance and understanding into my life. Also, I finally found a perfect tune for cooking pasta, because apparently, that's what The Thieving Magpie is.

I never buy books, because I can never find anything for myself in a bookstore. They are so poorly stocked! Only one shelf of books in foreign languages​​? Really? For some time, most of the books that I managed to buy was in English. I always thought it would help me to develop the language, because I feel that my progress in that field stopped a long time ago, but now slowly cease to do so, going back to my native Polish, mainly because the importance of the plots I deal with is hard to grasp not knowing half the words. I hate PDFs though! I own an iPad mini and sometimes it's definitely more comfortable to just "wave" my finger like a wand, turning pages, but guess what, there is completely no magic in that. I love books in their original form, with pages so sharp that they're cutting fingers and the wonderful, irreplaceable smell!

(favourite reading spot in my garden)

Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can't buy. I bought a new Helios lens and then I purchased a Praktica MTL3 body. I cannot wait for those to arrive and I hope my new babies will get along together.

Just a quick selection of my favourite Haruki Murakami quotes;

▲ “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
▲ “If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there's salvation in life. Even if you can't get together with that person.” 1Q84
▲ “As time goes on, you'll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn't, doesn't. Time solves most things. And what time can't solve, you have to solve yourself.” Dance Dance Dance
▲ “Find me now. Before someone else does.” 1Q84

▲ “And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal in their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they're nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we'd be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing.” Sputnik Sweetheart
▲ “Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” Kafka on the Shore
▲ “Have you ever had that feeling—that you’d like to go to a whole different place and become a whole different self?” The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
▲ “A person learns how to love himself through the simple acts of loving and being loved by someone else.” 1Q84

“The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you're supposed to go up and down when you're supposed to go down. When you're supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you're supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there's no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness.” The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
▲ “Maybe she thought the garbage and rocks in your head were interesting. But finally, garbage is garbage and rocks are rocks.” The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
▲ “Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I'm gazing at a distant star. It's dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago. Maybe the star doesn't even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.” South of the Border, West of the Sun

“Whatever it is you're seeking won't come in the form you're expecting.” Kafka on the Shore

© Dipped in Rococo ~ lifestyle in analog Maira Gall.