Before hopping on three consecutive flights from Detroit to Warsaw, I had very few ideas about what life would be like in Warsaw. The only background I had in the region was living close to Hamtramck, Michigan, a huge Polish culture hub in Metro Detroit, and Bowie’s song “Warszawa” from his Berlin Trilogy album Low. That being said, the possibility of writing and being immersed in Polish art and music through working at culture.pl was enough to make me apply and book those daunting airline tickets. Just experiencing another country’s art scene in itself is a miraculous thing for someone, but the fact that I’d be drawing inspiration from the same city Bowie did in the 70s really drove the idea home.
Since I’ve arrived, I’ve developed professional and personal goals after my first weekend in the city and my first day of work at culture. Professionally, I would love to add more music-based pieces to my journalism portfolio and work on my editing techniques. Music journalism has always been something that’s interested me and I’ve already had some friends and coworkers send me some modern Polish tunes to chew on. There are plenty of artists in this city that deserve to be covered and I like to think that’s why I’m here: to give them another resource. On the other end of the professional goals, editing someone else’s work is extremely beneficial to your own writing. Already on my first day, I edited another staff writer’s work and it really got me immersed in culture.pl’s style guide. If I want to be an editor of a news publication at some point, I better have my act together in terms of editing and writing.
Personally, I want to see what Bowie saw. I want to see Warszawa through his eyes at such a seminal moment in his life. Traipsing through Europe, Bowie saw Warsaw as a powerhouse of culture and modernism. As I attempt to stumble my way into coffee shops and Chopin concerts in the park, I would like to continue to write and photograph and just love Warsaw. Location is everything, but music makes the world go round and Warsaw has plenty of it that I need to see and hear.