walkscape Warsaw
The glitter backbone
Posted on September 14, 2017

Wandering through the congested avenues of the Praga district, nearby the Wschodnia railway station, I reach the Kamionek neighborhood. An area marked out by an industrial past and a scruffy look, in which enjoy a large part of the majestic Soviet architecture, in addition to a section of common daily life. Moving forward, I discover the SoHo factory. This looks like an experiment, which arises by the will to establish a unique creative spot in the city. A place where nurture ideas and innovations in the wake of New York SoHo district. Not only converted post-industrial buildings, but also the spread of a strong resourceful spirit.

Leaning against the wall, big writing made up of different fonts adorn the Neon Muzeum. Inside, the neon signs of post-war Warsaw light up the dark space, giving off all sorts of color shades. Apparently, the Cold War pushed the Government to make the city more colored and bright, enough to create the glitter backbone of the Warsaw streets. The museum is born from the idea of two founders to bring back the neon signs, not just by photos, but even more through the physical restoration of them.

The neon signs are genuine pieces of art, realized by some of the best artists at the time, using captivating designs and fonts, in addition to loud colors. Reading the single stories of the signs is fascinating because they tell slight chronicles referred to the common life of places like the Hotel Saski or the Ambassador restaurant. In some of these cases, a simple glossy light can become an expectation, a habit or an urban landmark, anyway something important for the people who lived the city. That is why the protection of these slices of culture is remarkable.