A person I met here once accused Warsaw of not being a “real city” because it lacked a Prada store. Not being able to relate to the statement I laughed, replying only that I thought Warsaw wasn’t a real city because of the absence of a reputable magazine store. I am, after all, a magazine person, and there’s no hiding from the fact that for many years Warsaw was missing the kind of media stores you’d find in Berlin, London, Paris and New York. Now though, with the opening of Super Salon, I fully retract my statement.
I was walking down Chmielna looking over to the little nook where Mela Verde is to see what business transformations were occurring when I first spotted it. I immediately investigated, walking in with something of a sense of surprise. Forgetting where I was I didn’t even think of speaking in Polish: “When the hell did this open?” I asked. The person working laughed, and in shared enthusiasm and appreciation of the stock revealed it was just a few months old. Without having to look I instantly saw all the titles I pick up when going back to New York: Apartmento, Elephant, The Gourmand, Kinfolk, Cereal, Aperture, and Gather. I picked up a few of the usual suspects but fled before I could spend more money on the amazing art books published by the likes of Steidl, Mack, Gestalten and Powerhouse.
From a recent visit, I can recommend checking out the new Wes Anderson Collection
(a brilliant compilation of all that is Wes Anderson) and A Work in Progress / René Redzepi from the genius behind Noma. To brush up on your Polish (artists), they have this totally unique book of hand-painted film negatives called Negative Book by Aneta Grzeszykowska (famous for remaking Cindy Sherman’s iconic photos from the seventies). Also in store, check the collection of city cycling books by Thames & Hudson in case you’re heading to any of the cities previously mentioned. If you love printed matter, you’ll love this story – and as the t-shirt says, “support your local bookstore”, because here’s one I don’t want to see vanish. (KD)