I’ve got a mail from Agata, with a message from Monika, a student at International Relations Faculty.
She was asking foreign students to fill in a survey called Climate of Lodz “to see how international visitors (as You!) see Lodz after their staying in the city.”
I couldn’t help but send her some nice comments as well, after filling in the survey. =)
Comments for question no. 3
It’s funny how you think of art festivals, when the hotel industry is not that great here!
Though the municipality cannot build hotels and other accommodation places per-say, they can actually provide the economical environmental to give a boost – lower taxes, special benefits, act as a mediator between central-area owners and the future investors, etc.
It’s surreal to think about international art festivals, when the venues here seem to be… wobbly.
That’s why I’ve chosen art&conference complex.. Since you have hotel(s), restaurant(s), etc.
Aqua park – ok… how feasible is this?.. You actually build an aqua park when you have lots of people with money, or lots of tourists.. and you want their money and also to create some jobs, right?!… Hmm.. did I live in another world, or did I not hear correctly that even if Lodz is the second biggest city in Poland, it is actually one of the cities at the bottom of the list when it comes to development and living-standard, etc ?!
Not to mention that you have already the fun-areas – the parks.. though I could say that you could do more about them, in order to attract money through them. Quick example: open-air cinema during spring-summer?!
Q no. 4
I voted 0 for CITY OF CARTOON because… what does that mean?!
Plus… post-industrial climate?!?!? — it’s interesting to hear that this city was a powerful industrial center.. ONCE:…. in the past!.. It can be in history books, on “tablica”, near Manufaktura… but it brings not added value to the whole city whatsoever!
To put it in a better light: can you tell me which is the difference between “simple-LODZ”, with no past industry… let’s say that it was just an average, almost unknown city in the past… and “past-industrial-LODZ” !?…
What is the difference that you make in a foreigner’s mind… if he/she sees LODZ as it is now… without being told anything related to its industrial past… and if he/she sees LODZ and finds out that you had fabrics industry, etc, etc. ? I don’t think he/she will say “Ohh.. really?.. how fascinating!.. I will tell all my friends to come to this past-industrial place.. and see it!”
city for weekend trips —-. com’on! you must be joking, right?… come and visit the city + visit manufaktura + do unexpensive shopping??
every erasmus will tell you that the prices here range from 5-10% less than in their home countries, and up to 5-10% more than in their home countries
… and excuse me.. you want to become the European City of Culture with Manufaktura?!?!
Q. no 5
first thing that comes to my mind —- in order to become a real European City of Culture, in order to make the visit of the foreigners as pleasurable as possible…. tell me what will it be like if you go into the town as an English speaker?!?!…. I can give you a boost – 99% of the sellers will not be able to communicate with you. Not even in your heavenly place called Manufaktura!
Q. no 6
HARD TO SAY at all questions.. because.. pardon my French… it’s bullshit!
This is the kind of aggressive (yet very utopic) marketing that we’ve been complaining about since we arrived in LODZ, after seeing “lodz in all its glory, on the Internet” back home.
Let me take the text from the lodz2016.com website piece by piece:
a. “The economic upsurge involves the cultural reviviscence. This is one of the reasons why our city proves to be prepared well enough to become the European Capital of Culture 2016.”
I’m sorry to tell you that economy and culture doesn’t go hand in hand per-say. It is true that without a good economy to back you up, you cannot fully support culture! Another thing: remember “well enough” for just a second.
b. “Lodz does not only meet all the requirements essential to gain this title but can also boast about the characteristics which are fundamental for the European Capital of Culture program. Winning of this prestigious status would undoubtedly bring even more opportunities for development, and prove a watershed in the history of the city.”
Weren’t you saying just a second ago.. that you are prepared “well enough”.. and… how come you can bring added value to the meaning of the ECC, if actually the ECC will bring more opportunities for development!?… Hmm.. I know that there can be a win-win situation, but there cannot be a bidirectional “live-saving” process! ECC boosting Lodz development, and Lodz boosting the concept of ECC! Trust me… if you do that.. you will reinvent the wheel!
c. “Lodz possesses an interesting and manifold cultural heritage, which is primarily embodied by the ample museum collections. The artistic output is probably best represented by the Lodz avant-garde as the group’s activity influenced not only Poland but also the whole world.”
Really?.. a cultural heritage?… While I’m sure that it is like that, since it is not a new city.. therefore it has history, thus also heritage… hmm… maybe you would also want to tell me that Manufaktura is such a heritage, since everywhere you go.. you hear Manufaktura, Galeria, Piotrkowska…. Nice heritage! I concur!
About the logo — overused concept! and colors.. hmm.. nice kitsch after the TOGETHER logo of the UE, not to mention hippie era, etc. etc.
About the gadgets —- ok.. cups, everybody does that… and they will be used I’m sure.. but they will be used indoors! therefore not much exposure, then you have the T-shirts… again.. get real! nobody would wear the T-shirts.. except those who cannot get other shirts!.. and the others will maybe – maybe! – where them during the opening of the festivities! then… caps – right! .. same as T-shirts!
There are other ideas in order to market this.. but the office didn’t strive to find them!.. And I’m sorry.. but I’m not going to put them down here! Just remember.. one of them: long-time of use, but no exposure.. the other two: great exposure, short-time of use, if any!
– I’m sorry but you will have to work big time – socially speaking, for 2016.
– I didn’t expect to see this aggressive style of marketing, again! Stop the lies!
– Very few English speakers in public places!
– People drinking on the streets from morning till next morning. I’m not kidding and I’m not with bad intentions!… At 3 PM.. 3 guys jumped from a taxi.. I would have given them a 9 on a scale 1-10, where 10 is being “dead-drunk”. And remember.. 3PM. The same.. you can see during the day people with a beer in their hand! Unbelievable! Why can’t they go inside a place?! I know.. you will say: more expensive drinks!.. Ok… drink inside the house! Ohh.. ok.. you will tell me: “they cannot do that.. cuz they stink”….
– Not so good travel connections. Maybe because of the vicinity with Warsaw…
– Bad streets in the center of the town.. Not to mention how some bus/tram-drivers go!
And the list could go on….
I’m sorry for the harsh tone, but once I’ve seen the lodz2016.com text… I exploded :)
It was just a way of counter-reaction with the same intensity as I felt that I had been “pushed” into “liking Lodz”.
With all the honesty.. I hope you will be ECC in 2016, but I do hope that the society will change a great deal as well!
PS — I want to stress out that often in this email “YOU” means “you, the polish people” or more accurately “you, lodzania”, and not you personally! ;)