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    Posted May 29, 2014 by
    Poznan, Poland
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The best things about Poland

    Stary Rynek in Poznan

    My parents left Poland in the 80's for a better life in America. I was born and raised in Chicago to Polish-speaking parents and spent some summers with grandma and grandpa in Poznan, Poland. During my high school and college years, it was difficult to leave friends and family to spend time with family in Poland, and for nearly 13 years, I didn't return. It wasn't until I was older and wiser that I realized the gift of having family in a foreign country. Since 2008, I've returned to Poznan 4 times for grandma's 80th birthday, a half-marathon, a detour on a work trip, and a visit "just because."

    Poznan is my favorite city in Poznan, and the old town, or "Stary Rynek" is the quintessential Polish town square, featuring a ratusz (historic city hall), colorful buildings, outdoor bars/restaurants and sculptures or art work. Poznan's square is smaller than the famous Krakow square, but I've always found it to be more personal, accessible and less "touristy" than most European town squares. yet it retains the same "Old World" charm Europe is known for, and has some of the best local beer around at the "Browaria" Steps away from the square is perhaps the finest Belgian beer bar (Kriek) I've been to outside of Brussels. While Poznan may not be as popular as Warsaw, Krakow or Gdansk, it is one of the oldest cities in Poland, and holds a special place in my heart as the origin of my family.
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