Market Square, Bytom
Bytom is a typical Polish post-industrial city. The majority of its coal mines are now closed, while its steel mills are slowly fading. The city is struggling to transform its economic profile from industry to services. Bytom cooperates with two cities with more or less the same problems: Recklinghausen in Germany, and Butte-Silver Bow, United States. The city has a considerable unemployment rate which is centered in the poorest part of the city, Bobrek.
More from the Bytom page on Wikipedia
When I tell Poles that I travel to Bytom each year, they say: "Why?" First off there is the breathless festival with 500 Polish dance lovers as participants, and more events and activities than any other in Europe, apart from Impulztanz in Vienna. My role is as Associate Editor of the English language version of the festival newspaper and lecturer on the Dance Writing and History course.
But I also enjoy wandering the tourist-free streets of Bytom, with Art Nouveau buildings (they use the Viennese term, Secession, locally), enjoying the good, cheap local restaurants and talking, talking, talking about dance, life, the Universe and everything.