warsaw mural

VISIT WARSAW!

VISIT WARSAW!
click on image

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
JERZY JANOWICZ, click above

EURO 2012

EURO 2012
kuba blaszczykowski, euro's best moments

National Stadium in Warsaw

National Stadium in Warsaw

NOBEL POETRY LAUREATE W.SZYMBORSKA DIES

NOBEL POETRY LAUREATE W.SZYMBORSKA DIES
click on

CHRISTMAS IN WARSAW

CHRISTMAS IN WARSAW
warsaw / by the royal castle

warsaw 2011

christmas market

IZU UGONOH

IZU UGONOH
Polish born professional kickboxer, click on

POLAND ELECTIONS 2011: Prime Minister Donald Tusk Takes Home Victory

POLAND ELECTIONS 2011: Prime Minister Donald Tusk Takes Home Victory
click on for info

POLAND / MOVE YOUR IMAGINATION

POLAND / MOVE YOUR IMAGINATION
click for video

Poznan Film & Music Festival

Poznan Film & Music Festival
click for more

POLAND AT ITB BERLIN 2011

POLAND AT ITB BERLIN 2011
watch trailer, click

RESTAURANTS

RESTAURANTS
rozbrat20, click...

at the chefs' polish cuisine, click..

COPERNICUS SCIENCE CENTER

COPERNICUS SCIENCE CENTER
IS OPEN NOW...

MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
click on to see the project

ANIMATED HISTORY OF POLAND

ANIMATED HISTORY OF POLAND
1000 YEARS IN 8 MINUTES...click on

WARSAW in 1935

WARSAW in 1935
click for more pics

WARSAW IS SAD WITHOUT YOU!

WARSAW IS SAD WITHOUT YOU!
watch video

THE NATIONAL STADIUM, WARSAW

THE NATIONAL STADIUM, WARSAW
click on the picture above

CHOPIN BALLET...

CHOPIN BALLET...
playing now...click on...

EXPO 2010 Shanghai

EXPO 2010 Shanghai

Polish Pavilion, click on

2010 YEAR OF CHOPIN...

2010 YEAR OF CHOPIN...
click for more...

MARCIN WYROSTEK

MARCIN WYROSTEK
I have talent / click on image

SEVEN GATES OF JERUSALEM, PENDERECKI & BAGINSKI

SEVEN GATES OF JERUSALEM, PENDERECKI & BAGINSKI
click for video
Recorded during a concert at the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera in Warsaw. This was a gala performance of Seven Gates of Jerusalem marking Penderecki's 75th birthday, conducted by the composer himself.
The setting for the concert was provided by specially designed computer animations by Tomasz Baginski projected onto a large screen.

TOMEK BAGINSKI

TOMEK BAGINSKI
his newest film, click

krzysztof kieslowski's headstone

SAPAYA....

SAPAYA....

...taste of Vietnam in Warsaw...

...taste of Vietnam in Warsaw...
click on

ROMAN POLANSKI

ROMAN POLANSKI
click on

70th ANNIVERSARY OF WWII

70th ANNIVERSARY OF WWII
click on pic

WARSAW UPRISING'44 anniversary, 65th

WARSAW UPRISING'44 anniversary, 65th
click on, "Go, passer-by, and tell the world That we perished in the cause, Faithful to our orders."

ANNA MARIA JOPEK

ANNA MARIA JOPEK
click to watch video " sypka warszawa"

NEW EP PRESIDENT jerzy buzek

NEW EP PRESIDENT jerzy buzek
click on

OLD TOWN JAZZ

OLD TOWN JAZZ
click on

CHOPIN CONCERTS AT ROYAL LAZIENKI PARK 50th anniversary

CHOPIN CONCERTS AT ROYAL LAZIENKI PARK 50th anniversary
1959-2009 (click on)

FREEDOM WAS BORN IN POLAND, JUNE 4th 1989

FREEDOM WAS BORN IN POLAND, JUNE 4th 1989
click on

jack, jane and stevie (wonder) all supported solidarnosc...

20th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FALL OF COMMUNISM (JUNE 4th 1989)


The elections that broke communist power in Poland in 1989 also triggered political revolution across east-central Europe.

The political upheaval that began in Poland continued in Hungary, and then led to a surge of mostly peaceful revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria. Romania was the only Eastern-bloc country to overthrow its communist regime violently and execute its head of state.

The Revolutions of 1989 greatly altered the in the world and marked (together with the subsequent balance of power and collapse of the Soviet Union) the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the Post Cold War era.




campaign poster

DR. MARIA SIEMIONOW

DR. MARIA SIEMIONOW
click on

Maria Siemionow is a renowned Polish surgeon (Poznan Medical Academy, receiving her PhD in microsurgery there) at the Cleveland Clinic. She gained public notice in December, 2008, when she led a team of six surgeons in a 22-hour surgery, performing the first face transplant in the United States on patient Connie Culp.[1] She is currently Director of Plastic Surgery Research and Head of Microsurgery Training at the Cleveland Clinic. She is also Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

MARIUSZ KWIECIEN POLISH BARITONE

MARIUSZ KWIECIEN POLISH BARITONE
he is regular at metropolitan opera

POLISH PIANIST'S PROTEST

POLISH PIANIST'S PROTEST
click on

Fourth Anniversary of the Death of John Paul II

Fourth Anniversary of the Death of John Paul II
click on

4 years ago...

October 1978...

"May Jesus Christ be praised! Dearest brothers and sisters, we are still grieved after the death of our most beloved Pope John Paul I. and now the most eminent cardinals have called a new bishop of Rome. They have called him from a distant country, distant but always close through the communion in the Christian faith and tradition…"
"I do not know if I can explain myself well in you – in our Italian language. If I make a mistake you will correct me. And so I present myself to you all to confess our common faith, our hope, our confidence in the Mother of Christ and of the Church, and also to start anew this road of history and of the Church, with the help of God and with the help of men."

MELKART BALL

MELKART BALL
click on

HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY!

HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY!
march 8th, international

7th SLED DOG RACE

7th SLED DOG RACE
3/1/ 2009, lutowiska, 120km, click for more pics

NOTHING TWICE...

"Nothing can ever happen twice. In consequence, the sorry fact is that we arrive here improvised and leave without the chance to practice..." ( W. Szymborska, Polish poet, Nobel Prize winner)

WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA

WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA
click on picture to continue...

do you know?

"Stohrer is the oldest continually operating pastry shop in Paris. It was started by Nicolas Stohrer, a Polish pastry chef who came to France with Marie Leszczynska, the daughter of King Stanislas of Poland, when she married King Louis XV of France in 1725. In 1730, Stohrer opened up his own shop in the very location where it stands today. He is credited with inventing the Rum Baba."

blikle pastry shop in warsaw

foster building

pics by cousin lukasz

2010 / YEAR OF CHOPIN

2010 / YEAR OF CHOPIN

the greatest polish composer

The big year in Warsaw is going to be 2010, the 200th anniversary of composer Fryderyk Chopin's birth. FRYDERYK FRANCISZEK CHOPIN was born in Zelazowa Wola, in the Duchy of Warsaw. In November 1830, at the age of twenty, he went abroad; following the suppression of the Polish November Uprising of 1830–1831, he became one of many expatriates of the Polish "Great Emigration."
He died in Paris (burial site: the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.) Although his heart is in Poland, brought by his sister Ludwika, at Chopin’s own request and in testament to the musician’s unwavering loyalty to his homeland, where it was placed inside a pillar of the Holy Cross Church at Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street...
Polish Handmade Shoes
Why Polish shoes? At the turn of the century, a gentleman would buy his suits in London, his dresses in Paris (for lady friends, one presumes) and his boots in Poland. The shoemaking tradition survives in a few specialist shops in the centre of Warsaw.
http://www.grailtrail.ndo.co.uk/Grails/shoe.html
http://www.kielman.pl/en/historia/

wilanow park

BODY LANGUAGE...

"It is not only in terms of volume that Poles are outwardly expressive. There is a joke that the best way to make a Spaniard stop talking is to tie up his hands, and while the same tactic may not mute a Pole, it would certainly cause a speech impediment (...) Poles will often lean forward in their chair, or even stand up, in order to add weight to a specific point they are trying to make."

From "Customs & Etiquette"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

GOT SNOW?

GOT SNOW? February 2009

Scenes from a winter wonderland are only pretty if you accept the notion that they are soon to be something of the past or if you are looking at them from afar. Here in the center of the snow making machine, it is just plain brutal.
This winter season, Central Massachusetts experienced some major snow and ice storms. As a result, 1 million residents were without power for at least a couple of days. Then when power was restored for most, some 100,000 were still left in the darkness for another week. And that was even before Christmas … Now, try to imagine the Christmas Season minus Christmas lights and music! Although "roasting chestnuts over an open fire" somehow still makes sense. You drive through the area in the evening, and it's pitch black. No street lights, no alarms, police telling people to stay in their homes to prevent break-ins... Some went to shelters. I'm sure that the local kids loved the time off … until they realized that without power, there is not much to do these days besides a round of scrabble perhaps?
I bet some residents received generators as early Christmas gifts. Forget about the Tiffany's friendship bracelet. How about a new shovel decorated with a red bow?

Considering my own town was somewhat spared (we only experienced a 12 hour long reminder of how it was in New England in the old days) but up north, in neighboring towns, it was a site of a true disaster.
I mean, when I, in my living room, watch via satelite, Polish news live from Holden, Massachusetts, reporting on the state of emergency there, it's not good.
And when there is street after street "decorated" with oversized icecles and the electricity pole collapses right behind the reporter, and sparks create some special effects, you know there will be no school tomorrow.

Two days after the storm, we drove through the area, and only then realized the scale of the disaster. The main roads were cleared up for the most part, but one just needed to look on the sides of the streets where the trees had their tops missing as if a tornado came through. Most houses were still covered with ice, I mean entire buildings with cars parked in front, completely covered with ice as if "glazed." Quite a site!

The live Nativity at Heifer Farm in Rutland had to be cancelled. Radio announcers encouraged listeners to check on their elderly neighbors.

We searched for batteries and candles throughout the house, listened to the news via a transistor radio, and during daylight, actually tried to catch up on some reading.

In Sturbridge, Pizzeria Uno's was packed (with a waiting period of an hour) as after a couple of days, you crave a hot meal. The supermarket next door was surprisingly empty, supposedly because, as someone commented, "if your fridge isn't running, what's the point of buying food?" Coolers buried in the snow outside would be my idea of survival…
But then again, my people came from the North. During Christmas Season, we kept a hare hanging outside the kitchen window (so it would be extra crispy!) before Jacek's grandpa made a tasty pate out of it.

Back in the 90s, here in New England, we did experience a heavy snowstorm. It was one of those "winters of the century." Back then, we lost power for three days. Help was on its way from … Canada. For us, the electricity being shut down meant no heat or cooking. We had hot water, but who wants to take a shower when you get icicles in your hair before you put your pants on?

Since the phones did not work and cell phones were non-existent, we did not know if any of our friends had power so we didn't know who to invade. Who should we bunk with? Some were lucky to have a wood stove that not only provided heat, but cooked meal or at least hot drinks. We did pull out our tiny camping gas stove and tried to heat up some Progresso soup. Francis built an igloo … for fun.

In the evening, Jacek took the kids and set up a large sleeper sofa with all of our blankets and comforters. The kids slept in their ski pants and turtlenecks. I comfortably slept in my own bedroom, wearing my regular nightgown, covered with only…a down comforter made by Jacek's grandma. The only problem that I had with it was that it wasn't quilted. So the feather filling traveled from one corner to another as I moved while dreaming of some warm exotic place.
New England weather can be unpredictable, once in the summer, after a tornado warning (that's right, a tornado warning…) we sat in the basement, in our pjs, with the same transistor radio and a gallon of lemonade. I believe that before I left the house, I pulled off the wall the watercolor painting that belonged to my great-grandmother.
Everything else was replaceable... even the hamsters.

It is somehow comforting to know that London (yes, London!) got its share of real winter this season too. The snow not only paralized Heathrow (Tony Blair was late for his lecture at my son's school in Medford, Massachusetts), but caused the major shutdown of pretty much everything… It seemed that the only happy (British) person was Samatha Fox, the 80s popular singer and sex symbol, who enjoyed time in her now renamed "winter"garden. Several young boys showed up and offered to shovel, and who wouldn't?

Here in Massachusetts, some drive around with buckets full of sand while others prefer cat litter. My personal favorite is bird seeds. Last year, I also had (leftover) Christmas tree branches, and I use them for traction when I'm stuck on ice.

I should not complain as this winter weather keeps us Easterners in a good shape, you know from shoveling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice sculpturing and dog-sledding.
The power shutdown forces children to play outdoors, tubing and tumbling in the snow, until their cheeks are rosy… and our dogs love it too!
Only some of us, gutless, move to Florida for the winter sending us stupid postcards with images of sandy beaches and young tanned women with shapely buttocks.
Very funny…

Our men don't lie around on the beach all day drinking margaritas or chasing other women. In the winter season, ice fishing is the favorite pasttime of real men! Almost each town that posseses a lake organizes an ice fishing derby. Occasionally, one or two trucks won't make it back to the shore. Pulling out is at the owner's expense. You pay for being stupid. I did not say all our men were smart…

In Ohio, on Lake Erie, 150 men who liked to live dangerously and "on the edge" ignored the warnings and got stuck on drifting ice. Eleven fire departments were called along with the US coast guard. Some saved their fish, so they did not come home empty-handed. "Honey, look, I drowned my truck, but I saved our supper!"

The movie theatre is always an option to go to to warm up if the temperature in your house is 55F or below. This time we couldn't even tell the temperature since the new (digital) thermostat was … off.

"Slumdog Millionaire" was sold out! I guess others had the same idea, so we went to see "The Reader" (http://thereader-movie.com/). It turned out to be a brilliant film… two hours of our time and $19 well spent.

It begins in 1958 in Berlin, when a young boy becomes ill and is helped by a woman with whom he … starts an affair. The fact that he is 15 and she is 36 is less important. Except that he gains a new experience for which, in exchange, all she wants is… to be read to. The "kid" is beautifully played by German David Kross, and the shooting of some of the scenes had to be delayed until Kross turned 18.

Maybe watching nude actors when the temperature outside is 0F and dogs would rather dehydrate than go out and pee, may not seem like a good idea, but, how about this … Kate Winslet's hot body will melt any ice.

Ok, the movie is not what you think it is. It actually deals with the so called… German guilt. Here you have a variety of characters, who sometimes don't behave as you expect them to. But that's life. Its not about Germans or Jews. It's about human nature, mysterious, unexplainable and just like New England weather, unpredictable.

The film is based on a novel by Bernhard Schlink titled "Der Vorleser," which, by the way, is mandatory reading in German schools. American students may need to read it too and not only those at the college level. There are many great scenes, and some are quite emotional. One of the best is at the end, and it's between Ralph Finnes and Lena Olin, when a German lawyer, on behalf of a Nazi guard, meets with a wealthy Jewish Holocaust survivor in her Manhattan penthouse. A captivating thought.

Some American critics don't find this move attractive, some accuse the filmmakers of underplaying the Holocaust.
We are so used to the Holocaust playing a front role, based on one-sided testimonies that when the critics see the Holocaust only in the background, they call it "revisionism."

The critics in US and abroad seem to be united in the typical accusations of the "novel simplifying history and compelling its readers to identify with the perpetrators." To which the author replied:

"I've heard that criticism several times, but never from the older generation, people who have lived through it." That's what I thought...

Coffee flavored water (at the theatre convenience stand), not to be mistaken for real coffee sells for $3.25 and could not possibly have ruined my movie. Another option was bottled water for … $4.

You don't have to wait for the snowstorm to see the film as for some, it may never come.

Too cheap to spend money on movie tickets and overpriced drinks? Get a copy of the book from the library and read it at the beach. (But remember, with all the advertising, The Bielski Comrades will make more money this week at the box office…)

My next escapade – "open mike" at Borders. I know, I know, its not a big deal, but I wouldn't change it for anything, nor the moon over the Quaboag river, Salem, Cape Cod and the Oyster Festival, crab cakes, Marconi Beach, the cranberry fields in Maine, Franconia Notch (and the Flume) in New Hampshire, maple trees, or Indian Summer all the way from the Berkshires to Martha's Vineyard…

Those Floridians with "imported" sandy beaches and Californians with "transplanted" palm trees, what do they know?

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