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, April 23, 2009

THE SIPHON, WAL-MART AND POLISH ATTITUDE

click on to enlarge

THE SIPHON, WAL-MART AND POLISH ATTITUDE (March 2009)


One of the childhood pleasures for us kids living in the city was the idea of getting together with a couple of friends after school, going across the street, behind the St Kostka church (the same one in the Zoliborz district, where several years later, ft Popieluszko would preach) and chipping in 5 zl for a siphon of pear flavored soda water. The place was known as “U Dziada” translating to "Old Man's Place." On a hot day, it was a much better option than the saturator water at the nearby old Wilson Square, then named Parisian Commune Square (now back to Wilson Square again…). The difference was that the saturator had only one glass that you could pour soda water into and flavor it with fruit syrup. The unofficial name of that mixed drink was “gruzliczanka,” which translated to … “Tuberculosis water,” because pretty much everybody used it and you were expected to get sick and die. Although I had never heard of such case.

The siphon at “U Dziada” came with no glass although we did not need one, simple we squirted that pear water straight into our mouths (you actually needed a second person to do that) without our lips touching any part of the glass bottle and without wasting any water either. That was the whole idea.

Sitting on the curb, in the shade of the church building, drinking from the old fashioned siphon bottle, what a thrill…

After we finished, we got 2 zl 50gr deposit back, which meant that we just experienced one of life’s pleasures for only 2 zl 50 groszy. Some of the best things in life do come cheap…

Just around the corner, walking along the side of the long building at Krasinskiego Street would lead you to the shoe repair shop. On the way, you would pass the vegetable shop marked by the aroma of the sauerkraut and pickles in brine, usually scooped from the barrel by huge wooden claws. Across the street from the shoe repairman’s shop was a “mydlarnia” - soap, cleaning supplies, and cosmetics store. Fabric for my summer dresses came from a shop on the same street. And my whole life (except for the vacation in the countryside) and social crowd evolved around that Parisian Commune Square. The travel agency Orbis, book and record store, Delikatesy, where we bought “Dodoni” canned orange juice, and where kids from school sneaked out to buy kefir and baguettes. The school’s student shop, besides notebooks and pencils, offered some snacks and fresh glazed "paczki" for 2 zl.

Did I expect “U Dziada“ (the siphon filling station) to still be there on my trips to Warsaw over the years? Of course not! I don’t even expect the street name be the same.

Although, the church most likely will be dedicated to the same saint.

There were several movie theaters within walking distance. Repertoire: “Zorro” with French actor Alain Delon, “Headless Rider” (Russian), “In Desert and Wilderness,” the adaptation of the book by Henryk Sienkiewicz. My first movie ever, as I can recall, was “Flip & Flap in the Foreign Legion” in the US known as “Laurel & Hardy.”

As a child I was allowed, as were all my friends, to walk the area alone, my dog came along later on. The light colored fluffy animal, 20 cm above ground level that I could hardly consider a guard dog, anyway, although she barked vigorously at every man in uniform.

Us children were allowed to walk alone even though the wave of the “black Volga” scare spread. Rumor had it that someone was driving such (Russian made) car and was kidnapping children. The small Fiat wasn’t popular yet, and if you wanted to get the fear effect, a “black Volga“ sounds much better than “white Fiat 125P(fiats did not come in black.).

Under communism, small entrepreneurships were in business although they were hardly prosperous unless you owned greenhouses with several of them in the Warsaw suburbs.

Later on, some cashed in on growing … white mushrooms. Now some Poles make money raising … snails to be shipped to France where they become “escargots” and are served on French tables, I’m not kidding…

In the US, over the years, I found several articles about an intriguing (to Americans, not so to us, Polish immigrants) fact occurring in post-war Europe of Jews returning to Germany and the reasons behind it.

Those supposedly highly qualified columnists, well known authors, “experts” on all social and historical issues, all concluded the same, Jews returned (or moved) to Germany for two reasons:

1) Because that’s where their roots were (ancestors are buried, etc).

2) Germans were bad but others were even worse.

And of course, the alleged ever-present “anti-Semitism” in Eastern (and Central) Europe was so high that no Jews wanted to ever return there. Those who stayed behind were robbed and we all know the rest. There are many who stayed, thank God, did well and are still doing fine (to prove the idiots wrong), but that “revelation” would destroy the myth…

Those “experts” are missing one important fact, which is actually the main factor…

Now, ask me why we don’t shop at Wal-mart? That’s right, we are Wal-mart free! Since June 2004!

The answer is simple, because it reminds us of the communist era’s state operated stores. We had them, The Russians had them, and theirs was called GUM. It destroyed all family operated businesses in the area. Whatever wasn’t confiscated died a natural slow death with the remaining few were doing just ok. Nothing spectacular.

Corporate America reminds us of Communism in Poland so why would I support it then? When small businesses can’t compete with the “lowest” prices of big chain stores, the mechanism is the same.

You had to be blind not to see it coming. People wanted things cheap, they got them, but there was a catch… Are there any products made in the US left? Give me some, think, think... any? The things that people used to send to Poland all made in America were the pride of the recipient, always of the highest quality, are now are in non-existence. That was written in very fine print so we missed it…

We let the retailers fool us. We allowed ourselves to believe that more (of the cheap stuff) is better. And now we’ll pay a high price for it. We thought we were so smart...

At some point, “Wal-mart” became the magic solution to all our problems and needs. All my girlfriends always came up with the same answer “I’ll buy it at Wal-mart,” “Wal-mart has it,” “You can get it cheaper at Wal-mart,” as if they were on their payroll.

It had to stop. Whatever happened to Ames, Zaire, Fair, Caldor, Lechmere, or Bradlees?

Gone, replaced by … you guessed it. And when Wal-mart added the Super Food section, you didn’t need to shop anywhere else anymore. In Oxford, MA, it only took Wal-mart four days to come up with the idea of its own Food Store as an addition to the existing store after some supermarket chain decided to build its store nearby.

So now I’m back to the American “old days” way of shopping when the economy was build by immigrants and small businesses. I shop at my local hardware store operated by a local family, and I do not mind paying a little more, I’ll just buy less. They seem to be much more competent than anybody at Wal-mart ever was. And they know my name. And they smile and not just wear a smiley face on their pin. And we chat. Who would have thought that buying birdseeds, ant traps or even a plunger is a good conversation starter?

If in your area you still have some family operated business, support it as an endangered specie...

There are two options: 1) either those columnists, opinion makers, deep thought gurus do not understand the economic situation outside the US, especially in post-war Poland, or 2) they do understand well but also know that the average American reader does not… And the average reader trusts its media. They may not trust the media on political issues, but agree on others, as abstract as European history. Also if they knew the history of Jews in Poland (not the distorted version), they would know, for sure, that the main reason why Jews were there in masses (beside being kicked out from the West), invited by the Polish king, and what they maintained all those centuries was the ability to prosper as small vendors or big merchants, one of the country’s economic engines. Paradis Judeorum was “Jewish Paradise” nowhere else but in 17th century Poland. The Golden Age of Jewish history.

In 1945, having that ability taken away, replaced by the government-operated enterprise, not only crossed out Jewish but everyone else’s hope for good life in peace and prosperity.

Meanwhile over the wall, in Germany…Western not (!) Eastern that is… life was getting better and better, thanks to the Marshall Plan (that Poland was deprived of as Uncle Sam’s good intentions did not charm Uncle Joe), German capitalism went full steam ahead, sided with all the goodies of the free market.

And this is the country that stirred up the war and the one that lost it. And Poland was supposed to be the “winner.”

But understanding requires thinking and some American “experts” seem to be lacking in that concept (or logic). Why else would they call the Soviet brutal occupation and decades of Communist regime in Poland a “guardianship” as they do in the Smithsonian publishing called “Human-Origins, body, mind, culture, peoples…” filled with 500 pages of human studies?

It always starts with one stereotype, a myth and the rest follows but the finished product is more of an invention rather than a logical follow-up of arguments supported by facts.

Someone should have a scientific study of “American expertise.”

Being Jewish does not automatically make you an expert on the Holocaust. Many American Jews of the younger generation are influenced by Jewish and American authors who are openly prejudiced against Poles. Just as being American does not make you an expert on Polish history or specifically communism (as I said, many American “scholars” base their knowledge on repeated stereotypes) only because they claim Poles were lied to by their communist government. Sorry, I guess, over the decades we must have developed that extra sense of knowing when we are lied to.

I wish all Americans did too.

Capitalism in the West, besides giving people a chance to become rich, and live comfortably also had another major “advantage” - those with money could influence those without. The rich could influence others’ opinion by promoting their version of history, the winners write the history, and the winner with money can rewrite history over and over.

To say that the communist government discriminated against the Jews is plain ridiculous. The streets were named after Jewish heroes, monuments erected one by one, and many start up their political career in communist government (a fact that the US passes as a myth).

The notion that some Jews returned after 1989 because of the fall of the communist government that cost them a repression is also quite amusing. The so-called “revival of Jewish culture” in the US is presented as the changing of Polish attitudes toward Jews. Supposedly for what reason?

We all know that Poles are also returning, although, I guess this fact is not worth mentioning by the US media. Does it mean that the government somehow is more Polish friendly now as well? Did the sentiments toward them also change?

Or maybe they ALL return because the old system fell and now the new system welcomes investors because it is business friendly? Maybe it has nothing to do with the changing Polish attitude - it’s only in some columnist‘s head that some strange theories are being created.

Polish Jews are doing quite well except that the American media doesn’t want the American reader to know about it. Another day, another myth - why complicate things when everything can be so black and white?

The sociologists and historians, from this side of the globe will continue their thesis.

There were no Wall Streets in Eastern Europe - no rich clients to grab the money from.

People like Bernie Madoff could not have prospered in communism. Someone of even much lesser wealth wound attract unnecessary attention.

Unlike Americans, communists did not create Forbes’ Fortune 400 to brag about.

That’s why, the world’s famous sprinkler installer, the son of Jewish immigrants could only accomplish the world’s greatest scheme here in the US and not in his parents' native country, Poland.

Sadly for the US, from being the number one country of opportunity, it became the “mecca” for opportunists. I know, I know… I should be sorry for the victims who lost millions, but somehow I cannot force myself to be.

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