September 16, 2018: Dożynki - Corpus Christi Church. Buffalo, New York
September 19, 2018: Rochester Bike Ride from Monroe Ave to Lake Ontario
September is the best month for biking, nice and cool and the kids are in school. I had planned to leave for Buffalo at 6 AM to do the 46 mile Niagara River ride. The trouble was I could not fall asleep so at 4 a.m. I decided to get up and do a little grocery shopping. When I got back, I went back to bed but did not fall asleep until six o'clock. That meant if I wanted to exercise today, I’d have to do a shorter ride here in Rochester. Here is the video/slideshow…
October 1, 2018: YouTube Videos
If you are a regular visitor to PoloniaMusic.com, you undoubtedly know I post many videos on YouTube and Vimeo. Many of my videos showcase Polish music and cultural events, but others are about my other interests including playing musical intstruments and leading an active lifestyle (biking, hiking and kayaking)... and more. I encourage you to visit my video channels and hope you will subscribe to each. Here are the links:
BRAWO!!! Congratulations to the cast of "Uprising", a play about the 1944 Warsaw Uprising entirely written, directed and performed by very talented high school students from Latham, New York. Here is their page:
Our country and democracy are on life support. As a check against any individual or group of people gaining too much political power, our constitution calls for a separation of powers among the three branches of government. Unfortunately, the legislative branch is currently controlled by the the executive branch because the Republican majority fears President Trump. They are Republican in name only; it is now the Party of Trump. Our "Republican" congressional representatives and senators fear DJT because they risk not being re-elected if they get on his bad side. To make matters worse, DJT has also managed to encroach upon the powers of the judiciary branch. His recent nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was likely made to swing the court in his favor in the event of potential indictments against him for conspiracy, tax evasion, violation of the emoluments clause, etc.
This sure smells like authoritarianism to me; an autocracy or dictatorship are in the works! Gerrymandering, an outdated electoral system and dirty money pose an existential threat to our nation. We must, in my opinion, vote for political candidates willing to break this downward spiral. The time has come for us to decide as a nation what kind of a country we want for our children. Hopefully we will use the ballot to choose democracy.
Please vote responsibly
October 11, 2018: Co to ma być?
When I was in kindergarten or first grade, I remember asking my mother why children are not permitted to use bad language whereas my teacher can swear whenever she speaks Polish. "What does sister say?", my mother asked. I was afraid to tell her but she insisted. "Bitch", I responded. smiled and told me that "być" is simply the Polish word meaning "to be". "I'm sure Sister wants you TO BE good little boys and girls." Phew, I was so relieved. Phew, I was so relieved.
I am totally enjoying the book "Shoulder to Shoulder: Polish Americans in Rochester, NY 1890-2000" by Kathleen Urbanic. Rochester's Polish community is lucky to have the author as its historian. I picked up a copy of her book at last Friday evening's exhibit at St. John Fisher College and I just can't put it down.
“Under the Ancient Polish Flag,” an exhibit of images and artifacts, is celebrating the contributions that Rochester’s Polish community made to the restoration of a free, independent Poland at the close of World War I.
Sponsored by the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester, the exhibit features fifty images and artifacts documenting the dedication and sacrifice with which local Polish Americans supported the effort to liberate Poland from foreign rule. Vintage photographs and memorabilia from the Polish Community Archives will highlight the service of young men from Rochester in the Polish “Blue Army,” the humanitarian work of local Grey Samaritan nurses who assisted refugees in war-torn Poland, and home front fundraising that yielded impressive amounts for Polish relief.
On display in the Patricia O’Keefe Ross Gallery in the Skalny Welcome Center at St. John Fisher College, “Under the Ancient Polish Flag” opened on Friday, October 5, with a reception at 6 PM, followed by a presentation at 7 PM by Dr. James Pula, Professor of History at Purdue University and a leading scholar of Polish American studies. The exhibit will be on view through November 9 during the gallery’s regular hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM).
When the First World War broke out in 1914, Poland did not exist as a nation. It was wiped from the map of Europe at the close of the eighteenth century, divided into partitions controlled by Prussia, Russia,and Austria-Hungary. For Poles, the war presented an opportunity to liberate their homeland from foreign domination. In that effort, Polish immigrants and their descendants in the United States – including the members of Rochester Polonia – played a pivotal role of support. The exhibit illustrates that connection as Poland commemorates the centennial of its restoration as an independent republic, which will be marked this year on Polish Independence Day (November 11, 2018).
So I chuckled when I came upon the following entry relating a story about a Rochester Pole arrested for loitering near St. Stanislaus Kosta Church on Hudson Avenue in 1905. On that day, a fight broke out in the schoolyard between rival parishioners arguing over parish business too complicated to explain here. (Read the book.) This is a description of the trial:
One question critical to the proceedings was whether or not the defendant was fluent in English. Although police officers maintained that they had heard him shout an English obcscenity at (Fr.) Szadzinski, the defense attorney contended that the accused was not well versed in English and could not have uttered the phrase. Rather, the lawyer submitted, his client had been observing the scuffle, standing on the sidelines with his hands in his pockets when he inquired, Co to ma być? ("What's going on here?" Certainly, the defense appealed to the jury, the officers might have mistaken the Polish phrase for the similar-sounding English epithet "son of a bitch".
The jury found the defendant not guilty.
- "Shoulder to Shoulder: Polish Americans in Rochester, NY 1890-2000". Page 46
Under the Ancient Polish Flag
An exhibit of images and artifacts celebrating Rochester Polonia's
support for the Restoration of Poland's Independence in 1918
The exhibit will be on view through November 9, 2018 during the gallery’s regular hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM).
October 21, 2018: The Promised Land, Ziemia Obiecana
The Rochester Polish Film Festival is in progress. Last night I walked to the Dryden Theater at the George Eastman House on East Ave to see "The Promised Land" (Ziemia Obiecana). Two more films remain. CLICK HERE
October 22, 2018: The Promised Land, Ziemia Obiecana
The Rochester Polish Film Festival is in progress. Last night I walked to the Dryden Theater at the George Eastman House on East Ave to see "The Promised Land" (Ziemia Obiecana). Two more films remain. CLICK HEREfor details.
But I took a nap before the movie while watching RDI TV, which is a French-language station out of Quebec. I awoke to a tribute to Lise Payette, a major figure in Quebec’s feminist movement. (Payette was a journalist, a radio and television host, a TV writer and a former Parti Québécois minister. She died on Sept. 5 at the age of 87.)
Many of you know I am always in search of a good tune, so when I heard the Riverin Sisters singing this tune, I knew I would have to learn it. Unfortunately, I missed performances by other great performers including wonderful Ginette Reno. Hopefully I will be able to find it on YouTube.
I should mention I was moved by the lyrics of this song, which in my opinion could serve as an allegory for our own country. Regardless of our politics, I think most of us here in the USA realize that we are bitterly divided and that we are living in unusually uncertain times. As the bird faces numerous threats (hunger, cold, gunfire, etc), we have our own challenges; and as the song suggests, our collective heart is like the heart of a bird that, despite the many challenges it faces, will again someday spread its wings and return to its nest. Someday I hope we too will refocus and return to our senses and to the values that made our country great many years ago.
I will attend the 11:00 Mass at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church tomorrow morning to see Ryszard Kuczkowski receive a special medal from the Polish government for his role as a prominent Solidarity activist. You can read more about the Kuczkowskis HERE.
October 30, 2018: Hang with me and you will never get anything done.
I just had to get out of the house today; too much craziness on the tube; so I drove to Braddock Bay to take a walk in the woods and along the beach. Such a beautiful day! But what to have for dinner? Hope you enjoy my video.
ELECTION NIGHT: Loving Vincent
Tuesday at 7:00 pm the screening of the critically acclaimed movie Loving Vincent will inaugurate the Part II of the Polish Film Festival
The Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies 2018 Polish Film Festival Part II
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 7:00 PM
Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House
900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607
Loving Vincent, Twój Vincent, 2017, Animation, 94 min.
The screening will be followed by a reception (by invitation only.)
Director: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh elchman
Screenwriters: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Jacek Dehnel
Director of Photography: Tristan Oliver, Łukasz Żal
Music: Clint Mansel
Loving Vincent, the world's first fully oil painted feature film, brings the artwork of Vincent van Gogh to life while exploring his complicated life and controversial death.
Loving Vincent was first shot as a live action film with actors; then each of the 65 thousand frames was hand-painted in the style of van Gogh by 125 professional painters from around the world. Every image is based on van Gogh’s work, with the
Ryszard and Jadwiga Kuczkowski
actors portraying people who sat for him. The plot centers on Armand Roulin— who was himself a subject of van Gogh’s paintings, as are almost all the major characters in the film—wrapped up in trying to figure out whether van Gogh actually killed himself or was murdered. During his quest he’s discovering how great of an artist van Gogh actually was. Drawn from meticulous research and inspired by van Gogh's masterpieces, subjects, and 800 personal letters, Loving Vincent captures the world of van Gogh in a cinematic experience like no other.
Loving Vincent is a winner of several international film awards, including European Film Award For Best Animated Feature and received many major nominations for the 2018 awards season, including: 2018 Academy Awards, 2018 British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 2018 Critics' Choice, and 2018 Golden Globes.
With the introductory remarks by Dr. Jakub Czernik, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
Tickets can be purchased at Dryden Theatre before the screening. General admission: $10.00, $7.00 for members and $5.00 for students.
All films have English subtitles
Full schedule can be found here: http://www.sas.rochester.edu/…/e…/fall18/pff18/schedule2.php
November 11, 2018 marks one hundred years of Poland's end to 123 years of partition by Austria, Prussia and Russia. It re-emerged as an independent nation in 1918 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed 11 minutes after the 11th hour on the 11th month. One can only hope that Poland, and indeed all nations, will forever enjoy peace, prosperity and freedom.
November 16, 2018
Once again this year, I will be playing Polish Christmas favorites on guitar and concertina at three different Rochester-area venues. Here is my December schedule if you are interested in hearing me play:
Friday, December 7, 14 & 21: Polska Chata, Irondequoit, NY - 5 PM - ?
Sunday, December 9: Wigilia - Traditional Polish Christmas Eve Dinner at Syracuse Polish Home,