|While we are wearing little more than fleece jackets in NE Ohio, our brethren in Poland and others throughout Europe are freezing. The New Year has brought with it incredibly low, but surprisingly not record-breaking, temperatures. The coldest weather recorded in my family’s home territory in north-eastern Poland's Bialystok area bordering Lithuania and Belarus. There air temperatures reached minus 27 degrees Celsius and ground temperatures were as low as minus 32. Heavy snow and sub-freezing temperatures have disrupted road and rail traffic across the country and caused the closure of some schools and government institutions. But it is not just inconvenient, it’s deadly. The Interior Ministry reported this morning that six more people have died as a result of the freezing weather, bringing the death toll to more than 45. Hundreds of people, many the poor and homeless, have died across Europe since the cold snap began in January. Now even the prospect of warmer temperatures has officials worried. MORE|
Get that warm feeling on the inside by learning about love and relationships in Poland when we talk about Walentynki at Polish Happy Hour on Thursday, February 9 5:30-9 PM at Café Cimmento in Downtown Youngstown. Unlike the Anglo-Saxon Valentine’s Day, which as a commercial promotion has also spread to Poland in recent years, our Polish heritage includes a whole series of events celebrating boy-girl fascination, love and marriage. You learn a little about those with us as we enjoy some signature cocktails, like the sexy Złamane Serce Martini made with vodka and pomegranate. MORE
It’s not just about the cocktails!
Valentine’s Day has become as much about the chocolate as anything else. In that spirit we will be offering you the chance to surprise your Kochany or Kochanka with a sweet, little Polish treat on February 14. What could be a better expression of your love than chocolate pierogi! The Krakowiaki have put together a charming assortment of luscious, high-quality dark, white and milk chocolate bites (.75 oz. each) in a fancy gold box complete with a Polish-English Valentine’s Day card for only $5 each. What a perfect gift or little addition for your favorite Valentine!
Show your love with Donuts!
There may not be a love song written about these donuts yet, but pączki still tend to bring out a passionate, loving reaction in people. If that’s the case for you and your family, perhaps it’s time that you learned to make these tasty treats yourself! Pączki 101 is the subject of the inaugural session of PolishYoungstown’s newest education program: Polska Kuchnia this Sunday, February 12 from 1-4 PM at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Youngstown. This series of participatory cooking classes will have each session focusing on a different beloved element of Polish cuisine. Space is limited so you can get your hands in the dough and take home not just a recipe, but your own tasty, freshly made dozen. Youngstown. MORE
Not a DIYer?
IF you want all the taste and none of the effort, we’ve got you covered. The Krakowiaki Polish Folk Circle Annual Pączki Sale is underway from February 1-15. Flavors available are plain, apricot, custard, lemon, plum and raspberry. These delicious handmade treats will be ready for pick-up on Monday, February 20 from 4-6 PM at St. Columba Cathedral parish hall so you can enjoy them with your family on Fat Tuesday morning. Costs are $1.25/pączek, $7/six pączki and $14/one dozen. Preordered and prepaid orders only. All proceeds to benefit the Krakowiaki Polish Folk Circle costume fund. For more info call 330-746-8900 or download an order form HERE
Your Last Chance to Celebrate!
What better way to treat your Valentine than a night out on the town at one the nicest establishments in town. I know it seems we just put away the Christmas decorations and it’s time to start preparing for Lent. But before you start sacrificing and focusing on pious thoughts give yourself one more big party. Ostatki: A Polish Carnival Celebration will take place on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 7 PM at The Youngstown Club, downtown Youngstown. Sponsored by Bison Grass and Vesica, this elegant party includes a tour of Poland through samplings of its best vodkas and beers—imported only for the event and not normally available in Ohio. This year we’ve upgraded the buffet to give you a taste of Polish gourmet and brought back the music, dancing, bead and trivia contest and—of course, a pączki parade and prizes.
REMINDER: Our 3rdAnnual Vodka Cocktail Contest, sponsored by Vesica Vodka, is open to amateur bartenders too! So if you think you mix a mean drink you can compete head to head with bartenders from some of Youngstown’s hippest establishments--and Polish Happy Hour host locations. Each drink will be tested for creativity, flavor and originality. All will be competing for prizes before a panel of “celebrity” judges. For more info call 330-719-0415 or go to www.polishyoungstown.com
Great Op-[Art]-portunityThe Polish Arts Club of Youngstown is thrilled to be hosting world renowned colorist, Julian Stanczak at its 76th Annual Scholarship Art, Music & Tea Reception on Sunday, February 19th, 2011 from 1:00 – 4:00 P.M at the Butler Museum of American Art. The modern art style known as Op Art was named for Stanczak’s first major show in New York in 1964. And this is just part of the incredible line up for the day. MORE
Learn Polish from home
Have you been wanting to learn to speak Polish but our classes didn’t work with your schedule? Great news! Thanks (at least in part) to the polite, but persistent calls of PYTown Team Member Carol Papalas, all of our regional Ohio public libraries now offer Polish lessons as part of their Mango Language offerings via remote access from your home computer. We would still love to see you in class, but if that doesn’t work all you need is a library card to get started. Get more specifics here
Polish Joke Fallout
Since our last newsletter I have been trying to follow for you the Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee-Polish Army debacle. All of our national Polonia organizations stepped up and sent letters of reprimand: the Polish American Congress, The Piast Institute and The Kosciuszko Foundation sent letters of reprimand…the latter two I believe are worth reading. Additionally, Kosciuszko President Alex Strozynski pointed out that President Gee's anti-Polish slur violated Ohio State University policy on Discrimination and Harassment which states: “The university embraces human diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and eliminating discrimination.” On these grounds he was attempting to get Chair Katherine Eckstrand to put this incident on the Board of Trustees agenda when it meets on February 9. Phone calls today to Strozynski’s office today could not confirm whether he was successful.
Your reaction--or lack of reaction—was a bit surprising to me. I only received a handful of responses and most were lukewarm at best.
News from Poland
Our Survivalist Example
A great deal of coverage has been given this week to the death of Nobel prize-winning poet, translator and essayist Wisława Szymborska. With only 250 published poems, her work stands in utter contrast to the prolific Józef Ignacy Kraszewski who we will be learning about at the Polish Arts tea. Instead of quantity of work, Szymborska will be remembered for her quality. The Nobel award committee’s citation called her the “Mozart of poetry,” a woman who mixed the elegance of language with “the fury of Beethoven.” Listen to her read one of her own poems here and read other news from Poland at our Polish Media Watch
February 9 Polish Happy Hour…February 12 Polska Kuchnia…Feb 18 Ostatki… APCC Karnawal, New Castle, PA ... Zabawa Karnawalowa, Cleveland…and the one that started them all, The Pittsburgh Cultural Councils lovely Ostatki...Saturday, February 25 Last mass at St. Casimir, Brier Hill
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team