It truly was 14-Karat Ostatki with style
What a great time we had on Saturday night at our 6th annual Ostatki: A Polish Carnival Celebration! Sponsored by Zywiec Beer and Bison Grass Vodka, this elegant party may just have found a new permanent home at the B&O Station in Downtown Youngstown! The decorating crew brought out the historic building’s elegance and the guests jumped in on the golden theme to add to the sparkling nature of the night. Tasty imported vodkas and beers were a thrill to even veteran attendees who were surprised there were labels they had never seen nor tasted. However, my favorite part of the night was the non-Polish first-time guests who came based on general publicity or a friend’s invitation. These folks are new to our style of celebration and hung on my every word as I regaled them with details about the differences between rye, wheat and potato vodka or the tales of virility achieved from drinking żubrówka! Legend has it that the grass in this special vodka is an aphrodisiac and a potent agent of virility, which keeps Europe's only remaining bison herds from extinction, you know! If that wasn’t enough, these newbies kept want to come back to show off by saying dziękuję, na zdrowie or Sto Lat! to be rewarded with a string of beads. I also love that they were frustrated by not being able to go out and just by a bottle of something they liked...perhaps we need to have a second bottle of each item for live auction in the future…. I know that cherry vodka could have sold well! But the night would not have been complete without our special events! The Mahoning Valley Cocktail Competition was presented by Bak’s Bison Grass Vodka and won by longtime PYTown fan Tim Stoll. He created a Baltic Blue Martini he says was inspired by his 2012 trip to Poland and was made out of Vesica Vodka, Blue Curacao, Orange juice and Lime. A Special thanks to Ohio One Corp. who provided the $100 gift certificate to Christopher’s Downtown as part of his prize. The lucky pączek that creates our 2014 Paczki Royalty was selected by PYTown Trustee Bernadette Zubel! An extremely active Polonian in the Polish National Alliance in NE Ohio for more than 20 years, Zubel has attended many such functions and never ended up with the crown until this event!
The party isn’t over yet!
Plan to celebrate Fat Tuesday in a special fashion by picking up your donut order AND joining us for a celebration complete with delicious pączki, specialty omelets and sandwich specials ALL DAY LONG at Pączki, Polkas and Piwo on Tuesday, March 4 starting at 7:30 AM at BOTH Kravitz Delicatessen locations. Translated as Donuts, Dancing and Draught, this event will have the happiest of music for toe tapping, tasty food and drinks as well as games and giveaways. Learn more here
As you are sitting inside staying warm away from the snow, take a moment and think about Polish bakeries all over America where they are slaving away over hot oil making pączki in preparation for these celebrations that started already last week on Tłusty Czwartek or Fat Thursday—same concept as Fat Tuesday. With the help of Kiedrowski’s Simply Delicious Bakery, we are ready to satisfy even the most indulgent sweet tooth with a variety of flavors, including the famous rose hip jam! Preorders got the discount price, but we ordered a few extra dozen so you can indulge anyway! Remember: All proceeds go to benefit our children’s programming and college scholarship fund! Tired of donuts? Perhaps you need to stop by Krakus Deli on Market Street. I bet she will have some her award-winning angel wings known as faworki or chrusty because these also are a favorite pre- Lent tradition, too!
POLAND 2014: Eastern Poland and Must-See Highlights
Since our last trip, we have been asked repeatedly to put together another adventure, but to do one that doesn’t hit the same old places again. We are proud to unveil this long-awaited itinerary for you today! We invite you to discover the attractions of Northeastern Poland with historic cities, colorful folklore, charming villages and inspiring religious shrines. English-speaking guides will give you a unique insight into 1000 years of Poland's history and culture while experiencing traditional Polish village hospitality not available on any packaged tour. Highlights include: Cruising on the Mazurian lakes near Mikolajki; visit a stork village then try your hand at weaving with a master in Białystok; enjoy reserved tickets at the triennial gala World Festival of Polish Folk Dance in Rzeszow; cover a wall in the secluded painted village of Zalipie; and then head on to Krakow and its famous regional sites. Learn more about it all here
How about a little Lenten reflection?
It can’t all be about the party and fun. As we approach the Lenten season, we wanted to offer you the opportunity to reflect and observe the season. In that spirit, we would like to offer a screening of The Decalogue, a 1989 Polish drama series directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski, inspired by the Ten Commandments. Each one-hour short film explores one or several moral or ethical issues faced by characters living in modern Poland. In addition to its thematic focus, the series is said to be "the best dramatic work ever done specifically for television" and has won numerous international awards, though it was not widely released outside Europe until the late 1990s. Our talented Board of Trustees is supporting us by offering reflection and commentary. We would like to offer at least a one-hour selection in March. Stay tuned for details! If you are interested, let us know here.
Polska Kuchnia brings back the classic gołąbki
Remember those wonderful Sundays when grandma served stuffed cabbage for dinner? It was satisfying to our tummies, hearts and souls! If your home was like so many others where the kitchen was off limits, you missed out on learning how to make this tasty dish. Now is your chance to learn! And for those of you who are vegetarians or otherwise go meatless as a holiday tradition, we also will be making a meatless variety to show you how to make that tasty, too! Just bring an apron and a take-out container. All other supplies will be provided. For more information or to register, click HERE.
Polish History for Americans can help you understand your roots
Polish Americans are so proud to be of Polish extraction. However, ask most of us a grade school question about that country’s history pre-WWI and we can’t answer you. The history of Poland is full of dramatic changes: splendid victories and tragic defeats. At its height, Poland's empire made it one of the largest and most powerful European states. In the depths of its national catastrophes, it lost its independence, suffered partition, and waged relentless, often bloody struggles with oppressors. We have a great deal about which to be proud—we just don’t know it! For this reason, we are offering this one-month course geared to give Polish-Americans an interesting overview of Poland's history. Classes will meet from 6-8:00 PM Thursday, May 1- May 29, 2014 (5 weeks) at 1st Presbyterian Church at Wick and Wood St., Downtown Youngstown. The class will be taught by YSU instructor Emma M.C. Riggle. For more information, call (330) 333-9724 or register online here.
Join us for an Artful Evening
Need a night out to relax and get creative? Join us Thursday, March 20 at 6 PM at pARTy Gallery in Canfield for a night of painting fun and go home with a 16 x 20 canvas of your own version of an artist masterwork! Seriously you can do this--No experience necessary. The staff assures us that they can help YOU make beautiful things happen. For our painting we have, of course, selected a work inspired by a Polish artist Iwona Jankowski. The piece is that of a huge red poppy—the national flower of Poland. Jankowski was born in Gdynia and immigrated to the US in 1982. Since 2004, she pursues a full-time career in fine art at her studio in Magnolia, Texas. Jankowski says she doesn’t follow any other artists for her art style. She describes it as “merging abstract expressionism with a touch of realism.” We are offering this class for $25 per person…$20 for PYTown members. It’s a $45 value! Limited spaces available. For more information or to register, go HERE.
News from Poland by Ted Mirercki
Poland’s role in the Ukraine Crisis; Sikorski a EuroPlayer
No-one would call Poland one of Europe's superpowers, but it played an important role in the final hours of the presidency of Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych. Euromaidan is what they have labeled the civil unrest in cities throughout Poland’s neighbor to the East. When the protester death toll finally rose too high for the international community to standback any longer, it was Radoslaw Sikorski who was called in with heavyweights from Germany and France to negotiate a peace agreement. It was Mr. Sikorski who was filmed warning an opposition leader that if he didn't support the deal "you'll have martial law, you'll have the army and you will all be dead". The events in Kiev are at least a momentary triumph of the Ukrainian people, their perseverance and their sheer courage. In the annals of European courage, it ranks up there with the Poles resisting General Jaruzelski from 1981 to 1989. The management of the Ukraine crisis is the ultimate emergence on the global stage of the crisis management skills of Sikorski. Last week’s events and his quiet victory on Syria last year are being talked about as making him unstoppable to be the future European foreign minister. Learn more about Ukraine happenings and others news in the most recent edition of Polish Media Watch.
Our complete 2014 calendar of event dates is available on the PolishYoungstown website... Tuesday, March 4 Pączki, Polkas and Piwo @ Kravitz’s Deli... Sunday, March 9 Polska Kuchnia Stuffed cabbage - meat and meatless... Thursday, March 13 Polish Happy Hour at Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts…Screening of The Decalogue... Thursday, March 20 An Artful Evening painting class… Saturday, April 26 1-4 PM JPII: The Man and His Teachings at Sts. Peter & Paul... Sunday, April 27 2 PM Papal Canonization Celebration, St. Columba Cathedral... Thursday, May 1 Historia: Polish History for Americans begins... May 12-14 Phase II Peterson Park Bricking Project continues... July 2014 Poland Tour
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team