It was 1967. I was twenty-four, a freshly-minted architecture graduate spending a year abroad. After driving through France and Spain, and an idyllic several months on the island of Formentera, I was back in Paris, staying with my uncle and aunt, before returning to Canada. But first, I wanted to visit Poland… Architecture critic Witold Rybczynski reminisces.
2009 – Summer
I recently reminisced about my son’s visit to England when he was eighteen. He took his bike with him and had his itinerary well planned. It included a trip to Hatherleigh, a little town in Devon where my family spent a year when my parents were reunited after their long wartime separation.
Katyń: A Crime Without Punishment is the latest volume in “The Annals of Communism” series published by Yale University Press. Rightly described as the most important publishing project currently in progress in the United States, it documents the 70-year reign of terror that began with the Communist revolution in Russia and has been largely ignored by western intellectuals – when not actively indulged by them.
From Ohio University Press:
• Two Novellas of Emigration and Exile by Danuta Mostwin
• The Exile Mission: The Polish Political Diaspora and Polish Americans, 1939–1956 by Anna D. Jaroszynska-Kirchmann
• Traitors and True Poles by Karen Majewski
On a recent trip to Boston, ambling around the city with a friend, I happened upon a statue of Tadeusz Kosciuszko in the public garden. My friend, a Texan named Adam who had never heard of pierogi let alone Polish patriots of the Revolutionary War era prior to meeting me, furrowed his brow at the long, difficult name inscribed on the monument and asked for an explanation of my excitement.
This year Poles celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of Communism in Poland: the roundtable talks and the first democratic parliamentary elections, bringing about almost unbelievable changes to Europe. With the election of Jerzy Buzek as the President of the European Parliament, the last remaining symbols of the old divisions are dropping.
Bizarre grimaces, faces looking dazed, absent; others almost transparent or invisible and desperately staring ahead. All of them inhabited somewhat unspecified mysterious places: empty streets, decadent cafés, stylized shop displays, bourgeois lofts, modish ateliers.
I’m at the Churchill Downs race track in Louisville, Kentucky, experiencing my very first Kentucky Derby. Thus far, I’ve downed the obligatory mint julep; explored the enormous infield; placed a single, tenuous bet, admired elegant horses being led onto a track for the day’s second run; watched a few races on a massive screen…
What if, in one way or another, every citizen could spend some time participating in his and her own food production?
The United States is the only developed country in the world in which workers are not guaranteed the right to a paid vacation under the law. In fact, our epidemic of overwork is so widespread that many people don’t see the need for initiative.