Dzień dobry on the day after our visit to the Twin Cities Polish Fest!
The more I see of Minneapolis (during the summer) and the longer I stay off their crazy interstate system the more I like the city. Traffic here is bonkers — not as bad as, say, Seattle, but people are in a big hurry (where are they not?)
It’s a city of wonderful neighborhoods and even though we are staying out of the city as much as possible, our sojourns into it are quite pleasant. I’m impressed with their parks. Milwaukee used to have lovely parks, in fact Milwaukee used to have one of the best park systems in the nations — but they have let their treasure moulder and rot and decay. Minneapolis has not done so. Their parks are alive and cared for and well used. There’s also a sense of vibrance here (at least during the summer); I’m learning to really appreciate a neighbor that I knew little about and rarely visited when we lived in Wisconsin.
Aug 7-9 was the 7th Annual Twin Cities Polish Fest. The only Polish Fest I’ve been to has been the one in Milwaukee, so this was an interesting twist on my own heritage. It was smaller by far than Milwaukee’s version (perhaps the length of 2 city blocks with exhibitors/vendors tents and 2 music stages) and a few hundred attendants at a time — thousands over the course of three days — but compact and easily viewable. It was good to hear the language again. I never learned Polish, and with I travelled there on a speaking tour I had to take my own interpreter, my parents had been of the opinion that their language was theirs — for their secrets — and I never took the initiative to learn it on my own. Something I’ll forever regret.
The food was luscious. All the traditional Polish favorites on offer, and we did our best to sample a few of them. There was a stage with folk music — that was ‘there’ but not many people listening. There was a stage for dancing — polkas and waltzes outnumbered the other offerings 3 to 1 — and that stage was packed to the gills.
Peg and I had a fascinating lunch with two non-Poles…. two older gals from Minneapolis who haled from North Dakota and they regaled us with stories about hardy North Dakotians of the 30’s and 40’s — the gals were preparing ‘talks’ about their parents to give to a group and they were primed for story telling!
It wasn’t much of a festival — meaning total number of people. Milwaukee goes bananas with festivals and anything under 50,000 for a weekend seems not to count but I really liked this mini- version of a festival much more than the big-honkin’ extravaganzas we used to attend. You could talk with people without getting run over by the crowd. Everyone was well behaved (as in not drunk). And there were clearly a LOT of Polish speakers in the group. I felt at home.
On the way there we stopped for 1/2 an hour at IKEA ( I know, I know — how can you ever spend JUST 1/2 an hour at IKEA ). We found what we went for — a couple pillow covers to replace the old ones that came with Serendipity. I always find the store fans to be a subject of fascination. Those are some fans!
And on the way home we stopped at Sikora Polish deli & market for a few treats.
All in all it was a splendid day. Our legs are still recovering from the hike to the waterfalls a few days ago — and being on our feet all day was a mixed blessing. The muscles needed to be worked out, but the working out of the muscles wasn’t the most comfortable thing — so being around a lot of people having a good time was our reward.
Enough from me for today. I hope you have a super day, we’re supposed to get some rain this afternoon and I may just take a nap. Thanks for stopping and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.