Z Kalifornii do Nowego Jorku

Today, I travelled from California to New York.

The title of this post “Z Kalifornii do Nowego Jorku” is a bit of a play on the title of a lecture “Z Nowego Jorku do Kalifornii” that Henryk Sienkiewicz gave in Lviv in 1879. Sienkiewicz is one of my favorite Polish authors and is probably the best known Polish author in America. He wrote the novel Quo Vadis (Where Are You Going) which was the basis for the 1951 film of the same name starring Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, and Peter Ustinov.

My favorite Sienkiewicz work, however is Ogniem i Mieczem (With Fire and Sword) which, in 1999 was made into the most expensive film ever produced in Poland. The 2001 Polish production of Quo Vadis, however, has since snatched that honor from Ogniem i Mieszem.

So, what does all this have to do with my trip from California to New York? Not much really. However, my stay in New York is brief – only a few hours. Soon, I’ll be on a plane to Warsaw to spend a week with my cousin Christa, conducting research in the archives. And therein lies the Polish connection.

I also have plans to get together with a few of my cousins who live in Poland, cousins with whom I’ve corresponded but never before met in person. Like most of my trips, I’m not quite ready for this journey to Warsaw. I couldn’t find some of the papers I wanted to bring and my ability at the Polish language, while admittedly never very good, is rather rusty.

But that’s all OK. The weather in Warsaw is predicted to be spectacular this week. I just hope I can drag myself away from the archives long enough to enjoy some of it!

Copyright © 2009 by Stephen J. Danko

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11 Responses to Z Kalifornii do Nowego Jorku

  1. Apple says:

    Have a wonderful trip! Archives are great and the point of your trip but I hope you get to visit and travel a bit.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks, Apple!

      Right now I’m waiting in the terminal at JFK. My flight has been delayed about 6-1/2 hours, so I’m trying to make the best use of my time. Now I just have to find an electrical outlet I can use!


  2. Jasia says:

    I hope you have a wonderful trip Steve! And don’t forget to take pictures. We want to see lots of pictures!!!

    • Steve says:

      Hi Jasia!

      I was able to spend some time on Monday doing tourist things and taking some photos. Wait until you see the great little amber sculpture I bought!


  3. Zenon says:

    I am sure even if your Polish is rusty you will manage at the Archives. In Warsaw more and more people communicate in English, it is harder in smaller towns.

    Have a great time!

    Zenon (from the outskirts of Warsaw where weather is beautiful today)

  4. Chris Lather says:

    Steve, I hope you have a great trip, and don’t forget to post pictures!

  5. Donna says:


    Gee, you should have mentioned this sooner…I would have gone with you! Enjoy, and tell us all about it.


    • Steve says:

      Gosh, Donna, perhaps we should plan a trip together next year! I’m having a blast! I should warn you though, if you go to Poland with me, you will have to meet my relatives!


  6. Donna says:

    I’ll gladly meet yours if they help me find mine! 😉

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