Archive for category People

>The Szymanskas plus one take NYC

>Last weekend’s trip to NYC with the girls was nothing short of a blast.  The photos from the trip speak for themselves.

Check out the slideshow below and make sure to crank up the volume.

(Sidenote: All photos were taken with Viola’s Canon Powershot G12.)

Taking a train from New Haven to New York City.
Ticket? What ticket?
Grand Central Station
Dip your card? Hmmm. I’ve never seen such wording any card accepting machine before.
Subway performers putting on a break dancing show to Micheal Jackson’s hits.
Taking the Subway to Union Square for lunch and shopping.
Bundled up so warm, this guy fell asleep on the job.
A Gas Mask Bong?! I wouldn’t know anything about that.
Lunch at Cosi’s.
Barbecue chicken pizza was outstanding.
Viola and Marzena took the “come in from the cold” sign a little too seriously and made themselves feel right at home.
Shoe Department at Saks Fifth Avenue.
We stopped by Cafe SFA for late afternoon apps and drinks.
The next series of photos require some serious explanation. It’s not what it looks like.  It’s worse.
As Saks Fifth was closing down for the day and we were making our way out of the 8-story shopping center, Marzena noticed The Bridal Salon within the store was still open. And when we walked in, there was no one there.  The entire bridal salon with hundreds of designer wedding gowns at our disposal … Like OH, EM, GEE! 
Call us crazy but we wasted no time in grabbing a dress each and running to a fitting room.  Prancing around in expensive wedding gowns and taking photos seemed like a lot of fun at the time.  We feared someone would come in at any given moment and order us to stop this charade.  But no one came and we continued to try on dresses and loosing sense of time. We probably would have tried on every dress in the store if it wasn’t for the fact we suddenly got locked out of our fitting room.  Wearing just wedding gowns, and all of our belongings locked in another room we needed to get help.  Bernadette, the only smart one who didn’t participate in this dress-up, went to get help.  That’s when we realized there was no one around and the entire SFA store has been closed for 45 minutes.  Bernadette finally tracked down the store security who were already locking up the main doors.  The looks on their faces when they walked into the bridal salon and saw not one, not two, but three “brides” was priceless. They were confused and laughed and said they never seen anything like it.  Apparently, someone forgot to lock up the salon when they left home for the day. We changed back into our clothes and left the store with an exciting story and photos to remember it by. But I’m sure someone got in trouble the next day for leaving that door open.
Viola, Monika and Marzena
Party Bus on one of the streets of New York blasting lights and techno music and serving alcoholic drinks. We got home at 3 a.m.


>The Magnificent Mazowsze

>Directly from Poland, The Magnificent Mazowsze returned to Waterbury, Conn. on Dec.10 at the Palace Theater as part of this magnificent ensemble’s 60th Anniversary Tour. The holiday program included a thrilling display of dazzling movement, vibrant color and stunning beauty.

The show has been critically acclaimed by arts and entertainment writers throughout the country. The New York Times said, “There is nothing greater than Mazowsze!”
Viola and mom pose for a quick photo in excitement for the Mazowsze concert during a flurried Friday evening.
Lobby of the Palace Theater.
The Auditorium fills up with Poles and American alike for the Mazowsze concert.
Intricate ceiling details.
Although photography during the performance was prohibited, I somehow succeeded in taking several photos. 
(Lack of creativity results from the fact that all photos were taken from the same spot and many blindly composed.)
Since 1948, Mazowsze has demonstrated the spirit and soul of Poland’s national dances, songs and traditions. More history can be found on the official web site.
Some of the costumes worn by the dancers weigh as much as 30lbs, making their energetic gravity-defying leaps, twirls and lifts even more impressive.
The choreography and musical arrangements represent 39 regions of Poland with traditional performance styles.
Górale which means highlanders represented common dances and songs from southern Poland.
Sixty-three dancers, musicians and singers are displayed in a seemingly never-ending series of handmade traditional costumes – more than 1,000 in total, one more dramatic and colorful than the next.

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>Girls’ Spooky Night In


 It’s Thursday night and Violet, Bernadette and I are hanging out at Violet’s crib. It’s late and we’re alone in the house. We decide to order Chinese food.
On the phone with Hunan Work Chinese Restaruant
Violet: [uneasily] Why do you want to know my address?
Chinese person: So I can know where to deliver your food …
Chinese delivery guy: $18.29
Violet: Thanks. Keep the change.
Eating Chinese Food
Watching “Scream.”
Casey: What do you want?!
Ghostface: To see what your insides look like!
Can you guess who was behind the Ghostface?

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>Barcelona, Goza and Pop-Art-Carlos

>I meet some of the most intriguing clients when least expected.

I was at Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar Thursday evening, enjoying drinks and tapas with some friends while listening to a live Latin Jazz Band, Goza. I casually pulled out my big camera and snapped a few photos of my friends.  A few minutes later, the bandleader, Dave approached me and asked me if I would like to take some photos of their band. We cut a deal and  I took several photos of the band in action and posed. 

Before I had a chance to go back to my seat and take another sip of my drink, I was approached by yet another gentleman.  Carlos apparently had been watching me from the bar and liked how I “worked” my camera.  He was interested in one thing – an Andy Warhol Che Guevara inspired pop art.

“Do you know how to do it?” he asked.

“Yes!,” I answered without a glimpse of hesitation. Even though I’ve never done such thing before and I only sort of knew what he was talking about.
So he hired me. Right then and there. To take a photo of him and turn it in to pop art.  The compensation he offered was good. Really good!

Carlos gave me whole thirty seconds of posing before he walked away leaving his business card.

When I sent him the photo proof couple days later, he said he more than loved it.

Check out the photos of the Goza Band, Carlos’ 30-second photo shoot and the pop art that’s being printed on a 36″ x 48″ canvas.

Goza Band performs Latin Jazz every Thursday evening at Barcelona Restaurant.
David Giardina, the guitarist and the bandleader.
Andy Warhol Che Guevara inspired pop art of Carlos.

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>Wedding: Diana & Mike

>Diana and Mike Fuller tied the knot in an [blank] ceremony on August 28, 2010 at The Mill on the River in South Windsor.  I mean, I’m sure it was wonderful and emotional, filled with joy and laughs … but I wouldn’t know.  As usual I was late for the exchange of the marriage vows part. But, more importantly, I did make the cocktail hour and the rest of the party.  Below are some of my faves from the wedding.

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>Dozynki Celebrates 30 Years

>Dozynki, also known as Polish Harvest Festival celebrated its 30th year over the weekend.  Speaking with one of the members of the Festival Committee, I learned that it’s actually its 29th year since it was started in 1980.  One year, the festival was skipped.  At the annual Dożynki Harvest Festival, visitors can find yellow and brown amber jewelry from the Baltic Sea, big selection of Polska-branded hats, T-shirts and other souvenirs and of course traditional foods such as smoked kielbasa, pierogi and gołąbki.  And mine favorite, potato pancakes.

Weather on Saturday was gorgeous for the opening of Dozynki Festival and the day brought many Poles and non-Poles alike to the Falcon Field in New Britain.

Live music performance by Rhythm Orchestra.
A couple dancing an old fashioned Polka.
The Dozynki Festival Committee.
Baltyk Restaurant cooking potato pancakes at the festival.
Other food vendors at the festival also served traditional Polish food.
Random 2-year old Polish girl who was very curious about my camera.
Face-painting is always common amongst the children.
Who says you have to be 5 years old to have your face painted?
The Young and the Restless.
The lead singer of The Rhythm Orchestra.
Polska-branded stuff.
Funny quote shot glass. Translating it to English wouldn’t make any sense.
More funny quote shot glasses.
It wouldn’t be a Polka without the piano accordion.
Polish girl making bubbles.
Bella “dancing” to the Polish music heard in the background.
Oliver’s first time at the festival is a good time.
All little kids are fascinated with my camera equipment.  Maybe it’s just me?
As the dusk settles, most people head to the the roofed stage at Falcon Field where the band plays Polish tunes until 9pm.
Zywiec is the official beer of the Dozynki Festival.
The later it gets, the more people get out on the dance floor, the better the band sounds, and the more fun people overall have. I’m sure Zywiec has something to do with it.
Catching a glimpse of myself at a jewelery stand mirror.

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>Twins Days Roundup

>Twins Days is the largest annual gathering of twins in the world. It takes place in a town of Twinsburg, Ohio and it’s open to all multiples; twins, triplets, quads, identical and fraternal, young and old.  Twins Days, Inc. was founded in 1976 and it’s mission is to provide a vehicle for celebrating the uniqueness of twins and other multiples.

Twins Days packs an array of exciting activities for the two-day festival.  There’s a Double Take parade, golf tournament, twins contests, twins talent show, twins research, 5K race, wiener roast, raffle, twins group photo, fireworks display and much more.  And when the sun goes down, adult twins get together for karaoke and dancing, followed by an after party, and an after-after party.

We, meaning Viola and I have known about such festival for few years and always wanted to attend.  Luckily, this year we were finally able to go. We have enjoyed our time in Twinsburg and the festival so much that we plan on making this event an annual destination in the years to come!

Souvenir from the Twins Days Festival: photo pin.

How many pairs of twins can you spot in this photograph?
Putting a pin on the map.
These identical triplets were a sensation even at Twins Days festival where triplets are less common. From left, Becca, Emily and Molly.
Violet (left) and I with twins contest winners of “Least Alike Females 5-6 yrs old.”
Fraternal twins showing off matching tattoos.

The tattoos of course means TWIN in Hebrew.
From left, first, second and third place winners in the “Most Alike Females in 25-29 yrs.” category.
Marco and Miguel came to the festival from Miami.
Every year numerous research companies gather at the Twins Days Festival grounds to perform tests on twins.  Participating is entirely voluntary and nominal compensation is usually offered for participation in a project — possibly a bag of goodies, or a small amount of money.
Biometrics research such as finger prints, voice, hand geometry, face and iris study to help improve Biometrics recognition system and fraud alerts.
Inside the Biometric Research Tent: After my photos are taken, the technician tries to align Violet’s face with mine. The computer image on the right is the combination of both our faces.  All our key facial features; the eyes, nose and the mouth line up almost perfectly.
Violet and I participated in several different research projects.  If was a fun to learn about our similarities and differences while contributing to research.
Below we’re having 3D Photographic Images taken for research on the similarities and differences in skin aging.
Our names and photos might possibly be published in a magazine like these twins who previously participated in the study.
We also participated in Monell Senses Center’s taste and smell test.
Monika during the taste and smell test where tasting alcoholic content was involved. Swallowing was not allowed. 😉


>Fun With the Sun

>Playing with camera settings to achieve the sunburst effect and silhouettes. Viola, Nick and Oliver were my models.

The Lukin Family.
Nick (Jewels of glory)

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>Twins+ Pool = Fun

>So let me explain what’s happening in the photo below.

First off, it’s a very hot Sunday afternoon and Viola (left) and I are cooling off our bums in like 2 inches of water in a kiddie pool. I set my camera on a 10-second self-timer and rush to the pool to take a nice photo with my twin sister.  We sit all smiles as the beeping, yellow light on the camera counts down to take the photo.  We wait composed and just as the shutter is about to fire, Viola splashes me with a bucket of cold water.  All while mainting a nice face to the camera.  So evil, that twin sister, Viola!

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>Benji and Adriana

>Five-year-old Adriana is an owner of a new puppy, a ten-weeks-old yorkshire terrier she named Benji. 

Benji (top) and two other female yorkies sharing a bed. Isn’t that every man’s fantasy? Not if they’re your sisters!
Sleeping yorkies: Benji, Maya and Roxy

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