Keyspoet Activity: - / 2
Joined: 26 Mar 2010 ♀
There are indeed, though obviously not in anything approaching the numbers in Chicago.
I live in Largo, Florida, across the bay from Tampa, and although my boyfriend Marek hasn't made any real Polish friends since he's been in Florida (most of his Polish friends are still in and around New York, where he lived for fourteen years), we have enough of a local Polish population here to support at least six or eight good Polish stores within about a fifteen minute drive from my house in Largo.
They even banded together with a bunch of polish stores south of here, and brought in the blues rock band Dzem two years ago for a concert in Sarasota, which was outstanding, even though it was unfortunately poorly attended. But then again, that is Sarasota. We saw Cesare Pazura at the Polish American Club in Clearwater, the month before, and the place was packed. And they regularly bring in other artists, from polka to rock concerts, so there is a fair amount going on in this area in the Polish community.
Dzem played in Holley Hall, which is right on the gulf and home to the Sarasota Symphony Orchestra, and seats around 350 people; in Poland they play festivals with 300,000 people plus, but in Sarasota, the place wasn't even half full. The band put on an amazing performance anyway, and kept up the same high energy level, right up until the end when the stage power blew during the finale. If you search YouTube for "Dzem Sarasota" you can watch a clip of their last song, complete with the power blowing at the end.
I grew up in Los Angeles, and am the daughter of two musicians, so I met a number of celebrities in my day, some of whom had definite attitudes. Dzem (and Pazura too, for that matter) was a refreshing change from that. Aside from being true professionals and amazing performers, the band members are all exceptionally nice and humble men, though I was at a bit of a disadvantage as only the keyboardist and lead singer speak English. My boyfriend and I each had a nice chat with Maciek Balcar, who is a very sweet and down to earth guy, and he remarked about how much he liked the energy of the place. Since that was their first ever concert in Florida, hopefully they won't hold it against us, and will come back to Pinellas County where we know how to really rock to the blues!!!
Welcome to Florida and I hope that you have a wonderful time while you are here. If you find yourself in the Tampa Bay area any time soon, shoot me a private message and we can either show you around or tell you some of the best places to visit. ;-)