invite you to see what it looks like the second-largest Russian-speaking area of New York, a little walk through its streets and peek into the apartment, where he once lived, Sergei Dovlatov, and now live his daughter Katja and his wife Elena. Website published a fascinating article LiveJournal blogger Samsebeskazal, who lives in New York and writes about the history and everyday life of the inhabitants of this city.
In the photo - New York, how Dovlatov saw him from the window of his apartment. On the windowsill Leningrad folder with the manuscript of "Reserve", at the bottom of the area in which he lived, and on the horizon of the cemetery where is buried.
Almost in the center of the New York borough of Queens is a small area called Forest Hills. It never really stood out against a background of others. Not the most expensive, but it can not be called cheap. I do not dull, but certainly not the most beautiful. This is a typical bedroom community of New York. Togo New York, that misses the lenses of cameras and little known to people living abroad. Its streets perfectly normal for these places motley collection of people, and the world, as adopted in New York, could change on the other side of the intersection.
If you look at a map, we can see that the area as it is divided into two parts. Wide Queens Boulevard cuts on his low-rise southern and northern parts of the multi-storey. South has always been the most prestigious part, north cheaper. North - much less pretty in appearance and built up endlessly monotonous brick buildings. After living in Queens, New buildings in St. Petersburg seemed to me the crown of the town-planning ideas. Once this part of Forest Hills has attracted Soviet immigrants of the third wave. They chose it because of the balance between low housing prices at a relatively low level of crime. In the 70s the latter was very important
We -. This is six brick buildings around the supermarket, the predominantly Russian. That is, the recent Soviet citizens. Or, as the papers say -. Third wave of emigrants
Our area extends from the railroad tracks to the synagogue. Just north - Meadow-lake, to the south - Queens Boulevard. And we - the middle. 108th Street - our central highway
We have a Russian shops, kindergartens, a shop and a hairdresser. There are Russian travel agency. There are Russian lawyers, writers, doctors and real estate developers. There are Russian gangsters and crazy prostitutes. There is even a Russian blind musician.
Locals we believe something like foreigners. When we hear the English language, it is alarming. In such cases, we ask:
- Speak in Russian
Historically, that in the 80 Forest Hills became the second largest English-speaking area in the New! York. and if on Brighton beach selilas the audience, who had come from Odessa and small Soviet cities, bursting to America, as one might think, for a beautiful life and a variety of varieties of sausages, the Forest Hills has become a haven for people of intelligent that It was also not alien to the food diversity, but treated it more philosophical and reserved. Although, in the end, everything was solved friendship and had family ties. People went back to where it was easier to settle and live where they like.
Even then, between the two regions took crack, later transformed into a real abyss. Brighton teeth gripped the ocean shore, and quickly began to enjoy life to its rapidly filled with Russian shops, restaurants and the atmosphere of endless feast. Life in Forest Hills where flowed steadily and was much more New York. Living there in those days, the local population was half Jewish and half the rest: Italian, latonoamerikanskim, Asian, black, etc. Many Jews came to New York from Germany after World War II, and although they were not orthodox, besides.. English perfectly spoken Yiddish.
Centre for Life yesterday's Soviet citizens became the 108th Street. It is described by Dovlatov in "Inostranka". It lived with her many real or fictional characters of his works.
As a result, some local people have started talking in our language. A Chinese man from the diner greets me:
- Good morning, Solzhenitsyn! (It turns out - "Solozenisa».)
Local Americans, mostly German Jews. The third emigration, with a few exceptions - Jewish. So find a common language is quite simple.
Every now and then ask the locals:
- You are from Russia? You speak Yiddish?
In addition to Jews in our area live Koreans, Indians, Arabs. Blacks have relatively little. More Hispanics.
For us, this mysterious people with transistors. We do not know them. But just in case, despised and fear.
Bias Frieda complains:
- Would go to his lousy Africa ..
Frida herself a native of the city of Shklov. He prefers to live in New York ...
If you want to get acquainted with our region, then stand near the stationery store. It is at the crossroads of the eighth Hundred and Sixty-fourth. Come as early as possible.
It took 10 years and the situation in the region has changed. The economic recovery in the country, the conversion of buildings in co-operatives and a boom in the market of the New York real estate led to the fact that yesterday's immigrants began selling rose sharply apartment and move to other areas of the city and state. Many went to Long Island. Someone older and moved to the children. Someone went to the best of all worlds.
In their place come new settlers began - they were Bukharan Jews (wiki), who had fled in the early 90s from the aggravation of interethnic relations in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Bukharan Jews - this is a very colorful mixture of Central Asian and Jewish traditions. In New York, the biggest live their community outside of Israel, and most of them live in Forest Hills. I think that here the role played by the same family ties, which have traditionally been very strong, and the presence in an area synagogues and help the local Jewish community. Today Bukharan Jews have completely changed the area. He became richer, it has become more expensive, it has become more prestigious, it was the Russian-speaking, but it was completely different.
Who would have thought that through the Jews of Tajikistan and their Soviet past, we obtain the second-largest Russian-speaking region in the largest US city.
Now since the time of Dovlatov has nothing left almost nothing. The old shops and restaurants either closed or changed their signs and owners. If before the word «kosher» to be found in one or two schools in the street, but now there are already almost all «strictly kosher». This is clearly seen on Saturday, when 108 th Street just dying.
One of the few remaining from the time of stores. In the evening, at the entrance of always going to a bevy of teenagers involved the opportunity to buy late in the evening of beer and cigarettes.
Near the store with a funny name. There would clearly mention a French actor, not drinking cologne, but apparently did not know how.
The area is filled with artifacts. It feels Livengstounom doctor, who had gone on an expedition into the wild African land, we lost three years and suddenly met Henry Stanley under a mango tree.
Kosher restaurant serves Baltic and does not know how to spell Busby.
Restaurants tout taste "plov, manti, kebabs and other dishes of Jewish cuisine» Inside there is incredible.. As with all New York catering, kitchens Bukhara restaurants are Mexicans. They are dutiful, hardworking and seize all on the fly. Including foreign languages. Therefore, Forest Hills is probably the only place on earth where you can meet a Mexican speaking Tajik.
When you walk through the 108-th, do not let the idea that the New York a strange city You look at him and could hardly understand:. That was long ago, and that appeared only yesterday. Which of the 80's, but what of the 2000s. The modern history of New York as the first lines of the Bible: Antonio has replaced John Nathan replaces Antonio, Misha replaces Nathan, Solomon replaces Misha. Earth rotates on its axis, and the city is changing, while remaining the same. He - like a boiling pot of soup - in boiling water with vegetables and meat, but the fire is lit so that nothing is spilled over the edge. And the soup will only tasty and nourishing.
A bakery, where a few years Kate moonlighted Dovlatova still in high school, located in the same place, but it looks completely different.
Barber became an Italian shop with mozzarella and sausages, local shop became became Russian Birch # 1. Such a serious transformation in half a century, but no one and does not remember what was here yesterday. From this Birch seems eternal.
Rumors have spread rapidly. If you are interested in the latest news, stay near the Russian store. Best of all - about "Dnepr"
This is our club. Our forum. Our Assembly. Our news agency.
You can bring any help. Discuss the latest newspaper article. Hire a bodyguard, a driver or, say, a paid assassin. To buy a car for a hundred dollars. Buy valokordin domestic production.
Get introduced to fun and undemanding lady.
Say, here sells marijuana and weapons. Changing foreign currency. Enter into suspicious transactions.
About the people of our region are known to all.
But the world is changing. In place of Monet and Misha came Kin Yu and Raymond. I am sure that they are so wise and perceptive, they will find the new store owner with no problems. I wish that it was a Chinese restaurant, but most likely it will be a regular pharmacy or store network.
The house where he lived Dovlatov, is located on the corner of 108 th Street and 63 minutes drive. This is the third New York apartment Dovlatov. They first settled in Flushing (there is now Chinatown), then moved to 65th and then here. There was a big part of the New York-based writer's life. This unremarkable brick building, built in 1950, nice outside and a few dilapidated inside. Its age and the control system. Flaws home gracefully closed panels, on which hang cheap reproductions of paintings by world classics. From this it is a bit like a Potemkin village in miniature. The village center is a fountain a la Venice. Rusty crane gives its true origin. Never mind that the masonry was washed away, and the brick mold. But while waiting for the elevator, you can admire the works of Monet. What is missing is the classical music of wheezing speakers. Externally the house is almost perfect, and if you do not know all the details, it is possible to believe sweet speeches estate agent and buy an apartment there. This story is not uncommon for local houses.
As you enter the elevator, like an astronaut in Baikonur. Countdown to the start button, and soon you will see the most amazing familiarity in your life. Once upon a time, in the ledge above the door of the local teens put hidden from parents cigarettes. They had to help each other to reach. High Dovlatov regularly took out a cigarette and smoked. Teens are at a loss.
The door, as is common in American homes, leads directly into the spacious living room. There are many books and a desk, standing in a small cubbyhole. To his left, a sofa and a TV, to the right - walk in closet. Dovlatov worked practically on the pass-through place in the apartment. Around the always simmering. Grandmother watching TV and someone always passed. I like a man sitting at a computer in the corner of a small living room, simply can not understand how it was possible to work in such conditions. If I have a child watching cartoons, the work was already up. I'm starting to grumble and forced to wear earphones. And here - a mother, a wife, two children and a dog
Dovlatov loved to decorate their desk with all sorts of little things dear to him. Directly above the table hangs a huge portrait of the wife Lena that he took a picture and then increased. Photo of a young Nora, one with a picture of her beloved dog Glasha, playful image with the name "Roy Medvedev", illustration to the Russian Playboy, on the Grisha Polyak cartoon, caricature of Lenin. In the two years before his death, on the wall there was a sealed yellow envelope with the will.
basis of all my lesson - love of order. The passion for order. In other words - the hatred of chaos. Someone said: "Accuracy - the best substitute for genius." It is said about me.
And now, on the desktop Dovlatova perfect order. Pile of books because I found Helen for analysis of the cabinet. She offered to remove them, but it seemed to me that the books table looks like a living organism. Boss is no longer, but they planted the tree continues to bear fruit. They grow and rise up to the desk and orderly fill almost all the space in the closets.
Desktop calendar of 1990. On August 24 no audio notes.
On the table, the manuscript books, writing, and working materials.
On the wall hang already yellowed by time, parking regulations in New York for the holidays 1990.
Handles used by the Dovlatov. He wrote the first of his hands, and then reprinted on a typewriter. Handwritten sheets ejected. In New York Dovlatova liked that you can make a copy on every corner, and there is no need to use carbon paper.
Dovlatov have been two books in the names of which appear typewriters: Leningrad "Solo on the Underwood" and New York - "Solo on the IBM". This artistic technique. It worked perfectly on other machines. First he was an old machine with a huge carriage, which was called "Marilyn Monroe." Its brand, no one remembers. Unfortunately, Merlin fell off the table and broke. The next day, the father Dovlatova - Donat gave him his car. It was Olympia, which Dovlatov enjoyed until his departure from Leningrad. Underwood had also been, but typing on it wife Elena. Olympia did not survive the journey and died in Vienna in the hands of Hughes Aleshkovskii. Another machine was the Adler, which Dovlatov bought in New York, co-worker's son's wife, six months after his arrival. It was almost new. It is on the photo. It was written on it all his American works.
Another piece of history frozen -. < portfolio Dovlatova inside still are things that he put back in the distant 1990
Best Dovlatova biography written by himself:
«I was born in is not very close-knit family. Mediocre at school. He was expelled from the university. He served three years in the camp guard. He wrote short stories, which could not be published. He was forced to leave his homeland. In America, I did not become rich and successful man. My children are reluctant to talk in Russian. I am reluctant to speak in English. In my native Leningrad built dam. it is not clear what is going on in my favorite Tallinn. Life is short. Man alone. I hope all this is quite sad that I can continue to be a writer ... »
Friendly cartoon, which depicted Dovlatova Brodsky. He was very moved by this picture, but better Brodsky drew so little corrected it for the greater similarity.
Roy Medvedev (wiki). Fig. S. Dovlatov.
Caricature of Lenin, Dovlatov painted in 1980.
Figure Dovlatova with two dolls are all that remains of the project, christened "Russian Tribes * fight." Nesting dolls with genitals had to decorate the cover of the first issue. the layout has been made, written articles and selected illustrations - skarbeznye pictures just cut with scissors from the American magazines. Vail was the English-Russian Dictionary of bed jargon. Genis wrote a lengthy article on the erg-static art. Dovlatov wrote a lyrical story about oral lo * se. Investors were found in Philadelphia and even received the first check. This fate Russian Tribes * battle ended safely.
Left on the table, framed, hangs one of the most important for Dovlatova as a writer of artifacts -. Kurt Vonnegut's answer to his letter
Dear Sergei Dovlatov,
I love you, but you broke my heart. I was born in this country, bravely served her during the war, but has not been able to sell any of his story in the magazine "New Yorker." And now you come and - bang! - Your story is printed immediately. Something strange is going on, I tell you ...
Если же говорить серьезно, то я поздравляю вас с отличным рассказом, а также поздравляю «Ньюйоркер», опубликовавший наконец-то истинно глубокий и универсальный рассказ. Как вы, наверное, убедились, рассказы в «Ньюйоркере» отражают радости и горести верхушки мидлкласса. До Вашего появления немного печаталось в «Ньюйоркере» рассказов о людях, которые не являются постоянными читателями того же «Ньюйоркера».
Я много жду от вас и вашей работы. У вас есть талант, который вы готовы отдать этой безумной стране. Мы счастливы, что вы здесь.
Я хочу поблагодарить Елену и Катю Довлатовых, без которых это пост был бы невозможен и всех, кто принимает или примет участие в этом простом, но очень важном проекте.