New York Dovlatova
• New York Dovlatova
It is most important for me to post the journal. The most difficult and the most responsible. The first time I was very worried about what will happen as a result of writing. Dovlatov wrote himself so well that to talk about something related to it, clumsily and awkwardly, I just do not have the right. And this responsibility weighs on me from all sides, paralyzed fingers and mixes the thoughts in my head. I know that is not strong in the literature, so in this post I will try to show their best traits: love of history and observation. Today, you will see that no one has ever seen or published.
Almost in the center of the New York borough of Queens is a small area called Forest Hills. He never really stands out from the others. Not the most expensive, but cheap and it can not be called. Not dull, but certainly not the most beautiful. This is a typical bedroom community of New York. Togo New York that does not fall in the lenses of cameras and little known to people living abroad. On the streets quite normal for these places motley collection of people, and the world, as is common in New York, could change on the other side of the intersection
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 the cemetery where is buried.
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 of the (post about Forest Hills Gardens), north - cheaper. North - much less pretty in appearance and built up endlessly monotonous brick buildings. After living in Queens 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 prices for housing at a relatively low level of crime. In the 70s the latter was very important. - We are six brick buildings around the supermarket, the predominantly Russian. That is, the recent Soviet citizens. Or, as the newspapers - the third wave of emigrants.
Our area extends from the railroad tracks to the synagogue. A little further north - Meadow-lake, to the south - Queens Boulevard. And we - the middle. 108th Street - our central highway.
We have Russian shops, kindergartens, a shop and a hairdresser. There is a 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 find something like foreigners. If we hear the English language, it is alarming. In such cases, we ask:
- Speak Russian!
Historically, that in the 80 Forest Hills became the second largest English-speaking area in New York. And if on Brighton beach selilas the audience, who had come from Odessa and small Soviet cities, rushing to the United States, as is commonly believed, for a beautiful life and a variety of varieties of sausage, the Forest Hills has become a haven for people intelligent, who were also not alien to dietary diversity but we treated it more philosophical and reserved. Although eventually everything was resolved friendship and had family ties. People went back to where they were easier to settle and live where they like. Even then, between the two districts had been split, transformed later 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 here at that time the local population was half-Jewish and half the rest: Italian, Latin American, Asian, black, etc. Many of the Jews came to New York from Germany after the Second World War and, although they were not orthodox, besides.. English spoke perfect Yiddish. Center of the life of yesterday's Soviet citizens became the 108th street. It is described by Dovlatov in "Inostranka". It was close to her home to many real or fictional characters of his works.
As a result, some local people have started talking in our language. Chinese from the snack bar welcomes me:
- Good morning, Solzhenitsyn! (It turns out - "Solozenisa".)
Local Americans, mostly German Jews. 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. Hispanics more.
For us, this mysterious people with transistors. We do not know them. But just in case, we despise and fear.
Bias Frieda complains:
- would go to a lousy Africa ..!
Frida herself a native of the town of Shklov. He prefers to live in New York ...
If you want to get acquainted with our district, then stand around stationery stores. It is at the crossroads of the eighth Hundred and Sixty-fourth. Come as early as possible.
It has been 10 years, and the situation in the region has changed. The economic recovery in the country, turning homes into cooperatives and the boom in the market of the New York real estate led to the fact that yesterday's immigrants began to sell the apartment has risen sharply 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, began to arrive new settlers - 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 the area synagogues and assistance to the local Jewish community. Today, the Bukharan Jews have completely changed the area. He became richer, he became more expensive, it has become more prestigious, it was the Russian-speaking, but he was completely different.
Who would have thought that, thanks to the Jews of Tajikistan and their Soviet past, we received the second largest Russian-speaking area in the largest US city.
Now since the Dovlatova is almost nothing left. Old shops and restaurants are either closed or have changed their signs and owners. If before the word "kosher" can be found in one or two establishments on the street, but now there are almost all "strictly kosher". This is clearly seen on Saturday when the 108th Street just dying.
One of the few remaining from the time of stores. In the evening at the entrance always going gaggle of teenagers attracted by the opportunity to buy a late night beer and cigarettes.
Next shop with a funny name. There would clearly mention a French actor, not drinking cologne, but apparently did not know how.
area is filled with artifacts. It feels Dr. Livingstone, who had gone on an expedition into the wild African lands, we lost three years and suddenly met Henry Stanley under a mango tree.
Kosher restaurant serves "Baltika" 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 well as throughout the New York catering, in the kitchens of restaurants Bukhara working Mexicans. They are dutiful, hardworking and grasp everything on the fly. Including foreign languages. Therefore, Forest Hills, probably the only place on earth where you can meet a Mexican who speaks Tajik.
When you walk through the 108-th, do not let the idea that New York is a strange city. You look at him and could hardly understand what was long ago and that there was only yesterday. Which of the 80's, and that 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 boiling pot of soup - in boils water with vegetables and meat, but the fire is lit so that nothing is spilled over the edge. And the soup will only tastier and richness.
A bakery, where a few years Kate moonlighted Dovlatova while still in school, located in the same place, but it looks quite different.
Barber became an Italian shop with mozzarella and sausage shop has become a brothel with tinted windows and a turbid signboard, brothel became a Russian magazine "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" store. 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 one hundred dollars. Buy valokordin domestic production.
Meet with a cheerful and undemanding lady.
They say there are selling marijuana and weapons. Changing foreign currency. Enter into suspicious transactions.
About the people of our district is known.
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 another pharmacy or store network.
The house where Dovlatov lived, is located at the corner of 108th Street and 63rd Drive. This is the third New York apartment Dovlatov. They first settled in Flushing (there is now Chinatown), then moved to the 65th, and then here. There was a big part of the New York-based writer's life. It is an 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 world classics. From this it is a bit like a Potemkin village in miniature. In the village center stands a fountain a la Venice. Rusty tap outputs its true origin. Never mind that the masonry was washed away, and on 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 and real estate agent to buy an apartment there. This story is not uncommon for local houses. In the elevator you enter, 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 eaves local teens put hidden from their parents cigarettes over the door. 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 winning place in the apartment. There's 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 his 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", a caricature of Grisha Polyak, a caricature of Lenin. In the two years before his death, on the wall there was a sealed yellow envelope with the will.
The basis of all my classes - love of order. Passion for order. In other words - 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 on what 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. The owner is no longer, but they planted the tree continues to bear fruit. They grow and rise up on the desk and orderly fill almost all the space in the closets.
One of the books - it has not published the novel "Sanctuary" (in the American version of Pushkin Hills), translated by her daughter Katya into English. The book is out of print in a month, in March this year. It will be available on the "Amazon" in the paper and electronic versions. Kate is worried that the book found the American reader. For her, it's personal, and she is afraid that unless there are new books, then Dovlatova English stop reading. She really wants to know her father in her country. I think that this is important not only for her but also for the whole of Russian culture, which is part of Dovlatov, no doubt, is. If you have any American friends, then you can recommend or give them a new book Dovlatov. New Yorkers can come to the presentation of the book, which will be held March 19 at the bookstore POWERHOUSE ARENA, is in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Dumbo. Free admission.
Table calendar of 1990. On August 24 no audio notes.
On the table, manuscript books, writing, and working materials.
On the wall hang already yellowed by time, parking regulations in New York holidays in 1990.
Handles used by the Dovlatov. He went on writing, first by hand 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.
There were two books Dovlatov whose names appear typewriters: Leningrad "Solo on the Underwood" and New York - "Solo on the IBM". This artistic technique. It worked perfectly on other machines. First it was an old machine with a huge carriage, nicknamed the "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 the "Olympia", which Dovlatov enjoyed until his departure from Leningrad. "Underwood" he, too, was printed on it but his 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 arrival. It was almost new. It is in the photo. It was written on it all his American works.
Another piece of frozen history - Dovlatova portfolio. Inside are still things that he put back in the distant 1990.
The best biography of Dovlatov written by him:
"I was born in a not very friendly family. Mediocre at school. He was expelled from the university. He served three years in a camp guard. I wrote 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 a dam. it is not clear what is going on in my favorite Tallinn. Life is short. Man alone. Hopefully, all this is quite sad, so I can continue to be a writer ... "
A friendly caricature, which depicted Dovlatova Brodsky. He was very touched by this drawing, but drawing is better Brodsky and therefore slightly tweaked it for greater resemblance.
Roy Medvedev (wiki). Fig. S. Dovlatov.
Caricature of Lenin painted Dovlatov in 1980.
Figure Dovlatova with two dolls - this is all that remains of the project, christened "Russian playboy". Nesting dolls with genitals were to decorate the cover of the first issue. mock-up was made, written articles and selected illustrations - scabrous pictures just cut with scissors from the American magazines. Vail was the English-Russian Dictionary of bed jargon. Genis wrote a lengthy article about erotic art. Dovlatov wrote a lyrical story about oral sex. investors have been found in Philadelphia and even received the first check. At this fate "Russian Playboy" has ended successfully.
On the left of the table, framed, hangs one of the most important Dovlatov as a writer artifacts - Kurt Vonnegut's response to his letter.
Dear Sergey 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 "Nyuyorker" magazine. And now you come and - bang! - your story is printed immediately. Something strange is going on, I tell you ... If you talk seriously, I congratulate you on a great story, and I congratulate "Nyuyorker", published at last truly deep and universal story. As you probably have seen the stories in "Nyuyorkere" reflect the joys and sorrows of the top midlklassa. Prior to your arrival a little printed in "Nyuyorkere" stories about people who are not regular readers of the same "Nyuyorkera".
I've been waiting on you and your work. Do you have a talent that you are willing to give this crazy country. We are happy that you are here.
Your colleague -
To date, there is an agreement with the building owners to install a memorial plaque. Now it is undergoing a petition to rename the 63rd street in Sergei Dovlatov Way. Or rather not to rename, and to grant her a second name. On the map it still remains as it was - 63rd Drive. This is fairly common in New York practice. The streets are called the names of famous religious and political figures, famous people, musicians, and even the dead policemen. Now, for example, is considered the petition on the additional title for the intersection in the lower east side - Beastie Boys Square. There musicians just took a photo for his album Paul's Boutique 1989.
For that to happen, you need to collect 20 000 signatures. This does not guarantee 100% result, but certainly will lead to the fact that the issue will be put forward for discussion. If there had been 100,000, the street would be renamed yesterday. But today there are only 11 824. And this despite the fact that a lot of work has been done, and the news about it has already surpassed all the leading Russian TV channels. It seems to me that the problem is lack of awareness. The majority decided that since it has already happened, you do not need help. However, it is not. It is important that the initiative was supported as much as possible to local residents. Ideally, they lived in Forest Hills. I understand that by using only one of my blog will make it difficult, so ask for your help and the census. Vote is very simple: it is necessary to visit the site change.org, specify in the order: first name, last name, email address, residential address, state and zip code. If you live outside the US, then select "Outside U.S.?", Then instead of the state will need to enter the city. In the lower field you can write why it is important for you. Then you should click Sign button, and your signature is accepted. All this takes about a minute, but you can help in an important and necessary business. It seems to me that this is the case, when the initiative is really necessary and appropriate, and everything that hinders its advance - is the lack of information. More than confident that Dovlatova loyal fans much more than the population of New York City, and with the participation of your vote tomorrow will be a lot more 20,000.
I want to thank Helen and Kate Dovlatova, without which it would be impossible position, and anyone who takes or will take part in this simple, but very important project.