Archive for the tag 'russian'

Sorry for the short notice: The Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach (“Shorefront Y”) is holding a Language and Cultural Exchange this morning, April 16, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The organization will be pairing native Russian speaking community members — many of whom are students of the Shorefront Y’s English as a Second Language Program — with the US Military Academy West Point cadets who are studying Russian as part of their academic curriculum.

There is a need for Russian-speaking volunteers, so if that is something you can do, get yourselves to the Shorefront Y. This volunteer opportunity offers our community’s Russian speaking public a unique opportunity to use their native language skills and culture of origin to help more than 200 cadets practice their Russian verbal skills and comprehension in a way that does not happen on campus.

According to the Shorefront Y, “The exchange has been a colorful event that leaves our community members feeling ‘proud to be American’ and gives cadets a taste of the Russian people and culture they will meet abroad.”

You can learn more about the cross-cultural exchange in this video.

The Shorefront YM-YWHA is located at 3300 Coney Island Avenue, right off the boardwalk. To learn more, call the Shorefront Y at (718) 646-1444 or email

It’s always a heart-breaker for me when an establishment has been around so long that it becomes part of the landscape, then closes before I get around to that promise I made to myself to stop in and try it. Moscow on Hudson at 1920 Avenue U is one of those places.

I used to spend a lot of time on this stretch of Avenue U when I was in high school or visiting from college, and I’d always pass this Eastern European deli and bakery. I knew it was one of the oldest in the neighborhood – certainly one of the first Eastern European places I saw on Avenue U or in Sheepshead Bay generally – establishing itself at its small storefront much earlier than the later bazaars that serve up larger selections on plots with much larger square footage (see: Net Cost Market, Cherry Hill Gourmet, et cetera). I had planned to stop in for some pirozhki or salads or maybe smoked salmon, which I heard they had the freshest in the area.

But, alas, that will not happen. When I walked by last week – fully prepared to keep walking and visit it another day – some construction caught my eye and dragged the storefront out of the landscape and into focus. The gates were down, the innards were out. Moscow on Hudson is no more.

A member of the crew seconds before she told me not to use flash on my camera. Photos by Erica Sherman

We received a heads up from a tipster that the brand new J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan drama, “Person of Interest,” the pilot of which debuted on CBS last week, was filming on Brighton Beach Avenue and Brighton 12th Street yesterday, so we ran on over and shot a few photos.

Additional photos and a write-up are below the fold…

Sergei Dovlatov, right, with Peter Vail in New York (1981). Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

We received a press release from our friends at the Shorefront YM-YWHA (3300 Coney Island Avenue, corner of Brightwater Court), including an event scheduled this weekend on September 25:

Starting in September 2011, the recognition of iconic Soviet émigré writer Sergei Dovlatov’s 70-year birthday anniversary will take place in Russia, Estonia, and United States, the places where Sergei Dovlatov lived and worked. Dovlatov, whose work is loved by millions all over the world, lived in New York City after his forceful exile from the Soviet Union in 1979. In New York he found great success, publishing 12 stories in the prestigious magazine “The New Yorker,” 11 books, and receiving the Pen Club Prize in 1986, for best story of the year.

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Father and daughter duo, Veniamin and Alika Smekhov. Source:

As part of its fourth Annual Summer Nights Festival 2011, the Shorefront YM-YWHA, 3300 Coney Island Avenue, will be presenting “Twelve Months of Tango,” a poetry-musical performance featuring the renown father and daughter duo, Veniamin and Alika Smekhov, and the Tango Orchestra, July 10 at 6 p.m.

Veniamin Smekhov, an actor, director, and writer, famed for his work with the Moscow Taganka Theater, starred in the role of Athos in the Russian version of “The Three Musketeers” (1978) and subsequent sequels (1992, 1993). His daughter, Alika, is a Russian actress, singer and television TV hostess.

According to the YM-YWHA’s website (where you can also watch videos of the duo performing):

Veniamin Smekhov wrote new lyrics to the famous Polish Tango 1930 and connected it with the poetry of the Silver Age, resulting in a rich program combining the drama of tango music with the energy of the verse, debuted by the father and daughter duo. The contemporary video art creates a parallel story to the old texts and melodies. Each season is presented in its own color and an actress wears vintage dresses from the 1930s-50s, creating a sense of nostalgia in this magnificent performance.

Tickets, which can be purchased on the Y’s website, are $30 for non-members, $27 for members, seniors and students. The $35 tickets for the first three rows have all been sold out (Wow, they must be really popular!) For more, contact YM-YWHA Cultural and Arts Director Irina Volkovich at (718) 646-1444 extension 326, email or go to

Source: Google Maps

A less-than-heimishe nightclub is eager to open for business in the heart of Gravesend, but Orthodox residents in the area do not want any of their crazy tsures, Vos Iz Neias is reporting.

The business, called Pleasure, would be situated on the corner of Avenue U and East 9th Street, within a stone’s throw from the “Torah Academy of Brooklyn, a boys yeshiva high school…numerous shuls, a kosher pizzeria and a school bus stop utilized by several yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs [girls yeshivas].”

The upscale restaurant and lounge would replace an identical establishment with the same name and at the same location, which Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo railed against initially, calling the first incarnation of Pleasure “a detriment to the quality of life in this neighborhood.”

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A performance by Mikhail Svetlov (Source:

Principal soloist from the Bolshoi Theater and Metropolitan Opera, Mikhail Svetlov, will perform “The Cosmos, the Singer and the Stars,” May 22,  5 p.m. at the Shorefront YM-YWHA, 3300 Coney Island Avenue.

The Grammy-nominated bass, who performs in Russian and English, will showcase some of the classic masterpieces from his world vocal repertoire, a satirical mini-opera by Dmitri Shostakovich, “Anti-Formalist Rayok” (“The Peep-show”), and the premiere of two new Russian romances by internationally acclaimed composer Dennis Dougherty.

The program also features a dialogue between Svetlov and J. David Jackson, an assistant conductor of at the New York Metropolitan Opera.

Svetlov, nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award for his interpretation of the music of Igor Stravinsky, is the first Russian bass to ever perform the title roles in Don Giovanni and The Flying Dutchman.

To learn more, call the Y at (718) 646-1444, email, or go to or


The Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach will host art historian and cultural critic Maya Pritsker, who will lead a discussion, entirely in Russian, entitled “From the Lower East Side to Broadway: The Jewish Mark on American Theater,” May 15, 4 p.m. at the Y, 3300 Coney Island Avenue, at the corner of Brightwater Court.

From Abraham Goldfaden, hailed as the father of the Yiddish theater, to such greats as Jacob Adler, Molly Picon and Menasha Skulnik, Pritsker will highlight the lives of the Jewish legends who, dating back to the 1870s, made their indelible mark on the Great White Way — from their humble beginnings staging Yiddish Theater productions in the Lower East Side to their significant social and cultural impact on the stages of Broadway.

To learn more, contact the Y at (718) 646-1444 or go to

Buzya Kimelfeld is awarded a plaque by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes (left) upon her 103rd birthday, accompanied by her son (second from right) and Rabbi Moshe Wiener, executive director, Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island.

Happy birthday, bubele.

Buzya Kimelfeld, the beloved 103-year-old resident of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island’s (JCCGCI) Surf Solomon Senior Center, was fêted during a pomp-filled birthday celebration for the senior, who has literally seen it all.

Born in a small Ukrainian village in 1908 during the bloody reign of the last Tzar of Russia, Emperor Nicholas II, Buzya’s mother fell sick and died when she was very young and her father was murdered in an anti-Jewish pogrom, leaving the young orphan to care for her younger brother and sister while, according to Buzya’s son Peter, living “by her wits” to shield her siblings from anti-Jewish Russian authorities.

Keep reading about Kimelfeld amazing story.

Members of the Russian-Jewish youth movement EZRA USA @ Brooklyn will be hosting their annual commemoration of Yom Ha’Shoah — Holocaust Memorial Day — in remembrance of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

The ceremony, May 1 at 3 p.m. inside the Sea Breeze Jewish Center (311 Sea Breeze Avenue), will feature a talk by a Holocaust survivor, a recitation of poems and selected readings, and a candle-lighting.

For more, call (718) 368-9200 or (718) 701-1527, or click here.

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