July 24, 2021

An Architectural Crime; or, Shedquarters


An Architectural Crime; or, Shedquarters
Like something out of Gogol. The Russian-flag balloons don't help. Vologda police department

Bureaucratic officiousness is a reliable source of amusement in Russia (just read one of our favorite authors). The latest episode out of the town of Semenkovo, Vologda region, is merely one more drop in an already full bucket.

Earlier this month, village authorities opened a new police station in the center of town with a good deal of (carefully masked) ceremony. However, the solemnity of the occasion did not meet the quality of construction: the station appears to be in the form of a small, spartan, common, construction shed on a dirt lot.

Town politicians were quick to tout the design as "modular" and "modern," arguing that the conditions inside this office were much more comfortable than in the previous one. They failed to elaborate exactly what the previous building was like.

Don't worry, though: local authorities were sure to bless the new station with a priest.

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Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
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Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

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At the Circus (bilingual)

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