First, Esser Agaroth did a great Elections Edition Haveil Havalim.
Now for our featured attraction, a beautiful article written by a Highland Park teen:
Seven years ago my mother decided it was high time we children had a dacha, a summer cottage, just like she did in Ukraine…And so we found a private bungalow in the Catskill Mountains — just around the corner from the lake and crowded Russian colonies, giving us both a social life and some relative privacy. The rather spacious two-bedroom cottage, which we would return to every year, with a large kitchen and lovely deck to the side, at first seemed small, compared to the suburban proportions we were used to.
And it wasn’t just the bungalow that was strange; at first we felt like we were dropped onto an alien planet. We had seen these loud babushkas and their Gucci-parading daughters on trips to Brighton Beach, but never in such large doses. Mornings, we were awakened by the eccentric Russian sculptor’s rooster crowing from across the street. Evenings were spent gossiping over tea and sunflower seeds and listening to the latest imported pop from Moscow.
Read the whole thing, on her mom’s blog or in the Jewish Week.
7 thoughts on “Over Tea & Sunflower Seeds”
I haad actually read it but not commented. It’s well-written for someone so young and the perspective is interesting. Do only Russian Jews go to the Catskills?
There are a lot of Hasidim in the Catskills, but not as many Jews go as used to go in the earlier part of the 20th century. Used to be one was discriminated in other places so one would have to hang out with “members of the tribe.” Now Jews can take vacations in Florida or California or wherever, so people who go are those that like the cabin life and hanging out with similar kin. There are still some bungalow colonies of religious Jews.
Thanks for the lengthy explanation. When I read Catskills Potok comes to mind.
I’m actually not too knowledgeable about the Catskills. I would recommend Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman. I knew her when she was in college.
I have ordered the book!
I wasn’t aware that there was a Russian community that goes up in the summer to bungalows.
Neither was I.