5.29.13: Life & Death

The papers have been signed and stamped, the price has been paid, the keys have been bestowed and now it’s time to celebrate the official acquisition of Naomi’s Hideaway! We spend the morning preparing tasty snacks and tidying up… At 2:30 pm Ded “Grandpa” Vitya, the Hideaway’s former owner, arrives with brown bread, pickled herring, pickled tomatoes, pickled pickles, a bottle of vodka and his own shot glass. For the next several hours, we eat and toast and talk about subjects ranging from romance (“I loved the ladies so much I would kiss them from top to toe!”), past glories (“I was the  strongest man in the village! Give me your hand!” “Uh, please don’t crush it… I’m a musician… I need it!”) to the horrors of war (“We were starving… My grandmother died…the neighbors ate her corpse…”) and the last raging pride of the aged (“I will dig my own grave!”). When one bottle of vodka gives up its last five drops, there is another to take its place. And so it goes, deep into the afternoon and the twilight and the nighttime. There is lots of laughter and there is also some crying but all the most memorable parties have deviled eggs, dancing and few tears, don’t they?


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Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr travel the world, sharing movies and music with the masses. At home in Los Angeles, they facilitate community screenings and workshops at the Echo Park Film Center, a non-profit media arts organization.

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