bubble.typepad.com > Species of Spaces

2

On the third floor lives Amir. He is on his way to enlightenment and Uri’s cousin. He recently renovated his apartment, which used to belong to his (and Uri’s) grandmother, Sara Shreir (Buzya to her family), who (together with David, her husband) owned the building. Buzya lived there for 55 years, and passed away in her bed when she was 92 years old, ten years ago.

Buzya was an incredibly strong woman who ran the building with a firm (but kind) hand. She was very proud of her flat and used to say “one must know how to use it right”. Which meant, among other things, to know at what time of day to open the right window to enable the perfect flow of air into it. She didn’t have air conditioning. She had a veranda on which she spent the warm summer evenings drinking cold compot and watching television while noting to her guests (she always had at least one) “what nonsense do they say there! do you understand this?”
During and after world war two relatives and acquaintances from Europe asked Sara and David for shelter. Every spare meter on the building’s premises was turned into a refugee shelter (the garage, the boiler room, the laundry room on the roof etc.).

A ritual took place in the apartment every day at 10 am: Tzviten Frushtick: Second Breakfast: It was a German custom Sara adopted from her many years in Berlin, combined with a Russian flavor (she was born and raised in Russia): A toast with cottage cheese, Herring, butter, sour cream and lots and lots of strong black tea were nicely served on her rolltisch to Nora, her daughter who worked at her ceramic studio downstairs, or Nina, her older daughter, together with a random guest who could be one of her many grandchildren, sometimes accompanied by their friends, or a neighbor.

Amir is a musician and a copywriter. The apartment after the renovation totally changed its face. Walls were broken and windows were opened. It is now so beautifully designed that it was used on several occasions as a film and TV series location. The veranda together with one bedroom were cancelled and added to what is now a huge loft-like living room that gives space to his piano and many musical instruments, on which Daniel loves to play. Instead of the veranda Amir uses air conditioning on hot summer days. He plans to leave the building in two years, and move either to the countryside, or to India.