expand/collapse this text box Summary
Ilya shows his young children the roof garden in the apartment where he grew up.
expand/collapse this text box Translation of the Russian Transcript
Ilya: Let's go see some more places. Masha hasn't seen you yet.

Vasya: Let's go to the roof garden.

Ilya: You see that balcony, that's the room I was in when I was a baby, and where I always lived.

Ilya: Yes. And this is where I played soccer. With a ball.

Ekaterina Sergeevna: Do you remember how we had birthday parties here?

Ilya: Yes, I remember, we once put a table here and ate, yes. And drank tea from a samovar, I remember.

Ekaterina Sergeevna: Yes. Yes!

Ilya: Vasyunya, you know, don't go there, don't. Don't get your hands dirty. And you have to watch out for Papa. Do you see this moss, like in the forest?

Vasya: What's this?

Ilya: This is something...

E. S.: It's from rain. The rain kept soaking the box.

Ilya: Yes. And the box fell apart.

E. S.: They say that water can cut through stone.

Ilya: Hey, Mash!

E. S.: Here is my Mashenka.

Ilya: Mash, look: this is Vasya, and this is Manya. It's so nice to see you! How are you?

Ilya: Careful, jump down, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump.

expand/collapse this text box Details in Photographs
Apartment I floor plan
Floor plan of the apartment from Tours 1-2 (all clips), home to "auntie" Asya, Ekaterina Sergeevna, Masha, Sveta, and Natasha. 2006.

Windows of top-floor communal apartments
The building shown in Tours 1-3; the facade facing the courtyard. In the separate apartments in the building next door, well-to-do residents have installed energy-efficient vinyl window panes. 2007.

A place for children to play
This apartment has a terrace, where people dry laundry and store things. Although it can be reached from the staircase, outsiders are not allowed to use it. We see this terrace in the "The Roof Garden," Tour 1. 2007.

On the roof garden
Car tires, a satellite dish, and window onto the staircase: a view of the terrace seen in the clip "The Roof Garden" from Tour 1. 2007.

Hanging laundry on the terrace
One of the neighbors hangs laundry on the terrace on the roof. 2002.

Door to the roof garden and part of the terrace
The door from a room onto the terrace, which residents of the apartment from Tours 1 and 2 can use. People use this door in the clip "The Roof Garden" in Tour 1. 2007.

Courtyard and rear facade of building
Windows on the top floor belong to the apartment which we see in Tours 1-2, for example in "Where He Slept." Ilya's former room has windows that open onto the little balcony. 2007.

expand/collapse this text box Basic Facts and Background
When: Summer 2006

Where: A terrace on the roof of a five-story apartment building in the high-status historical center of St. Petersburg. We also see a hallway and a room in the communal apartment, whose tenants use the terrace (called here a "veranda.")

Who: 1) Ilya Utekhin, who lived in the building for over 30 years. At the time of filming he still had a room here, though he lived elsewhere. 2) Manya and Vasya, Ilya's children, on their first visit to the building; 3) Another tenant, Ekaterina Sergeevna, who knew Ilya when he lived here as a child and as a young man; 4) Masha, the twenty-five year-old granddaughter of Ekaterina Sergeevna; 5) Slawomir, who is filming.

What: This veranda is an unusual architectural feature of the building. The tenants of the apartment have exclusive rights to its use. There are two ways to reach it: from the stairwell, and from one of the rooms. All the tenants can hang out their laundry here, store things, and sunbathe in the summer.

See also the photograph of the door to the roof garden, from which Masha exits in this clip, as well as a photo of one of the residents, Asya, hanging laundry on the terrace.

In 2007, the family whose room opened out onto the roof decided to privatize the terrace. Regardless of the fact that all of the residents of the apartment have used the terrace as a common space, in the process of compiling the documents for privatization of their room, it turned out that either it would be necessary to completely seal off the door from the family's room to the terrace, or designate the terrace a "balcony" and transfer it to their private property. By June of 2007 this situation had still not been conclusively decided, the privatization documents had not been completed, and in any case the neighbors would protest if their access to the roof were cut off.

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