From the editors
FOREWORD

DESTINATION
Aleksandr Sologubov
CULTURE IN A "FOREIGN" SPACE: AN INTRODUCTION
Ivan Chechot
TO GENIUS LOCI KALININGRAD AND KOENIGSBERG
Wolfgang Eichwede
KALININGRAD IN THE YEAR 2020 - A NOT QUITE FICTITIOUS CONVERSATION
Aleksandr Sologubov
DESTINATION - KALININGRAD

PHRASE BOOK
Aleksandr Sologubov
FROM KALININGRAD DICTIONARY

MAP OF THE CITY
Anatolii Bakhtin
UGLY KOENIGSBERG
Elena Gladkova
FORMA URBIS. SYMBOLIC PARALLELS
Valery Orlov
IN OR OUT

SOUTHERN STATION
Ivan Chechot
THE RAILWAY STATION AND ENTRANCE TO THE CITY OF KALININGRAD

CROSSROADS
Aleksandr Popadin
BINARY STATES OF "K" CITY
Eugeny Umansky, Karpenko-Karpenko
KATYANASTYA

IN THE CENTER
Andrei Monastyrsky, Sabina Haensgen
EMPTY CENTER K.
Pavel Nastin
COURTYARD-WELL

COMMUNICATIONS
Artem Advokat
GRAFFITI
Elena Tsvetaeva
FOLK GRAFFITI
Marek Wolodzko
FOLLOWING SILENT WORDS
FA+ (Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre)
THE MYTHICAL FOUNDATION OF KALININGRAD
Aleksandr Sologubov
MICROTOPONYMY

PRETERITION: KNEIPHOF ISLAND
Aleksandr Sologubov
THE CATHEDRAL
Aleksandr Popadin
ERECTING BRIDGES
Ivan Chechot
THE BRIDGES AND "THE PREGEL'S ODOR"
John Craig Freeman, Greg Ulmer
IMAGING KALININGRAD: THE SEVEN BRIGES OF KOENIGSBERG

STOA KANTIANA
Anatolii Bakhtin
FORGOTTEN KANT AND THE KANT-BRAND IN KOENIGSBERG
Aleksandr Sologubov
KANT
Olga Lopukhova
KANT'S TOMB
Erika Wolf
KANT'S BRIDES: A READYMADE PHOTOGRAPHIC CHRONOTOPE
Ivan Chechot
THE CATHEDRAL AND KANT FOR EVERYONE, OR IS GOD FEARSOME WITHOUT MORAL

THE CASTLE OF SOVIETS
Aleksandr Sologubov
THE ROYAL CASTLE
Igor Sacharov-Ross
WINE CELLAR
Dali Rust
A WHITE SEAGULL ABOVE THE CITY: THE SYMBOLS OF THE OLD NEW CITY
Joanna Sandell
WRITING OF DREAMS
RAKETA
LIGHT UP DOM SOVETOV
Aleksandr Sologubov
THE HOUSE OF SOVIETS

GERMANS
Ilya Dementiev
THE MOST PROFOUND SECRET OF ONE KOENIGSBERG LAWYER: HOFFMANN
KudaBegutSobaki
A LEGEND ABOUT FIVE LITTLE ULRICHEN AND FERRYMAN ANDRE

Peter Wunsch
KOENIGSBERG-KALININGRAD. THE TASTE OF MARZIPAN
Aleksandr Sologubov
THE COUNTRY OF PENSIONERS - OR THE GERMANS
Martin Huettel
QWERTZ

MOSCOW PERSPECTIVE
Olga Sezneva
CONCRETE ELEMENTS OF KALININGRAD
Agnieszka Wolodzko
HABITATION UNITS
Werner Moeller
THE UNDREAMED OF CITY
Oleg Vasiutin
TOWN PLANNING MATHEMATICS
Mark Borozna
MOSKOVSKII PROSPECT & THE SHADOWS AROUND ALTSTADT

OUR TOWER Ivan Chechot
KRONPRINZ
Elena Tsvetaeva
THE TOWER-REDAN "KRONPRINZ"
THE KRONPRINZ TOWER. Projects for the National Centre for Contemporary Arts by Students of the Institute for Theory and Design in Architecture (Braunschweig, Germany)
OUR PRIDE
Aleksandr Sologubov
AMBER
Aleksandr Sologubov
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
Ivan Chechot
THE AMBER ROOM

BASTIONS
Avenir Ovsyanov
BASTIONS IN DIAMONDS AND EMERALDS
Rostan Tavasiev
LITTLE BRICKS

THE MARKET
Ivan Chechot
THE HOUSE OF MACHINERY: THE RECONSTRACTION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE POPULATION

V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
Elena Tsvetaeva
SERGEI TIMOFEEVICH

PLACE OF EXECUTION
Bert Hoppe
TRACES OF A VIRTUAL HISTORY IN A VERY REAL CITY

CSC ROC
Aleksandr Sologubov
CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL

TRAM
Aleksandr Sologubov
LIFE AND EGGS (A sketch about trams)
SKART
LUCKY TICKET

MEETING POINT
Aleksandr Popadin
THE BULLS
Ivan Chechot
GAUL'S FOUNTAIN
Ivan Chechot
A STROLL THROUGH THE CENTER
Aleksandr Popadin
IN THE FLOW: FOUNTAIN SEASON
Aleksandr Popadin
NINE
Elena Tsygankova
WILD WEST OF RUSSIA

THE ZOO
Irina Kozhevnikova
ZOO
Ingeborg Strobl
ANIMALS IN KALININGRAD AND A MOSAIC
Elena Tsvetaeva
KOENIGSBERG CATS

MEMENTO MORE
Avenir Ovsianov
KOENIGSBERG'S SPIRITUAL HERITAGE IN TONS, ITEMS AND SACKS. From the history of lost and found cultural heritage
Aleksandr Sologubov
KALININ PARK
Aleksandr Popadin
WE ALL ARE GOING TO BE THERE
Aleksandr Sologubov
MONUMENTS
Irina Kozhevnikova
MONUMENT TO 1200 GUARDSMEN IN KALININGRAD
Roger Palmer
BRIEF MEMORIALS

MATTER AND SPIRIT
Aleksandr Sologubov
MYSTICISM
Aleksandr Popadin
FRAGMENT OF A SYMPHONY FOR SLOW READING: IVANOV AND HIS SURROUNDINGS
Evgenii Umanskii
ATTIC OF RECOGNITION
Aleksandr Sologubov
STOVES
Dmitrii Vyshemirskii
MAN AND WOMAN
Lana Vyshemirskaya
THE SMALL SCULPTURE "GIRL"

ON THE STREET
Evgenii Umanskii
CHANUKAH
Aleksandr Popadin
CUBIC PAVEMENT
Igor Isaev, Dmitrii Demidenko
SEWER HATCHES
Aleksandr Popadin
THE FIRE HYDRANT
Irina Kozhevnikova
TRADITIONS
Kalle Brolin, Kristina Muntzing
POTENTIAL PLACE

Aleksandr Popadin
THE WATERFALL HERACLES' BOLT

V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
Manuela
NATASHA POTERYASHINA. Inteview

ATMOSPHERE
Aleksandr Sologubov
TO BE IN THE MOOD FOR PACKING
Aleksandr Popadin
ALL-WEATHER KALININGRADIANS
Dmitrii Bulatov, Pavel Savel'ev
ACEPHALUS: OPTICAL MODELS
Mark Borozna
LIGHT THE CRYSTALS OF KALININGRAD!

THE HARBOR
Evgenii Kazannik
PORT
Aleksandr Ponomarev
THE GATES

SUBURBS
Avenir Ovsyanov
THE BRIDGE THAT THE "RUSSIANS COULDN'T PULL DOWN"
Elena Tsvetaeva
THE ROAD TO BERLIN: FROM EPIC TO BANAL. Interview with Valerii Bugrov
Aleksandr Popadin
HOAR-STONES AND BOUNDARY SYMBOLS
Aleksandr Popadin
MUSCOVITES ARE HANGING
Anders Kreuger
BEFORE THE CITY



THE FIRE HYDRANT


Aleksandr Popadin / Kaliningrad, Russia


The path to the fire hydrant was not easy for me.

At first I thought that it was a pole for tying up horses. So, these things stand on the pavement, and you, being a resident of the 19th century, ride up to it, dismount and tie up your gelding. Some sort of a parking spot. But Kharkovskaya Street was built in 1921-1927, when residents of the 19th century had become residents of the 20th century. When horse-drawn carts were replaced by bicycles and cars, this thing remained standing. Something is wrong with it.

To tell the truth, since then this gadget has lost its top and metal casing, hence revealing its valves. So, it is a complicated engineering construction and not a parking spot. Well!

Then, on another object I could make out the German word Wasser (water) and the cast-iron muzzle of a Chinese fire dragon (this was on the glade at the end of Radishchev Street, beneath which an air-raid shelter had been located). Then I discovered the dividing connector for a fire hose. In every school there were and still are those red wooden boxes, where senior pupils thrown their cigarette butts and which contain a rolled up hose with intake connectors at the end. The same kind of a connector was observed on the cast-iron pole of a human form with two hook-ups on its shoulders. The way to a fire-hydrant was not easy. Behind it stands a fire-warden, a shining iron fire helmet, taken from cartoons and musicals. There are complicated nets of tubes and pipes that appear on the ground surface in a special hydrant costume. There are many of them, because a third of the town was destroyed by fire during the Middle Ages. So preventative measures had to be been taken. These measures stand behind the fire-hydrant topped by a fire-warden with a helmet. And what stands behind me? There is something: a red fire box in the school. I was a member of the organization "Young Friends of the Volunteer Fire Brigade" (YFVFB), which handed out badges for the ten kopeck annual fee. I was also a member of the competitive team of the YFVFB. First we trained at the fire station of the Oktyabrsky District, and then we took part in regional fire-prevention competitions for the District. We were allowed to skip classes in order to train, which was a good incentive. I climbed into a second floor window with a water cannon. There was a hook on the step-ladder, and it could be fixed to a window sill. It was shaky enough when you climb it hastily. In the third year we were allowed to take part in demonstration performances (at that time we were already young bulls at the age of 17, in the tenth form).

During training I learnt some things about the job of fire-fighting, a parallel world to ours. For example, if you believe in films, then in those days fire-wardens rehearsed and performed in brass bands while they were not at work (a wonderful blending of the musical and operational arts). Nowadays, in the century of boom-boxes and CD players, fire-fighters train and master billiards playing; they no longer torment others with their voices. This, in my opinion, is not a bad thing.

Actually, there is a special metaphysics in the profession of fire-fighters. It is when you are an agent of inter-natural conflicts, and can suppress one force with the help of another. You are able to make a mystery of the meeting of fire and water dragons. So, a hydrant is a post on the city territory for starting a metaphysical fight. It is a techno-sculpture nowadays. But only a few of them are left. Years and centuries had passed and in the 1920s German community services invented an underground hydrant.

Once, in the middle of summer, I witnessed a red fire-engine driving into our small side-street. A person without a helmet, in ordinary clothes with a fag-end in his mouth got off it with a fire-hose in his hand. He winked at the confused kids who were playing there, cleaned the dirt from a small hatch with the help of a poker, removed the hatch and inserted into the hole a MGH (firefighter slang for "mobile ground-based hydrant"). Then he set a fire hydrant wrench into a small metal latch nearby, turned the wrench, and washed away the dirt around the hydrant with a stream of water from the MGH. Then he disconnected it, winked at me and said: "Fire hydrants of the Berlin pattern need to be checked once a year, as do their connectors. Do you see the signs on the wall? FH - fire hydrant, HC - Hydrant connector." Only after he had pointed out the signs did I notice them. It is interesting, all the letters and figures had their own meaning!

Having disconnected the MGH and closed the connector, the man drove on to the next hydrant, while I was still examining the hatch. The German hydrant of the Berlin generation was so unimpressive and non-artistic that I realized that everything becomes worse and worse in our life. Everything is going the wrong way. It is transformed into signs and stories. Where did the fire-wardens, chimney sweeps, and lamp-lighters go? Where do the trifles of town life go? Do they become characters and details for the tales and recollections, which all seem to be the same?


Translation by O. Zaiachkovskaia


Photo by S. Ryabkov, 2004


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