the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Sunday Morning at the Russian Market

I went with Vartan to the Russian store on Santa Monica Boulevard.  An old man was eating sunflower seeds like he once did in old Odessa, from a newspaper shaped like a cone.  He was like a child again, hearing the man with the mustache yelling “Sunflower seeds, Sunflower seeds,” by the Potemkin Steps.

“I also come from a faraway land,” I told the elderly man.  “I’d hear the bell on summer days and run outside for ice cream.” 

He didn’t answer.  He was watching a beautiful Indian woman standing on the street, draped in a sari of crepe-de-chine. 

Vartan ordered blini.  The old man ate his seeds.  I caught a glimpse of the naked shoulder of the the woman in the sari, and then she disappeared.


  1. Pearl

    Neil, your “novel” side is showing.
    Simple…and great writing.

  2. Wendy

    Nice. I can totally picture this…

  3. wendy

    That what I love best about you….your range. In this entry you are…yummy.

  4. MsMamma

    Goldeny gorgeous.

  5. V-Grrrl

    I’m such a freak. I’m hung up on sari and wondering if crepe de chine would stay tied and drape properly.

    But really, there are so many stories tucked into this vignette–it begs to become more.

  6. Eileen Dover

    I love the different cultures represented.


  7. Not Faint Hearted

    Thanks for the picture. This was lovely.

  8. EEK

    That was a gorgeous post.

  9. Two Roads

    V-Grrl – I’m glad you keep Neil straight on fashion. What we do without your observations! The crepe de chine should be fine – the wrinkles should hold it together.

    Neil, I agree with all the others – simply elegant that we can picture the scene without being there.

  10. Caron

    Life is most beautiful in the smallest moments.

  11. churlita

    I love the picture you painted. Ir felt like I was there. Good job.

  12. better safe than sorry

    when less is more, with the sari and today, your words.

  13. Margaret

    pretty pretty my friend..

  14. Ariel

    Hmmm, cute and more than a little mysterious. And to go back to another post, Ronson is NOT a novelist but a journalist, slightly pessimistic and self-obsessed as well as overly worried about the minutiae of life. A bit like you, British-style. So I thought you might like him… Am not sure getting your head read is what you need. Why not spend the money on something frivolous you and your penis could enjoy together?

  15. Raqi

    Neil, it’s been a while since I peeped in over here on your spot. I see you are still bringing it. Keep up the good work.

  16. You can call me, 'Sir'

    Feeling a little dramatic on Sunday, were we?

  17. steppingoverthejunk

    DO you get emotional over reading my posts? Huh? Do you? Heh.

    I just recently discovered (via the internet) that the Bob’s Donuts is still at the Farmer’s Market. We used to go with my grandfather all the time…for the donuts. Oh, the good old days. Glad it is still up and running. Brentwood Mart is something good too.

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