Snob Hobnob: Russian Expats Talk Vertov Downtown

man with a movie camera Snob Hobnob: Russian Expats Talk Vertov DowntownOn Friday night, Snob magazine–the new print organ published by Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov so exclusive it’s only available in Russian–hosted a party at the Crosby Hotel. It was a classy affair, as befits a publication owned by a billionaire industrialist. The entertainment: a screening of the Dziga Vertov’s silent film Man With a Movie Camera with accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra.

Mr. Prokhorov did not attend (too snobby?), but architect Alexander Neratoff was there. He said he’d had the chance to hang out with Mr. Prokhorov, though: “We all went to see the Nets. We were up in the box and just screaming for them–the other team got a basket at the last possible second.” Mr. Neratoff was excited to see Vertov’s classic: “I’m not sure if I’ve seen every film, but I took an experimental film class in college.”

The Observer was introduced to Alex Fridlyand, a principal at Soros Strategic Partners, in conversation with a somber-looking young woman. “His grandmother slept with Vertov–allegedly!” The Observer was told. We mentioned to Mr. Fridyland that we’d heard he had a family connection to Vertov, and his face turned Dostoevskian. “My grandmother used to say she slept with him. That is not family.” What did he do, exactly? “I work on the Wall Street.”

Our door to the Snob literati was quickly closing. Was Mr. Fridlyand excited for the film? “No.” Why come? “My wife makes me.”

We were hustled away. “I think you should not have said that, about his grandmother,” Snob‘s events producer told us. The Observer made one last attempt to gain entrée into Snob society: we shook the hand of an elegantly appointed woman in a silk scarf, who told us that she was working on going out and meeting more Russian expats. “The best place was kitchen place, to discuss about boss, about wife…” Her knuckles were sore, though, from The Observer’s handshake: “Are you Russian soldier? In Russia, we”–she demonstrated–“kiss hand, treat gently!”

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_