The Talk of the Town?
Tuesday December 02nd 2008, 8:30 am

Me? Hardly. Nevertheless, you can learn everything you never wanted to know about me and how this web site came to be under that heading in this week’s issue of The New Yorker.

There’s something incredibly intimidating about seeing my name in print in a magazine as renowned as The New Yorker; I’m more the type of person who prefers to hide behind her keyboard in anonymity. And I’m still not sure that what I do here is all that newsworthy, but folks with far more experience in knowing what people do or don’t find interesting obviously disagreed, so who am I to argue? Besides, it’s not very often that hockey gets so much as a mention in the mainstream press (unless there’s violence involved, of course) so I’ll consider this my Sarah Palin moment, my selfless good deed for the game (cough) before I fade back into obscurity.

It’s strange to see pieces of the two-hour conversation I had with the author snipped, clipped and rearranged into a two-column story that starts somewhere around the age of 11 with me living in fear of World War III and ends up with me talking about reading children’s stories in Russian outside a Manhattan hotel at the age of 35. Granted, there are chunks missing and details glossed over, but the story covers the gist of why and how I came to learn Russian and why I ended up starting this blog. While it’s largely accurate, I’m disappointed to admit that my Anisimov jersey is not, in fact, signed (yet?). And I’d hesitate to call my attempts at speaking to his family in Hartford last season a “conversation”, though they do qualify as the most words I’ve strung together in Russian in about a dozen years, so I guess I can’t say it’s inaccurate.

So there you have it… the woman behind the keyboard revealed. Please be kind, I have a thin skin. ;)

Big thanks go to the author, Alec Wilkinson, for making the whole process far less scary than I thought it would be, and for coming up with the idea to do the story in the first place. And also to Dubi Silverstein of Blueshirt Bulletin, who put him in touch, and who gave my early, pre-blog translations a home. Without his support (and links!) I doubt the majority of you reading this would be here right now.

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Filed under: Housekeeping

16 Comments so far
Leave a comment

    that’s fantastic, laurie. it’s great to have the sport acknowledged anywhere, but the new yorker?? wow. great little piece. you should be proud.

    thanks again for all your work.

    Comment by alan 12.02.08 @ 1:17 pm

    i was very excited to read this last night in the only non-hockey source i truly cherish reading. congrats, and thanks again for all your work.

    Comment by Rajeev 12.02.08 @ 1:21 pm

    Richly deserved exposure in a fairly classy rag, no less. I really enjoy your work; It’s a valuable part of my Rangers reading.

    Comment by Jonathan Probber 12.02.08 @ 2:52 pm

    Richly deserved exposure in a fairly classy rag, no less. I really enjoy your work; It’s a valuable part of my Rangers reading.

    Comment by Jonathan Probber 12.02.08 @ 2:52 pm

    Congratulations! Well deserved!

    Comment by Ruthe 12.02.08 @ 3:18 pm

    Love to read this site that appreciates there is an entire world of hockey out there. Congratulations and thank you!

    Comment by kc 12.02.08 @ 3:24 pm

    Laurie, my congrats and well deserved!!! Your work brings us all across the world a little closer.

    Comment by Kovazub94 12.02.08 @ 4:14 pm

    I’m glad your getting the attention Laurie,because I love this sight!! Once again thank you so much for it. I believe Alec Wilkinson is the same guy who did a story about Jagr for SPIN magazine in 1997. I still have that magazine somewhere.

    Comment by Spooky 12.02.08 @ 7:15 pm

    Awesome job Squ… Laurie! ;)

    Comment by PUCKS 12.02.08 @ 7:42 pm

    Thanks everyone! :)

    And Spooky, yes, the author is the same guy who did that Jagr story.

    Comment by laurie 12.03.08 @ 12:11 pm

    Do I know you by another name? I imagined you studied Russian either with me or Lois Beekey? Such a curious piece–I’m dying to figure out who you are! Carol Ueland

    Comment by Carol Ueland 12.03.08 @ 1:28 pm

    Hi Laurie,
    I read the New Yorker’s article as well and decided to check out your web-site. Well done! I am Russian myself and live in NJ; everyone in my family is a hockey fan — my husband and son both play the game. We read hockey news both in English and Russian all the time; let me know if you seek contributors to translate some of the news. Best of luck! Anna

    Comment by Anna 12.04.08 @ 12:59 pm

    I discovered your blog through the New Yorker. I have been trying to purchase Russian soccer or hockey jerseys for my sons (we adopted our younger son from Russia last year.) If you have a source for this I would be interested in pursuing it and will pass it on to other adoptive parents. This is a great blog and I think both of my boys will be interested in reading it in a few years. Thanks.

    Comment by sue 12.04.08 @ 3:15 pm

    Sue — I sent you an email, but in case others are looking for Russian hockey jerseys there are two English sites I’m aware of:

    I haven’t purchased from either one personally, but know a couple people who’ve bought from the first (it’s the company that actually makes them) and were pleased with the experience.

    Comment by laurie 12.04.08 @ 11:07 pm

    Hi Laurie,

    Great article, am very glad you’re getting the recognition you deserve. You have an excellent writing style, and could easily slip into a career in sports journalism if this web development lark ever dries up; I find your Wolf Pack game recaps read 100 times better than most of the AP recaps on the Rangers!

    Keep up the great work. :)

    Comment by Chris 12.05.08 @ 12:46 pm

    Thanks for the kind words Chris!

    Comment by laurie 12.07.08 @ 12:28 am

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