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In Watermelon Sugar With Valeria Vasilova

If the date when you moved to Bushwick is your new date of birth, then Valeria Vasilova is a newborn. Petit actress from Kosice who learned her craft in Prague, Brighton and Paris, just took a slide on a large funnel called New York City, and ended up in creative Bushwick. Some people and places are meant to be…

Valeria is an ethereal energetic being with piercing blue eyes, whose life unravels theater-play style.

If you haven’t seen her playing an outdoor piano and singing at any of the New York’s locations, you can easily meet her exploring and enjoying summer Bushwick.  Between large bites of red meaty watermelon, Val explains that as soon as the summer starts, she barely eats anything else. We’re chilling at a fire escape, and Val is so happy bouncing her feet, that I bite into my tongue and don’t tell her that it’s actually illegal.

Valeria says that one of the first things she had to deal with when she moved to Bushwick from Prague, was a sudden lack of a dance space. In Prague, she would spend 20+ hours in a ballet room, training contemporary and experimental dance, and all she had all of sudden was, a tiny railroad apartment… She nearly exploded, and was determined to find a place to dance at any cost. She spent sunsets dancing on her roof using Manhattan skyline as a scene, and if this still wasn’t enough, she tried to persuade a deli owner to teach her some proper salsa. Where? In the street, naturally…

Val and I are walking down Central Avenue when we come across a traffic sign with a wedding dress and a veil wrapped around it. “Well, this is a nice only-in-Bushwick moment.” I’m saying and laughing; Val is very eager to pose with this impromptu run away bride installation. The locals sitting on their folding chairs in front of their house are encouraging Val to keep the veil, but she doesn’t.

An insanely hot and humid day is slowly surrendering and coming to its end. Everyone in the street, including the both of us feels that we have only a couple of moments of daylight left to enjoy. The air is still warm, but not burning anymore. We come across an open hydrant.  Naturally! Only very few things are as clear as that one will come across an open hydrant in Bushwick… Local teens are squeaking of excitement, singing and yelling; they are having a grill party with loud music on a small piece of green lawn in front of someone’s house. Confused by Val’s petit persona, they think we might be their peers. Encouraged by my camera, they are trying to make friends and pose too, while Val and I are joking about taking a bath in the open hydrant. Who hasn’t taken a bath in an open hydrant, doesn’t know what life or Bushwick is about….

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