Outside it was a warm spring night and inside the room was steamier. Red wine and vodka shots added to everyone's headiness at the Russian Web Girls first party that I attended on May 30th, 1997. The Russian Web Girls were swirling around in their custom-made dresses by my now choice dress designer, Anna Eliashevich. Leo and Viktor were making their rounds as "vodka boy" -- a useful version of the 40s style "cigarette girl." There was a stellar group of classic New York new media types there, and one who stood out from the crowd was Marina Lakhman.
Marina was at the time writing for The New York Times, editing for the Russian Web Girls and writing/editing for a few other publications. She was wearing a fabulously rich-colored orange printed bandana, big gold hoop earrings and a gorgeously rich fabric sarong and blouse.
Her friendliness and enthusiasm were equally colorful and she came running up to me and greeted me with a warm smile and big hug. We were "comrades" on a few levels: love of Russia, time spent living there and writing.
Marina went back to Russia to live, learn and work. She stayed there and her life blossomed in many ways. She also fell sick with Leukemia. Despite this, Marina pursued and lived life to the fullest. Her death, this past week wasn't due directly to Leukemia. She fell and fainted in her apartment and her body, after having been through so much, had a stroke, which caused her death. This talented woman and friend will be missed so much by so many people. A memorial service will be held on December 30th at 11:30 am at the 76th Street & Amsterdam Avenue Memorial Chapel.