by Timur  

A подъезд is an entrance hall of a multi-storey house through which all inhabitants pass on the way to their apartments. It’s basically a lobby that usually includes an elevator and has a stairway leading from one floor to the next. Подъезд is composed of two parts, под “under/up to” and езд- “ride.” Here are some example sentences:

Встретимся около этого подъезда через два часа. Will meet near this entrance in two hours.
В подъезде кто-то опять разбил единственную лампoчку. Once again, someone broke the only light bulb in the entrance hall.
Когда же они наконец перекрасят наш подъезд в нормальный цвет? When will they finally repaint our entrance hall to a normal color?

A подъезд is a very important part of the building. Each one has its own distinct attributes that ultimately create a special kind atmosphere that never repeats itself. It can be good or bad, creepy or safe. You can have a roomy apartment with tall ceilings, new windows and a spacious balcony, but that might not be enough to convince someone to buy or rent the place if the подъезд is a mess. Most likely the price will have to drop. How many ordinary people would want, especially at night, to step into a dreary подъезд with one flickering light bulb hanging from the ceiling and barely illuminating the mutilated floor tiles, graffitied walls, bruised mailboxes, and rank, piss-stained stairs?

I grew up in a building with this particular drawback. The six-story structure, built in the Stalin years, was in fair overall condition and at a convenient location: subway station within walking distance and Red Square just a couple of train stops away. For the most part my neighbors were regular people with families and everyday jobs. There was one severe alcoholic living with his mother a floor above my apartment, but he wasn’t the boisterous type and rarely caused trouble. The only real problem was the подъезд that scared visitors and inhabitants alike. One fifteen-year-old girl’s grandmother would not let her come in alone out of certain fears. Of course I thought she was being paranoid, but looking back at it now, it makes a lot more sense. When you have depressed drunkards randomly hanging out by the doorway and occasional junkies shooting up in the shadowy corners, the instinct of caution switches on automatically.

All efforts to bring the подъезд into decent condition failed. Calling the cops didn’t help much either: they got bored—no major disturbances. The neighborhood wasn’t poor by any means, and the house to the left had a nice, clean подъезд, as did the one across the street, but for some strange reason everyone liked to hang out at ours. I also remember a neighbor complaining about having to lower the sale price of her apartment too much. This problem existed in other neighborhoods throughout the city and was eventually acknowledged by the administrators. About four years ago the walls were repainted, new floor tiles laid out, broken mailboxes replaced and, most importantly, a steel door with a phone system was installed. Now there are no uninvited visitors or obvious signs of vandalism, but the urine stench is as strong as ever.


Comment from: Константин [Visitor]

Не всегда обозначает крыльцо дома, например во фразах “на подъезде к …":
Например - “Непальские маоисты блокировали дороги на подъезде к Катманду” - http://ura.ru/content/world/10-11-2009/news/1052105868.html

11/28/09 @ 13:06
Comment from: Настя [Visitor]

У вас такой классный блог (сайт?), я русская, но читаю с удовольствием. Спасибо за все!)

11/28/09 @ 06:21
Comment from: Pat Heuer [Visitor]

I’m very glad you looked it up, because if I was tasked with it you might be waiting about another 2 1/2 years. Thank you for the thorough explanation.

11/11/09 @ 06:14
Comment from: Pat Heuer [Visitor]

How does подъезд semantically differ from вестибюль, передняя or преддверие?

Don responds: Here’s my understanding of the words.

Подъезд is a covered entryway. It is where one can drive up to a building and then enter. By extension it means not only the bit that is outside of the building (but covered), but also the space just inside an apartment building that typically holds the mailboxes and the ground-floor entry to the elevator and the stairs.

Вестибюль is the large entry space just inside a public building. It can be more ornate than the rest of the building, and you may find an official reception area there.

Передняя is the first “room” you enter in an apartment, which is essentially a hallway.

Преддверие: is the area just in front of a door, which we sometimes in English call the threshold.

Hm. Now that I think about it, I should have asked you to write about the topic, since you certainly know how to use a dictionary and to search for example sentences. It would have been good practice for you. Crud. Now I wish I hadn’t looked the stuff up myself

11/05/09 @ 04:34
Comment from: Лена [Visitor]

No problem:))) I really like your blog, and if you think you can use my cooperation I’d write something for you with pleasure.

09/19/09 @ 10:56
Comment from: Timur [Member]

Thanks for the tip Лена, can’t believe I missed that one.

09/17/09 @ 14:32
Comment from: Edgar [Visitor]

You brought back some intense memories. Excellent article. Thanks, Edgar

09/17/09 @ 11:44
Comment from: Лена [Visitor]

круто, только правильно - “лампОчку")))

09/17/09 @ 10:40

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