What’s up is down, what’s black is white… while New York is once again buried under feet of snow, here in Moscow it’s birds-a-chirping and skies-a-raining. And even though my very first post on this blog was about Moscow’s never-ending winters, this year I feel positively robbed of one. If there is one thing that can make a person feel really Russian, it’s surviving six months of frosts and blizzards with bravado. Wandering through grey streets and wilted green lawns – well this feels positively New Yorkish, especially when I think back to the three months between when the Christmas decorations come down and the natural decorations – flowers etcetera – go up, without the pretty white snow blanket in-between.
In my weather-induced NYC nostalgia, I got to thinking about other things that after two years in Moscow still make me feel like a New Yorker, whether I am back in The City or just wish I were:
Brunch has become a New York cult long ago, and I happily drank the Kool-Aid. And by Kool-Aid I mean pitchers of Bloody Marys at Zucchero e Pomodori with my bestie to help me recover from Saturday shenanigans. Moscow doesn’t do brunch – and now that I am no longer, at least for a while, spending my Sundays at the stables, I need to make brunch happen here.
Always looking for a taxi and knowing where to catch one at any hour
I think most New Yorkers hone that sense within a year of living in the city, because it is a vital skill, like pushing people out of your way on the subway or walking really fast without bumping into gawking tourists. I have not yet perfected this skill in Moscow, where I prefer to call a car in advance, but I have gotten better at haggling over a fare.
Not being freaked out by ROUSs
Speaking about the New York subway experience, one is not complete without a giant rat sighting. Moscow’s wildlife isn’t nearly as exciting – a mouse I spotted on the tracks once was downright pet-able. Same goes for those 2-inch long outdoor cockroaches, which are everywhere in NYC on summer nights.
I think I had 20 manicure salons within a 5-minute walking distance from my Upper East Side apartment, and plopping down for an hour and a half in one of those big vibrating chairs was a sacred Thursday night ritual. It is still the first thing I do on my annual New York trip. In Moscow I don’t go nearly as often, one reason being that the salon by my house charges $140 for a combined mani-pedi treatment (something that in NYC costs $30), and another that it’s boots & gloves weather for half a year. But when I do, I can close my eyes and pretend I am there.
Perfect drink order
I miss the days of walking into Banshee Pub and Mark only needing to ask if it was a beer or a martini kind of night. Either was served just the way I like it – Bud Light with lemon and a straw (no judgment!), or vodka dry with an extra squeeze of lemon. No further instructions were needed – quite a change from Moscow, where I practically have to bring my own ingredients. So when I happen upon a place that can deliver the right drink without a fuss, it’s a real winner of a night.
And on that note, I am off for some Bud!