I MISS NY: 5 Things That Make Me Feel Like a New Yorker

winter in new york

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:

Sunday Brunch

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!


34 thoughts on “I MISS NY: 5 Things That Make Me Feel Like a New Yorker

  1. Aw, you look so cute in your furs! They don’t do brunch here either but I never really did it back home either so I don’t miss it too much! I’ll refrain on commenting on beer with a straw, but speaking of beer, is it that time already? (Woo hoo!) 🙂

  2. You wrote: “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*…” This is the biggest lie about NYC! I never touched – or been touched by – another person in America, not to mention *pushing* – or been pushed by – another person in America. You probably wrote this passage thinking (unconsciously) of the Moscow subway.

  3. Bruuuunch! Ugh, I’ve never lived permanently in a big US city, but brunch culture was alive and well in my college town. Miss it sooo much.

    • It’s true, it’s way past New York now, but still hasn’t reached these shores. We should make it happen 🙂 Sadly, though, the only place I know that has a brunchy vibe is Strelka (their French Onion soup is tops!).

  4. oh, brunch. how I miss you sooo. it’s really just an American thing. there’s an instant camaraderie that comes when I found out a person over here is American and the topic instantly goes to brunch. big sunglasses with a patio and all. when is your trip?

  5. Love your post Anna. Once a New Yorker always a New Yorker. It’s in your blood and living in a city – any city – without the virtue of a brunch is a scandal! When we go for lunch in Berlin, we’re either sitting opposite the river, in a trendy park, on a ship, or in the old Jewish Russian Quarter where it takes two hours to get into the cafe to have a slice of cake and a Bloody Mary!

    As for snow. What is going on? America seems to be getting all the snow that we in Europe should have had. I mean, I live in Berlin, and we had only two weeks of snow. Two weeks! Now it’s Spring. In the month of February!

  6. We have one here in Houston called Churrascos. They have all the breakfast staples plus other South American treats including a meat carving place. It is soooo good, makes me wish I has 3 stomachs to fit in all the food.

  7. Pingback: THE RITES OF SPRING | Home & Away

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