Monday morning. The day is young. Yesterday, I saw my first magnolia flower. I love spring here. Dogs. Coffee cups. Sneakers. All are around. Love is in the air. Hi, Flatiron. Wave to the Empire State Building. Wink to the Chrysler. And go right toward Central Park. Easy days and a light heart. Ah, spring, …
I open my eyes at 4:40 a.m. I need to wake up earlier than other people because I’m a barista at a coffee shop. When I’m on my way to work, I think about the bus driver: He needs to wake up even earlier than me. Every morning from the bus window, I see the …
In 1990, when the system changed in Russia, I was eighteen years old. It was a hard time for many people. A large part of the population lost their work, yet others lost their belief in the future. The idea of a union and of community was going down with the Soviet Union, and it …
It is easy for me to imagine closed doors because I feel and see many such doors around me. They are closed because I didn’t open them. Sometimes I didn’t want to open these doors, and sometimes I didn’t know how to open them. Now, I want to open the door to the United States. …
Sunday is my favorite day of the week because it is my rest day. My family and I are used to having an active rest. On Sundays we hike. Our Sunday morning begins with a Russian lesson for my youngest son. He studies Russian every Sunday with a tutor because we don’t want him to forget his native language. While my son is studying, I prepare everything for the hike: I take out our hiking shoes, pour tea into each thermos, and prepare snacks. My son’s Russian lesson takes from 10 to 11 a.m., then we have family breakfast and hit the road.
I was brought up in Moscow, Russia. All I remember about my early childhood is the feeling of total unhappiness and despair. At an early age, I was put in a special place for children whose parents were unable to take care of their kids for various reasons. I remember how much I hated that place and how much I wanted to go home. I remember our awful teachers, who established terrible rules we had to follow. Living there was real torture. It did leave an indelible impression on me.
It is pleasant to choose them, it is pleasant to give them, and it is pleasant to receive them. And here is the question: “What is the most significant gift?”
I have a habit of watching people. I can’t decide if I consider it a bad one. I’d rather call it curiosity.
The other day, I was on the subway, sitting across from a family. They were a couple who had a stroller with a wonderful boy. I could tell from what I saw that this boy was very interested in the people around him. He was smiling at everyone.
My father was my best friend through my whole life. We had a tradition of sharing dinner and wine every Friday or Saturday from the time I was 13. We kept this tradition until he passed away.
I was 10 years old, and my grandparents and I were coming back from Sochi by train, after spending three weeks near the sea. There, we swam and sunbathed, and I tried to ride a motorcycle boat for the first time. That was my first long trip. To travel by train from Sochi to Omsk takes three days.
I was traveling with my family to Key West, and we decided to stop for paddleboarding. We were very excited about that because it was the first time for each of us. After instructions, we got our paddleboards, and the owners also provided us waterproof pockets for our cell phones.
I arrived in America 11 months ago.
The fact that I had no return ticket in my pocket made me feel lost and uncertain.
I do not know now, one year later, where I got the strength
to take that first step.
Dear Russia,/ You are so powerful and so huge./ You are located on two continents./ You are washed by two oceans./ You are the largest country in the world.
I was born and raised in Russia. It’s a beautiful country with a long, interesting history, but not everybody can enjoy this beauty or even feel safe in Russia. For example, people like me—gay people. As a gay man in Russia, I am prohibited by law to tell people about my sexual orientation. I am …