Sunday, February 8, 2015


Just like writing and drawing, music has become a huge part of my life to help me get through certain times and events. Last winter, when I was going through a very difficult time of my life, I came across a song posted on Facebook by a friend of mine. Out of curiosity I clicked on the link and listen to it. The song was by a metal band I had never heard before and was heavier than anything I had listened to. Prior to that, I only listened to pop and dance music; no rock, no metal, as the Russian in me thought that those genres were only for ‘crazy, weird Americans’. In my mind, metal and rock music was all about abuse, cruelty, drugs, screaming and yelling out lyrics that no one could understand. And there I was, listening to a metal song filled with beautiful, meaningful lyrics and a full range of instrumental, symphonic tunes (I later learned that the band was indeed a ‘symphonic metal’ band). Looking back at that accidental occurrence, I can say that it was a true life changer. All the worries, pain and sadness of the last winter were accompanied by the songs of the same and other similar bands. All of a sudden, I could relate to the lyrics and feel that someone, somewhere is or was going through something similar.

Since the last winter, the range of my favorite bands has definitely grown; however, the direction of my music preferences remained the same. What surprised me the most in the beginning stages of my new musical preferences, was that I started meeting more and more interesting people with the same taste in music. Coming from my home country, where a little deviation from social standards (in this case, the standard being pop music) pretty much makes you a freak, this was a huge revelation. I am happy I entered this world of incredible musical talent, as it is mostly the rock/metal bands that try to keep their creations as close to live performances as possible (meaning, the majority of them are opposed to using the so-called ‘Pro Tools’ focusing on playing the real instruments).

This year I decided to focus on attending live concerts at every opportunity I get. To date, I already saw two great performances (one of which was dubbed an ‘unusual choice’ by my cousin in Russia), and I am definitely planning on seeing more. If going to the concerts makes me incredibly happy and inspired, why not try to continue the trend?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Philadelphia Auto Show

Auto show 2015 – a huge hall filled with the newest (and oldest, and everything in between) cars, showcased by numerous car brands. This was the second auto show I have seen since our move to the U.S. What a difference! The first time we went, I believe was our first year here. It was interesting, but after a couple of hours, when my stepdad, a notorious car lover, was only beginning to enjoy the show, my mom and I got tired and quite honestly a bit bored from looking at loads and loads of heavy machinery. Fast forward 7 years into 2015 and there we were, all equally engaged and curious to see who put out the best car models. It's interesting how our interests have changed in the course of our living in this new home country. I couldn't be more grateful for all the opportunities and the variety of events and activities we have access to now. Whether it's auto shows, flower shows, rock converts or the opera, art galleries and museums – all of these different engagements present something new and help us grow and aspire to learn and see more.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I know it has been almost a month since New Year’s celebration, but I just realized that my outfit never made it to my blog. My New Year’s celebration was a little rushed, as I had not decided what I would do until three days before the celebration, when I found myself buying a ticket to a party in one of the city’s clubs. Just like that, the day of the party, I went shopping and came out with three outfit options. Since this was my first New Year’s in New York and since I had discovered my new passion for playing music, I decided to celebrate the New Year rockstar style.

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Goal

Just another ramble, since it's been a while. 

So here I am – 12 days into the new year, and instead of feeling motivated to work on my goals, I feel a bit lost and disoriented. Why? Because I did not prepare for this year the way I usually do. You see, typically, before the start of a new year, I set distinct goals to work towards once the clock hits 12AM on January 1. This year was started a little differently  I did not take the time to set my priorities straights. I thought I would just wing it; I was in a very good place at the end of 2014 – things at work were going great, my personal life started looking more promising, all holiday parties and celebrations kept me busy from getting upset. I figured I did not need to constrain myself into New Year’s Resolutions and should instead focus on being more spontaneous and confident about what life may bring. Little did I know, spontaneity is not my strong suit, which already shows just 12 days into the new year. My anxiety issues are back, and it is not fun to struggle with your own self at all times. I feel like after all the hard work I put in last year (mostly focusing on self-acceptance, being happy and being thankful), I am back to square one. It seems like the idea of spontaneity awoke my anxiety. I think it comes back when I feel like things are in jeopardy, when I don't have them under control and I am afraid of making the wrong move.

After giving this some thought, I wonder if this is my goal for the year – to work on being more spontaneous and accepting of what comes my way, in spite of the anxiety and stress it may bring. As a person who is used to control every single step of the way (and really driving myself insane my doing so), this will be a tough fight, but it will definitely be well worth it. I would love to be free from constantly being inside my own head, constantly over-analyzing my actions, thinking I do not deliver as much as I should and that I do everything wrong. I thought I was there at the end of 2014, but there must be more doors to be open as something brought me back to a similar place I was at a year ago. Good thing is – now I know that these setbacks come and go, and it’s only a matter of time and effort to make this one disappear. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Black City

I am sure you have heard it before that New Yorkers tend to wear black. I have always been a proponent for the brighter colors. My closet has always been full of various prints and patterns, pastels, and bold colors. When I moved to New York, I knew for sure that I will not abide by this ‘black trend’ and will continue going for brighter options.

As I was getting ready for our Christmas celebration, I picked out a few ‘dressier’ options to wear to the holiday gathering with the family. To my own surprise, all options were in black and dark gray shades. While my closet is still full of lively, bright colors, the population of black and gray colored pieces has definitely grown over the past two and a half years of living in the city. How did this happen? Many people link the tendency to wear black to depression and mourning; I simply think black is a functional color that is perfect for the city life; as an added bonus, it helps hide certain body imperfection and can look quite fabulous if worn right.