Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Russian Experience: Brighton Beach

Isn’t it funny how sometimes things we try to run away from come back to us and we view them from a completely opposite perspective? I remember when I came to this country, I was very focus on making sure I assimilate to this new culture as quickly as possible. I really wanted to make my accent go away so no one would know that I’m foreign. I wanted to be a real American. Fast forward nine years, and my perspective shifted entirely. More and more I want to stay true to my roots.

A great advantage I have is that my roommate encourages me to ‘keep the Russian in me’ and to explore my home culture in this country. We made a goal – to visit as many Russian restaurants in New York as we can. So far, every restaurant we have been to presented us with an amazing experience, fueled by delicious food, beautiful décor and great service.

It all started from sometime in September when we spent a whole day on Brighton Beach. I was afraid to go to that area as I remembered the unfortunate experience from the first time I went there with my parents. Everything seemed so dirty and cheap, that I decided to never step my foot there again. However, a few year later, I decided to take a risk and revisit the area. This time around, my experience was a complete polar opposite. I enjoyed every second of being in a place with so many people of my own culture. However, it was a bittersweet experience as it definitely made me miss my home and family back in Russia. But at least now I know that wherever I get homesick, I have a place not far from where I live that has at least a slight resemblance of what things used to be like.

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