Monday, November 28, 2011

20 years past

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Only about a week ago I realized that it's been twenty years since my family an I disembarked from a Boeing 747 (maybe it wasn't a 747) at the JFK Airport in New York to start our lives in the United States. It happened on Nov 26th, 2001. Until then, the only time I have been outside of Russian borders was during the two hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany on the flight from Moscow.

I don't remember much about these times, and first couple of months in the states. I was fourteen and all of the excitement of a new place and sights and sounds of Manhatten have been already replaced in my head by other things.

People who are bit older than I am, with personality and adult life already set, like my brother or my parents can remember these times better. They were better equipped with dealing with kind of changes immigration requires of a person. Me, I was a kid, what did I know. I had two best friends back in the old country. I tried to keep contact for a while but that dissapeared quickly. Other than that very little personal or emotional attachement to the life we've left behind. My family moved with me, that was important. Home is where the loved ones are, not a place of brick and mortar.

I remember few things. Like eating my first italian pizza at the corner of 18th Ave and 60th street. I remember seeing my first Hasidic family (we lived in Boroughpark first couple of months), which entertained me greatly. I remember learning English by watching Disney cartoons on Channel 9. I was a kid, adaptability was natural.

I consider myself an American. Never had another thought about it. True I still speak Russian at home, and force my kids to learn Russian, but what does it have to do with being American. Truth to tell I don't know what it means to be an American. I speak, behave and think like your stereotypical suburbonite family man with two kids. I worry about job, home prices, taxes, politicians, and where I can go with my wife on Saturday night to enjoy a delicious meal, together. Is this being an American?

I am a patriout, I love United States. I love it for the opportunities to live it gave my parents, the life that me and my brother are enjoying and the opportunities it will give to my children. I worry about who is going to be the next president, and how it is going to affect those opportunities, although I don't share it with anybody else.

I love America for the NFL. I used to watch baseball, hockey, and baseball. Now I live only for the sport that could have been developed only here. I love America for the diversity of people I could meet only here. When I went to High School one of my best buddies was Haitian. During my years of employment some of my best buddies were of American, Russian, Chinese, Greek, Thai, Pakistani and Arabian descents. I always thought that was awesome.

Anyway. 20 years. Thank you, America!

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Legoes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

If the day got you down, prepare for the avalanche of cuteness

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Couple of weeks copy The Baby participated in her first ever recital. She did pretty good, considering she's only two-and-a-half years old, and Thumbelina sized.

The video is in Russian, but the cuteness X factor surpasses nations languages and borders. Enjoy, but I warned you. This is too cute for the light-hearted.