“It looks like Russians are getting more powerful,” a friend of a friend shocked me with an observation at my housewarming party on the Upper East Side. As much as I wanted to attribute this comment to my stellar pies, I asked for clarification, just to make sure I wasn’t dealing with another case of anti-Russian bias courtesy of the U.S. media.
“Well, recently I’ve been meeting so many of you guys, who are successful entrepreneurs or managers,” she said. I looked around. My own guests were living proof: a female CTO of a growing tech company, a filmmaker who just finished his new documentary, an architect building skyscrapers around the globe, a journalist working for one of the top blockchain publications in NYC and a young entrepreneur in her mid-20s, who built her business from scratch and now manages a team of 65 people.
The “old Russia” - or the way Americans imagined Russia, with its gloomy and dark Soviet places, where the sounds of accordion tear your soul apart - is disappearing. “New Russians” coming to the U.S. are dynamic, driven and educated: they have no time for nostalgia. But where can you find them?
A couple of years ago a group of Russian investors gave an extreme makeover to the former Our Lady of Guadalupe Church to convert it into an event center for thought leaders. The company behind the reconstruction,
Today the church is a meeting place for investors, developers and any Russians in the business of innovation. Pavel Cherkashin, the co-founder of
For an outsider, Mari Vanna in Gramercy is an ordinary restaurant with warm Soviet-style decor and relaxing music. But on Mondays,
“I come here every Monday,” said Chris, a former U.S. military officer, in broken Russian. He is trying to learn the language and using every opportunity to practice. After leaving the military, he said, he had too many questions, such as - “Is the enemy really an enemy as they taught us?” Hanging out in Mari Vanna opened him up to the truth: the scary Russians are more interested in their infused vodka than war.
From 500 Startups to Y Combinator, you can find Russian-speaking startup founders pretty much in every accelerator in the U.S.
The program brings promising startups to the Big Apple, teaches their staff to overcome cultural differences, funds and helps
New York-based Verus Real Estate on the Upper West Side is a boutique real estate investment firm by day and
One of Manhattan’s cultural spots, the Gertsman gallery is a popular place for the Russian creative community. The gallery’s founder emigrated to the U.S. almost 26 years ago. His meteoric rise to the top of New York City’s bohemian world started with washing street carts and selling pictures on the street.
The gallery is the center for the Russian-speaking intellectual elite, open to
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