The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts tagged “America

A Little of Seattle

Posted on March 18, 2013

I’m already back in DC, longingly scanning over photos and waiting for a few highly anticipated rolls to develop. Can’t wait till Wednesday! Looking back at San Francisco, Eugene, Portland, and Seattle, I cannot pick a favorite. Because I don’t know the places very well at all. It was never about the place, I consistently preach, but all about the people. And some epic times were had, whether it meant eating cheese and bread on a sunlit San Francisco dock, breaking every plate and ceramic in a tiny Eugene kitchen, drinking beer and reminiscing about Russia over a lovely accordion performance in a dark green Portland lounge, or dining in one of Seattle’s fanciest restaurants (Canlis!!) with the best date ever. I love the…

Keep Portland Weird

Posted on March 15, 2013

Reunion with amigos Tadhg & David. Bicycle rights. Voodoo doughnuts. Poutine. Caffeine. Body art. Hobos named Spyder. PBR. Hawthorne. Accordions. It’s been nothing but good times here in the Pacific NW. While I wish I were here for a year and not a week, one must be grateful that such moments even happened, that I know the amazing people I do, and that Portland is as weird as it is.

San Francisco

Posted on March 11, 2013

I came to California in a bit of a broken state. After enduring a life of being perpetually fed, “you’re not good enough”, searching for a job and untangling the mess that is life post-graduation had become unbearable, impossibly unpleasant. DC isn’t a place that empathizes with insecurities, even if all of its denizens have them. So I ran fast, fast to the West with some friends and the bucket list in mind. So that my problems could dissipate for a short week and I could return to the sloshing gray seas of the Eastern seaboard a better person with a clearer head. Cliched stories and images and ideals about California made me homesick for this place in which I’d never been. I heard…

Beatniks in Wine Country

Posted on March 8, 2013

and all I’m taking is my camera, film, toothbrush, and books. While I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest, it’s not the sites I’m concerned with this time around. This week-long adventure is completely people-oriented. One of my best friends goes to Berkeley, so I’m flying to San Francisco and soliciting her for her company and food recommendations. Then it’s off to Oregon, a supposedly magical state where some epic kids I came to know and love in Russia now reside. First Eugene then Portland, the city “where young people go to retire”. I look forward to the beers and reminiscing of our stint in Petersburg. Seattle is last, and this is where I get to have a much-awaited dinner with my travel muse,…

An Ethnography of American Hockey

Posted on February 11, 2013

My passion for hockey begins at the stadium entrance and dissipates at the exit. Other than tennis and soccer, most other sporting events are simply that – an event, a primeval gathering of people watching the few chosen to perform and put on a good show with tact and sweat and skills beyond the average denizen. The universality of sports is an infectious and powerful thing: it is the tangible manifestation of good and evil, a time when you have no choice but to be dangerously on edge, your mood subject to more fluctuations in half an hour than a manic depressive person off their meds. When your team approaches the goal, you feel something bubble up inside and you’re dizzy with excitement, or…

You Can’t Go Home Again

Posted on December 26, 2012

My purse pocket was the place I’d scavenge to make the bus fare. Now, finding shiny two-ruble pieces and old bus tickets in every crevice, I’m reduced to a whimper. Suddenly nothing is garbage anymore and every photo is precious regardless of its quality. Suddenly it feels like I’ve been in the US for twenty years, not three days, and Russia is nothing but a distant memory stored away in the farthest corners of my prefrontal cortex. Accurately describing the feelings, the anxieties, the general haziness of heart and mind when arriving Home from a long trip is a feat beyond my capacities. But if you don’t know the heart-wrenching despair you may experience when you step on that place heading home to comfort,…

Theory of Omission

Posted on October 10, 2012

This story has three players: Ernest Hemingway, St. Petersburg, and an American in Russia for the first time. We’ll call him Chad. This story doesn’t end well for Chad. Hemingway Bar is located on Ulitsa Lomonsova, a dark and eerily silent street in the lively city center. The bar in question is surrounded by abandoned buildings and telling foreclosures slapped with bulletins in intimidating Cyrillic lettering. But the place lights up at night. It lights up and its emanating glow attracts all those moths looking for a drink. Sadly, it’s not quite the place Hemingway would frequent; the neon lights and bad music tell me so. My favorite bars are the ones where I can picture the man himself in the corner enveloped by…