Anton, on the right in a t-shirt with the Empire state building, was sitting with two friends on a bench in the southern city of Stavropol following a walk around town with some girlfriends. A highschool student, Anton said he occasionally took part in rap battles with his friends. (The second friend, sitting on the right, didn't want to be photographed.)
My last in the series...at least for now. I met Anton, sporting a Brooklyn hat, in the center of Moscow as he was on the way to the gym. An actor and dancer, the Novosibirsk native has traveled around Europe and US to take part in various performances. He has also put on his own theatrical show titled Hamlet's Body.
Sergei, a university student from Tyumen in Siberia, was strolling along Old Arbat in his New York hat. Sergei said he studies oil and gas, Siberia's biggest industry, and was in Moscow on a short stopover before heading off to Europe for a vacation.
Albert, a 3rd year economics student, works part-time as a salesman for Russian clothing chain 21Shop on Old Arbat. The chain sells a mixture of colorful Russian and foreign 'street style' clothing and accessorites, including this schoolbag with 'Brooklyn' written on the straps.
Another shot of Kolya, in the NYC hat, and his friend Ruslan, a sound engineer. Ruslan said in a strong English accent that he recently returned home from a long stay in the UK and is impressed by the changes he noticed in Moscow, something I have heard quite a few times.
Kolya, a engineer and fashionista, was crossing the pedestrian bridge behind Christ the Savior church on a chilly Moscow Autumn day sporting a NYC hat.
To anyone in NYC, these hats stand for the Yankees. In Russia, where baseball is basically non-existent, its simply stands for New York City. Valentin and Sofia, first-year law students, were walking together in snowy Moscow when I passed them. Valentin said he and Sofia recently met in university. Valentin said he wants to continue studying after getting a law degree and go into politics because there a lot of things he would like to change. One issue close to his heart is secondary education, which he feels forces high school students to learn useless material.
Yura and Murat, 12 years old, were on their way to watch a Russian tennis championship match in Moscow with two other friends. Dressed in a NYC sweater and winter hat, Yura and Murat said they have each been playing tennis for several years, but prefer BMX biking, a sport that seems to have become more popular in Moscow in recent years with the opening of new, outdoor extreme biking grounds.
The young man on the left in the NYC shirt and his uncle come from a small village on the shore of Lake Issyk Kul in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan. The young man said he graduated with a law degree, but as there were no jobs at home, came to Russia. He said he worked 2.5 years on Yamal Peninsual, Russia's main gas producing region, which lines on the Arctic circle. He loved the region's nature, but found it tough to bear -45c. Now he works as a cashier in Moscow and says he is satisfied with the work and pay. He dreams of earning enough to buy a car and build himself a home in is village in Kyrgyzstan. He then showed me a few photos of his village at the foot of Lake Issuk Kul with the Tian Shan Mountains rising in the background.
Alexander was in the metro on his way out on a Friday night when I noticed his ‘Where Brooklyn At’ baseball cap. He said his work actually has him focused on the Asia-Pacific region rather than across the Atlantic. He said he occasionally moonlights as a DJ at small spots in the city.