Starbucks in Moscow tends to attract a colorful, younger Russian crowd, which was where I randomly sat across from Grigori. A guitarist and recent college drop out, he says he likes the music at Starbucks and is trying to learn to play Jazz. Grigori said one of his favorite groups is 1990s American experimental group Deli Creeps, which had one of the best guitarists in his view. He said he was discussing the Deli Creeps guitarist with a Russian girl via social media and the two are now dating. He called their virtual connection a 'wonderful, random coincidence.' She lives 400km away and he travels to see her.
Stanislav, my previous portrait post, is one of those stereotypical Russian stories about the Soviet generation. Anfisa is one about the Apple-toting, Internet savvy, post-Soviet generation. She was sitting by the window in a Starbucks, typing away on her Apple laptop at 4pm on New Year's Eve, when most Russians are preparing for their New Year's celebration. When I asked what she was up to, the 16yo answered she was writing a blog post for her readers, summing up her year. A portrait drawer and fashion lover, she said 2014 was a breakthru year as her Instagram followers jumped to 22,000 amid interest in her drawings. She said she plans on blogging more. "Before I was a nobody and had nothing to say. This year has changed me so much. I am inspired." She said she plans to answer her followers questions about herself in the future through youtube videos.
Anfisa, the Starbucks-loving and Iphone-toting Moscow teenage blogger, was born in the USA and has a native Chinese grandfather (perhaps the result of Russians escaping to China after the Communist revolution). One of six children, she said she has been drawing from an early age, inheriting some skills from her dad and Russian grandfathe, a sculptor.