Magazine article Russian Life

A Decade and Counting

Magazine article Russian Life

A Decade and Counting

Article excerpt

A few years ago, I went to buy a new pair of cross-country skis at a little shop in East Montpelier (pop. 2,600). I picked out a few pairs that looked about my size, and asked the salesman to tell me their differences. When I learned that one pair (brand name "Maverick") was made in Russia, I said that was all I needed to hear, and snapped them up.

On that day, the idea for this issue's cover story was born.

Since then, we have been gathering information and stories about unusual Russian imports into the U.S., using a very loose definition of the word "import." After all, it would be hard to fit heirloom seeds or kefir cultures within anyone's standard definition of an import. In fact, we had even thought of stretching the definition to include Google, since one of its two founders--Sergei Brin--is a first-generation Russian emigre.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Instead, we decided to save that for another story for which we already have a burgeoning file: Russian emigres to the U.S. who have made significant contributions to American culture, the economy, politics and society. But this meant I had to scratch a cover idea I had for this issue: Googlemaster Sergei Brin astride a Ural while quaffing down a bottle of kefir. …

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