Russia is not the best place to be right now, as we were reminded by the not-so-subtle sub metaphor for a nation sinking fast in an ocean of corruption and economic chaos. Still, I'd rather be there than in Colombia, that spot rife with right-wing paramilitaries, left-wing guerrillas, drug militia, kidnappings, and corpses. But it has always astounded me how, even with violence and uncertainty swirling about, life tends to go on more or less regularly for people in such places. Meaning they still go to work, raise children, and gather around their dinner tables to eat the same foods, which I imagine are pretty similar to the Russian and Colombian meals I recently sat down to at a pair of restaurants on Collins Avenue: Vecherny Vostok at 180th Street, and, 106 blocks... More >>>