I was sitting on the Sheepshead Bay train station platform late last week, when I overheard a conversation between a young Russian-American girl and a non-Russian friend she was showing around. The girl, black-haired and loud-talking, was telling the visitor that Sheepshead Bay was where all the “cool Americanized Russians live,” as opposed to Brighton Beach, which is “packed with babushkas.” A raised eyebrow from the man was all the girl needed to spur her to explain: “You know, babushkas, the old, miserable Russian women who sit in the sun complaining about the heat.” Here, I smirked.
I’m not Russian, so I was curious to hear from our Russian readers: is Sheepshead Bay known in the Russian community as where the cool Russians are? How has this shaped our neighborhood? What makes it cooler to Russians?