Hey everybody! Today we’re starting our new category of posts – interview with expats. We’ll discuss Moscow places, transport etc. And our first guest is Chris Helmbrecht. By the way he is a managing director at Kollectiv agency, so you can imagine how much cool stuff he can tell and what an interesting person he is. Also he runs a weblog about his life in Moscow. You can find it here Thus, let’s go.
Realmoscow: How have you decided to move to Moscow?
Chris: I lived in New York for a few years. After 9/11 me and a lot of my expat friends left nyc, beause there was no business anymore. I went to Spain, while some of my friends went to Moscow. A year later I went for my first Moscow visit. I didn’t like it very much and my meetings with ad agencies didn’t bring many job opportunities. a few days before I went back to Spain, I met a Bolshoi Ballerina and fell in love. After another 6 months in Spain I decided to move to Moscow and give it a try. With the ballerina, work and the city.
Realmoscow: And How do you find this city for life after all you’ve experienced?
Chris: Its very energetic and I like that about it. Its also very multi-cultural, but not in a gobal way, like New York, but in a Russian / Asian way. I love teh cities nightlife and I love the people watch. Of course there are many things I hate as well, but as long as the positive emotions are more than the negative, I’ll stay here. At the moment its 55/45.
Realmoscow: What is your favourite place to eat and to go out?
Chris: Solyanka for both. Great food and good parties with nice people. I also like the crew that runs the place. I could say the same about Propaganda, but the party is getting worse these days. Too many pussy hungry foreigners chasing the girls. Its not relaxed enough anymore, but good food for a good value. Krizis Zhanra is the same story, but the two clubs are related.
If I want it a bit more expensive, I go to eat at So-Ho Rooms, Ronis or Strelka. I don’t like the glam and posh clubs in general. Its too much posing and not enough fun for me. I can only take it, when I’m drunk.
Realmoscow: Which places in Russia do you like besides Moscow?
Chris: St.Petersburg and Vladivostok have left a good impression. The other cities were so and so, including Sochi, where I had much higher expectations.
Realmoscow: How long do you plan to stay with us in this city?)
Chris: I’m here since 8 years now. I guess I’ll do the other 2, just to round it up, but I’m already thinking about leaving and that feeling is getting stronger by the day.
P.S. I want to say a very big “Thank you” to Chris as he wasted his time to answer our questions, sometime maybe even boring)) You’re the best man.