The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Dedicated to Anna Yegorova and my beloved авиатриссы, on the 70th anniversary of Russia’s Victory Day

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Back in the (Former) USSR

I never thought I’d see Moscow again, although I dreamed of it for fourteen years. I boarded a teeming Aeroflot flight in late summer 2005, as Katrina’s receding waters revealed, inch by inch, the erasure of New Orleans as I once knew it. Mourning for that blighted, intoxicating city, I rushed towards another place I…