Going Big On International Women’s Day: Yellow Furs, Glitter, Mayo, And Plenty Of Vodka At Brighton Beach’s Rasputin
Raise your hands for women’s economic, political, and social acheivements.
When Russians celebrate International Women’s Day, they go all the way. Living in dowtown Manhattan, I have a hard time venturing above 14th St, much less taking a surreal journey to Brighton Beach in a white van with the cab company phone number plastered in large letters across the door navigated by a gentleman who drives in circles and speaks only in Russian, except for turning around occasionally and assuring me, “It’s gonna be OK.” But, on Tuesday night, I did just that!
After finally making it to Brighton Beach, a surreal subuniverse whose billboards are written all in Russian, it was hard to believe this was only 40 minutes from Manhattan, much less actually located in the United States of America. Once I walked into the sea of sparkle and glitz at Rasputin, the Russian nightclub where “With Love…A Russian Soiree” was appropriately held, it was clear we were not in Kansas anymore.
I was handed a red rose, as were all women at the event, and fell quickly into a sea of cameras, yellow furs being auctioned off to benefit the OR Movement, jewels, Russian cuisine, and of course, plenty of vodka. Despite all the show and glamour, proprieters Michael and Marina Levitis, and co-host Tobi Rubinstein Schneier, made this a very welcoming affair, greeting their guests at the entrance and providing table service including Russian fare like salads, pickles, mayo-rich egg salad, chicken, smoked fish, and of course, plenty of vodka! It was a fabulous circus of women modeling furs and jewels, a live auction, glasses clinking, and live performers in glittery attire. I left in somewhat of a blur, not sure of what exactly had just happened.
After returning to Manhattan and stopping by another event, I ran into a friend who asked me where I had come from. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer. Was it real? Then I looked in my hand and saw my red rose…ahhhh…it wasn’t a dream…it was Rasputin!
Tell us: How did you celebrate International Women’s Day?
Libby Keatinge is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.