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First Russian-speaking Miss NYC visits “Little Odessa”

Russian beauty queen reigns in Brighton Beach

Brooklyn Daily
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Kira Kazantsev is Miss NYC 2014 and the first Russian-speaker to earn the title. She’s an aspiring lawyer and women’s advocate, too. When she dropped in on Brooklyn’s “Little Odessa,” we took a moment to chat with Kazantsev about Russian culture in the city, her escape from domestic violence, and some literary recommendations.

Max Jeager: You were born in the U.S. but speak fluent Russian. How has that affected your ability to connect with Russian culture?

Kira Kazantsev: Speaking fluent Russian has allowed me to connect to the Russian-speaking culture, especially through the large Russian speaking communities in the US. I attended Russian school, Russian camp, and have always been involved with the Russian-speaking community, which in turn has allowed me to connect with the Russian-speaking culture. Now I am very proud to partner with the Be Proud Foundation and look forward to continuing my work in the Russian-speaking community.

MJ: You live in Manhattan. Do you spend a lot of time in Brighton Beach and other Russian enclaves?

KK: Over the five years that I have lived here, I’ve spent a lot of time in Brooklyn, and I always enjoy spending time in the Russian-speaking community. It’s like a home away from home, as my family is back in California.

MJ: People are crazy about brunch in Brooklyn. Is there a Russian equivalent? Where’s the best place to have a Russian brunch?

KK: I LOVE Russian-style brunch, this is something I like to do at home, though.

MJ: You’re applying for law school. Have you heard back? What area of law do you plan to pursue?

KK: I haven’t heard back, but I plan on pursuing either international law or civil liberties — especially for women.

MJ: You were a victim of domestic violence. How did you get out of that situation?

KK: Talking about it, getting help, leaning on my family, removing myself from the situation — all of these are important steps to being able to leave your aggressor.

MJ: Your talent is vocal performance, what do you like to sing?

KK: I love to sing songs that have a jazz or folk feeling to them.

MJ: Have you spent time in Russia?

KK: I have been there several times. All my grandparents live there, and I am looking forward to traveling to Moscow this coming April.

MJ: Many associate Russia with a rich literary heritage. Do you read novels in Russian? What was the last title you really enjoyed?

KK: I have read many Russian novels, and the last title I enjoyed was Pushkin’s “Onegin.” I’m actually going to see the theater version of the story in Moscow in April.— Max Jaeger

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 5:30 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reader feedback

Aydemir from Blagoevgrad says:
Congratulations to Miss America 2015. I wish success and all best in hers life. I just want to say that in the article of Bulgarian language "Antonia Petrova: I make sex on a schedule" from the site "hot News.bg" of the site http://hotnews.bg/n/antoniya-petrova-pravya-seks-po-grafik.22570.html#comments and under other articles of the Bulgarian language and of other Bulgarian women wear the title Miss Bulgaria indicated there from other people (of the sites http://hotnews.bg/n/slavena-vutova-strah-me-e-che-byustut-mi-shte-grumne.51925.html#comments and http://bgkliuki.com/intimno/iuliia-iurevich-se-razdeli-s-gadjeto and http://woman.hotnews.bg/n/turisticheski-horoskop-za-2011-godina.6404.html#comments) I learned (and even I wrote things ) many interesting facts for Bulgaria and the world.
Sept. 15, 2014, 9:52 am
Ografenova from Krasnogvardeysky District says:
I also felicitate victory of Miss America, for 2015 year. I send greetings to Kira Kazantsev from all USA and Russia.
Sept. 15, 2014, Noon
Kiligrew from Washington says:
Really Miss America 2015 is very beautiful. I send greetings of her and I congratulate her victory.
Sept. 17, 2014, 2:40 am

Comments closed.

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