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Lovely story about an immigrant gardener. I have known other immigrants who "downgraded" their professions when they came here. It does seem to come down to what Mr. Mshanetskiy says that you do what you must. But it makes me wistful and I wonder how much talent and training the human race loses to misery around the world....

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Thank you Carlie! It's interesting. Mr. Mshanetskiy told me that his first decade here he considered studying to try to pass the US medical exams, but that would have been a full time job in itself, and he has always been too busy working. He also he does not miss being a doctor. But I imagine it's easier to let go of it now that he's built up this very successful business....

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

That makes sense to me.

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Anne, I've been reading you since you started but I have to say I think this is the best one you ever published. Congrats!

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Mr. Greenberg it is so nice to get this compliment from you. Honestly, and I'm not sure why, this story took me about twice as long to report and write as my usual profile. I'm glad to hear it was worth it—at least from your perspective.

:)

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I simply love you, Ridiculous Person 💖. Among all the sh...t going on all over the world, I can be sure that on Monday morning I will read something that affirms kindness, compassion, beauty, goodness (add more positive attributes) and humor! And I hope I'll look as good as Mr. Mshanetskiy's mother when I'm 81.

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Awww thank you Jessica!

And I should say I agree with Ms. Mshanetska...the photo really doesn't do her justice!

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I know as a doctor Mr. Mshanetskiy used to do great work helping people, but it must be a joy to walk around town and know how much beauty he is adding to the place where he lives.

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I agree Mr. Jensen. One thing I love about the window boxes, and Mr. Mshanetskiy agreed, is that they are for everybody, not like a private backyard garden. He had one client who left the city for two years during the pandemic but paid do new plantings every season so that folks walking by her townhouse could enjoy them.

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I'm currently in a hotel next to one of America's monstrous freeways and it's a concrete hellscape that could definitely use some window boxes.

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I loved this so much! I would never have guessed there was such a great story behind all those gorgeous window boxes. And a secret shed on Hicks street?! I love it. Also--I get lots of doctors from West Africa in my community college classroom. It's nuts.

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Ms. Hess, wouldn't it be great to devote a whole issue—or even a whole series—to people who were X in their former country and now are Y? It got me wondering what the heck I'd do if I had to move someplace where the main language wasn't English. I'd probably be washing dishes.

Now to track down that secret shed...

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Anne! You're the perfect person to do that series! It would be a fascinating look at another, less well-known, side of NY.

I have no idea what I'd be doing, but I'd probably be washing dishes along with you. I certainly wouldn't be creating gorgeous window box arrangements! I wish I had that talent.

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And another book. It would make great television too. Robert

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Or podcast!

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Jul 18, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Hi Anne, great story; I think you must be a fabulous interviewer to get people to open up as you do. The only thing I’d enjoy more than an expanded story or series about Coming to America jobs of NY would be a fresh bialy.

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Thanks Denise! I always feel fortunate when someone shares their experiences and ideas and lets me pass them on to others. I have the best job!!!

Sending you an imaginary bialy, which is the second-best kind of bialy!

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I remember a school trip to NYC where I was introduced to the bialy at the legendary Kossar’s bagels & bialys. I still dream about that pillowy, oniony delight

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Alright! Mr. Clemenstein, you are the THIRD person to mention Kossar's. A field trip is clearly in order!!

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Anne! Your stories are like a warm hug to the heart. Always so interesting, fun to read and brings brightness to the world! What a wonderful story, really enjoyed it! Thank you again!

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Oh golly, Stephanie. Your sweet comment made my morning. Thank you!

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Love this! But I was intrigued by the mention of Mr. Mshanetskiy "sourcing" his rocks -- where does he get those? Where does he get all the plants? How did he learn to tap into the world of wholesale flora?

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From the rock store Mr. Lukas, of course! In NYC's Rock District.

These are fun questions—and I'm curious too. Maybe I'll do a mini follow-up on the biz end of things.

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[Insert "rock star" joke here.]

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

"Parking attendant is a difficult job—you have to pull out eight cars to get to the one. Some cars you have to climb in through the window because they're packed so close to each other. ‘So funny!’ I said. ‘Not when you're climbing through the window,’ he said.”

Recently I drove by a surface lot that had cars practically touching each other and I thought it had the purpose of fitting more cars on the lot WITH the added benefit of preventing theft.

I always wondered why my HS girlfriend’s mom asked me if I had a job as a parking attendant? I guess because if you can get into a car through a window, you prolly can get into…...................trouble!

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Well, when it's you, then yes, for sure JRB!

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Jul 18, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Well, Anne, as YOU certainly recognize, it takes TWO to tango, play paddle ball, blackjack, carry most sofas AND go parking, in a teenage romance. In order to go parking you absolutely need to be able to squeeze and perform contortions, like a parking attendant in STEW York City!!! And I don't apologize that some girls thought I had "charm" to go along with my skinny, 128lb frame, dark hair, eyes and complexion at age 16. I discovered both confidence and how to flirt and that took me a long way. To this cafe, in fact!!

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You might enjoy this JRB -- NYC metro ~20M, Tokyo metro ~38M -- https://youtu.be/Jg04NbemsI8 -- many of your comments skirt the fine line between fun and trouble and I enjoy them weekly !!!

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Jul 18, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

You used the right word: "SKIRT" the fine line between fun and trouble!

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So HAPPY you nibbled. I love words with multiple meanings

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I love everything about this story.

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Thank you Christian! I'm delighted to hear that.

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Thank you for the bialy follow-up! I’ve always wondered why non-Jewish friends are super comfortable with bagels, but baffled by the bialy. I think the story behind Lender’s marketing campaign explains it. For the record, I’m still team bagel, but I do feel a little more connected to my roots when I get a bialy.

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Now we need to get Mr. Lender behind Situation Normal and CAFÉ ANNE!

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Brooklyn Heights window box game is unparalleled. Love waking around the neighborhood and checking them out. Nice to put a face (and an amazing story) to the flowers!

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Oh that's so fun to hear you're familiar with the phenomenon Mr. Stephenson!

It's true that Brooklyn Heights is really tops in this game and it's totally because of Mr. Mshanetskiy.

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Anne -- (1) Thanks for the bialy exposé. I am often disappointed when I ask if the bagels were hand-rolled (b/c of you) and have always instinctively known when they are baked without boiling -- just not shiny enough. I may abandon my obsession with the bialy now. (2) The heart in you shined through in introducing us to Mr. Mshanetskiy. We build everything conceivable and impulsively want to possess more stuff. I think it is interesting that what the most modest to conspicuous of consumers have in common is a bit of nature in their lives. Most of all Serhiy rebuilt himself and sounds as if he has left a mark on a WHOLE SECTION OF NYC -- wow. A story about flowers reminds me to wonder how the rubber plant is doing?

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Mr. Dolan, please don't abandon the bialy just when they need you most!

The rubber plant! Wow I totally forgot about that one! The last update I got from the plant's new owner was last October. I am going to check in now and see if our old friend is still kickin'!

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The bialy is dead to me now. Eager to hear about the rubber plant -- I understand they are resilient -- the key I suppose is they are likely quite flexible :)

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Heartwarmer.....needed that! And loved all the photos that accompanied the story 🤩

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So happy to hear that. Thank you Terri!

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Brooklyn Heights and bialys! Ms. Kadet, you’ve done it again.

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Haha I sure did! Now we just need to figure out what "it" is!

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Love the post. There is a book in your story I’m sure. You could write it and I would buy a copy. I would like to see Ruslana. Is it too late to add her pic? Robert

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Thank you Mr. Howard! Yes! I could not include Ruslana's photo in the email because as you know, when the emails get past a certain length they get clipped off. But her photo is in the online version:

https://annekadet.substack.com/p/windowbox

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Anne, where did the ‘Mr Howard’ come from after all this time? Please call me Robert🐰

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I prefer "aka Kevin"

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aka Kevin it is. aka Kevin I am.

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