For some odd reason my dear companion Marga chosen to commend her birthday by heading off to the Russian showers on Avenue I in Brooklyn.
I thought it was exceptionally fitting, since I have been sassing the Russians on this blog recently, that I ought to take a decent schvitz in their extremely middle. On the off chance that you can’t beat em, join em.
All things considered, this is the reason I adore New York. You take the F prepare and after 40 minutes you are half bare amidst Russia.
The place outside is decorated with the accompanying banners: the US Olympic Team, Israel, Russia and the US. No issues up to this point, despite the fact that the relationship to the Olympics is difficult to get a handle on once you stroll in and find shaggy, gigantic animals eviscerating smoked fish with their uncovered hands.
To begin with thing you see as you stroll in is a photo of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Be that as it may, I don’t think the place is only for Jews. For one, they have clams and calamari on the menu. Yes, the menu.
The showers are co-ed and everyone wears a swimming outfit. There are significantly a larger number of men than there are ladies. The men gaze at shamelessly, as though they have never observed an individual from the female species.
There are plastic tables and seats encompassing three pools. A long one, with generally cloudy, cool water, a gurgling jacuzzi and a little ice dive pool. Around them there is a little steam room and a few saunas. Pails with cedar branches are there for whipping yourself with them at the saunas. You soak them with burning water and hit yourself senseless. It should be beneficial for you. You can likewise utilize the cans at the saunas to dump cool water into your warmed body. When you are not doing any of these ablutions, you sit and eat and drink. A man who seems as though he could have been a wrestling mentor offers us a back rub and I can simply picture his arms beating my bones and kneading my substance none too gently. We cordially decrease.
Marga had said in the welcome that we could purchase lager and nourishment there. Brew and sustenance at the schvitz? These things don’t appear to have a place in closeness. Presently, I began to warm up to the idea of eating and drinking at the shvitz, were it not for the not as much as careful eating and drinking conditions. There were many purge tables that had not been cleared up of filthy dishes, wherever somebody exited a wet towel, no one lifted it up, and so on. I am not especially nauseous, but rather one ponders about all that swimming and sweating in the wake of eating smoked fish with your uncovered hands. Suppose that you need to build up somewhat of a stomach for it. When you do, it is awesome, anthropological fun. Also, it unwinds the hellfire out of you. I oppose yoga to abandon you all the more joyfully casual.
There is a “VIP room”, brimming with half exposed humongous men having legitimate supper (soup, meat, vodka) wearing just their swimming outfits. You can see into these rooms (aside from the saunas) since they are encased in glass. The schvitz is a social movement, not a place to reflect and unwind, but rather to see and be seen. Everyone wears a cellphone cut to the towel around their abdomen.
There is a stay with a colossal sign that specifies “No Smoking” where everyone puffs joyfully away. There is a sign in the saunas that says, “don’t pour water on the stones”, and there will undoubtedly be a Russian ideal inverse the sign doing precisely that. It’s an extraordinary approach to find out about an outside culture.