There is a very fine iconic restaurant in Manhattan called the Russian Tea Room. It’s where you’d go back in the day to see Sophie Tucker, Hermione Gingold, and Tallulah Bankhead split an order of pickled vegetables and compare notes on sleeping with the doorman at the San Remo Towers. It was the height of pretending to be sophisticated. The Russian Tea Room serves caviar and Chicken Kiev and it’s more of a throwback to when Czars and cossacks roamed and terrified the land — you know, a more gentler time.
Currently, the Russian Tea Room is being boycotted because of Russia’s current unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. And although boycotting is a (sometimes… occasionally… maybe once) effective American way of protesting I have my doubts it will force Putin into declaring a ceasefire. My guess is the subject of the Russian Tea Room has not once entered the Situation Room during this crisis, except for maybe take-out.
Also, it should be noted — the Russian Tea Room is not owned by Russians.
I’m sure, if it weren’t a Central Park South institution they’d just rename it “Ted’s Baltic Diner” and boycotters would happily return for “Mama’s Famous Beet Soup” formerly “borscht.”
Although it has been made quite public that Russians do not own the Russian Tea Room, some boycotting still persists. Why let facts get in the way, am I right?
So for those still hell-bent on bringing Russia to its knees by withholding our American dollars (Official measurement: One U.S. dollar is now worth enough rubles to fill the Guggenheim), here are some other related targets for your withholding pleasure:
Russian Dolls — Children love these wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other. But don’t be fooled! These dolls are making a statement. Each larger doll consumes the smaller ones. What six-year-old girl is going to play with these dolls and not see the parallel to world domination? Barbie may have accessories that get lost under the bed, but at least she’s not trying to dominate Ken or Skipper.
“Russian Dolls” — The Netflix limited series. Okay, follow me on this one. It was co-created by Amy Poehler who also directed the recent documentary “Lucy and Desi,” which touched upon Lucy maybe being a Communist. Also, it was hard to follow the “Russian Dolls” time loop narrative. I mean, was she really dead or not dead? How did this happen? Better to watch “The Andy Griffith Show.”
“War & Peace” — Classic Russian novel. This one is easy. You’ve avoided it your whole life.
Russian Dressing — They’ve meddled with our elections, they’ve hacked into our computers, and now they’re infiltrating our sacred condiments. Do you know how many calories are in Russian Dressing? You think you’re eating a healthy salad, but no, you’re chugging a ShackBurger. Way healthier is Thousand Island Dressing or Louie Dressing.
Russian Roulette — This might be a tough one because who doesn’t love to play this fun game of chance? I’d say think of the overall consequences except people who do play Russian Roulette give little thought to consequences. So just trust me. There’s a five-in-six chance I’m right.
Or… you could donate money, time, or supplies to this heartbreaking cause. There are many ways we all can really help. Let’s focus on those. Hey, how about a fundraiser at the Russian Tea Room?
Source: Ken Levine