Moscow West


“But… but Mr. Molenko, I swear to you, I don’t
have the money! All I have is in the register out
front, there is nothing more!”
“So… that is all, those few dollars?”
“Yes, yes, I swear it!”
As the old man considered, he walked around
the room, lightly touching utensils and boxes
of food, running his fingers along metal tables.
Then he spoke.
“It seems, then, that we shall have to find some
other way to get paid.”
And with the delicate grace of an artist he turned on
the meat slicing machine"

Beginning in the 1920s, other immigrants, ones coming from Russia, eastern Europe, and Armenia, began to displace previous immigrants, Italians and southern Europeans.
In fact, so many Russians (many of them fleeing the chaos of the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath) settled there that many people began to call it “Moscow West” instead of its official name, Graham.

The neighborhood’s population grew and changed in the years leading up to and immediately after World War II as numerous Jews fleeing Nazi and Soviet oppression made it to Hudson City and settled down there. Thanks to their bravery and hard work, Moscow West today has several lovely temples and renowned Hebrew libraries; it’s also the home of the Hebrew University of Hudson City.

At that point, Russian immigration to the area took an upswing. Unfortunately, few officials in the United States realized then, but are bitterly aware now, that more than a few of the emigrants the Soviet Union released as a symbol of “cooperation” and its “commitment to global peace” were actually hardened criminals it wanted to get rid of. Moscow West’s crime problems date to that time, though it was only in the Nineties, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the removal of any significant restriction on travel to and from Russia, that the problem assumed its current dimensions.

LANDMARKS

  • Hebrew University Of Hudson City
  • Founded in 1948 by Simon ben Eshel, a rabbi born in Germany, HUHC has grown from a small, littleknown rabbinical college into a world-renowned institute for the study of Torah, Talmud, Jewish history and philosophy, and related subjects.

  • Slavic Languages Institute
  • Half a school and half a translation service, the SLI was founded in 1981 to study Russian, other Slavic languages, and their literature.

  • Iron Curtain Imports
  • The motto under the sign reads “Bringing the Biggest Yard Sale in World History Direct to You!”, and that’s a pretty accurate assessment of the situation. Owner Leon Alexandrov buys surplus Soviet military and government goods, ships them to this country, and puts them on sale as Cold War curios.

  • Lukin Tobacconists
  • Smoking is one of many vices that many Russians indulge in to excess — and some who’ve come to this country miss their favorite brands from back home.

  • Red Square
  • Russian cuisine isn’t exactly the most popular ethnic food in Hudson City, but there are some — including many in Moscow West — who enjoy it. And the best place in town to get it is Red Square, an understated but refined restaurant opened in 1989.

  • White And Black
  • Dark and a little dank, this bar is a lot like many in Russia — and that’s the whole point. It caters mainly to residents who want to drink in familiar surroundings, not to visitors or tourists.

Moscow West

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