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A Ukrainian woman who moved to New York City shares the things that surprised her most about living in the US

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Daria Sokol, left, moved to the US from Ukraine in 2013.@tinasokolovskaya, donvictorio/Getty Images

  • Daria Sokol, a travel blogger from Ukraine, has lived in the US since 2013.

  • Sokol said her first impressions of New York City were comparable to a “horror movie.”

  • But she said she has found Americans to be more friendly than people in Ukraine.

Daria Sokol, a Ukrainian travel blogger who lives in New York City, told Insider that her “horrible first impression” of the city is far different from how she perceives it now.

Sokol, from Kharkiv, Ukraine, said she first moved to the US in 2013, for a study abroad program in Washington, D.C. She witnessed a first glimpse of NYC as she flew into JFK and transferred to a bus to D.C. The 29-year-old told Insider that she had expected it to be beautiful — like what she had seen in American movies — but some areas in the outskirts of the city were dirtier than she had anticipated.

That didn’t deter her, and Sokol relocated to New York in 2019.

She currently works as a technical account manager and posts travel content for her 20,000 followers on Instagram in her spare time.

She told Insider that she now loves NYC. She cannot imagine living anywhere else. And in May, she got married at the Top of the Rock because she wanted to be surrounded by the city’s iconic buildings.

But she had plenty of surprises about American living —and life in NYC — along the way. Here’s what she said surprised her most about living in stateside.

top of the rock wedding

Daria and Anton got married at the Top of the Rock with general admission tickets.@ivanshatokhin

Sokol said New York looked like ‘a horror movie’ when she first arrived

Sokol told Insider that she was surprised by the bad weather and the amount of litter that she witnessed on her bus journey out of New York to D.C.

“It was like a horror movie,” Sokol said. “It was very rainy, thunderstorms, pouring rain. The streets were so dirty, with trash everywhere. It looked so bad.”

She said she remembers wondering: “Where is all the New York beauty?”

brooklyn garbabe

People walk past a pile of garbage in Brooklyn in 2017.Epics/Getty Images)

Sokol is originally from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city which is known for its commitment to sustainability. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the city joined the EBRD Green Cities initiative, which was put in place to allow European cities to tackle environmental needs, such as solid waste management, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The city has around 1.5 million residents.

Sokol said she returned to the NYC the following year, and with every visit, she admits that seeing new places and having more experiences, like her favorite place, Central Park, made NYC grow on her. She ultimately decided to move to the city.

People in the US are friendlier than in Ukraine, according to Sokol

Sokol said one of the things she loves about the US is the friendly people.

“People are more smiley,” she said, comparing American to Ukrainians. “Walking down the street in the United States and you smile at someone, around 90 percent of the time they smile back. In Ukraine, the percentage is not as good.”

She added that there’s a culture of encouragement and positivity in the US that isn’t as common in other countries. So much so that she said she found it difficult to accept compliments from strangers at first.

daria and anton

Daria and her husband Anton in NYC.@tinasokolovskaya

“I would be walking down the street, and a lady would say, ‘Oh, I love your shoes, they are so pretty,” Sokol said. “And in Ukraine, no one would ever tell you that.”

“Now I really like this culture of encouragement,” she added. “There is more positivity compared to some countries.”

Read the original article on Insider





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Eric Trump’s Accidental Confession About His Father Has Twitter Users Howling

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The New York Times

California Fire and Floods Turn a River to ‘Sludge,’ Killing Thousands of Fish

As a deadly fire continued to burn last week in the Klamath National Forest in Northern California, Kenneth Brink, a local fisherman, counted dead fish in a river that had turned to the consistency of “chocolate milk.” Brink, 45, a member of the Karuk Tribe, lives in Happy Camp, a town of less than 900 people on the Klamath River, in Siskiyou County. The town is near the border with Oregon. On Friday, he drove about 20 miles upstream, where he made the grim discovery: thousands of dead suckerfis



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Afghan man charged in killings of Muslims in New Mexico

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The ambush killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, shook the community but inspired a flood of information, including a tip that led to the arrest of a local Muslim man originally from Afghanistan who knew the victims, authorities said.

Muhammad Syed, 51, was arrested on Monday after a traffic stop more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) away from his home in Albuquerque. He was charged with killing two victims and was identified as the prime suspect in the other two slayings, authorities announced Tuesday.

The Muslim community is breathing “an incredible sigh of relief,” said Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico. “Lives have been turned upside down.”

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Syed had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

The first killing last November was followed by three more between July 26 and Aug. 5.

Police Chief Harold Medina said it was not clear yet whether the deaths should be classified as hate crimes or serial killings or both.

Syed was from Afghanistan and had lived in the United States for about five years, police said.

“The offender knew the victims to some extent, and an interpersonal conflict may have led to the shootings,” a police statement said, although investigators were still working to identify how they had crossed paths.

When asked specifically if Syed, a Sunni Muslim, was angry that his daughter married a Shiite Muslim, Deputy Police Cmdr. Kyle Hartsock did not respond directly. He said “motives are still being explored fully to understand what they are.”

Assed acknowledged that “there was a marriage,” but he cautioned against coming to any conclusions about the motivation of Syed, who occasionally attended the center’s mosque.

Police said Syed gave them a statement but didn’t disclose details.

The slayings drew the attention of President Joe Biden, who said such attacks “have no place in America.” They also sent a shudder through Muslim communities across the U.S. Some people questioned their safety and limited their movements.

“There is no justification for this evil. There is no justification to take an innocent life,” Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American–Islamic Relations, said at a Tuesday news conference in Washington, D.C.

He called the killings “deranged behavior.”

The earliest case involves the November killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, from Afghanistan.

Naeem Hussain, a 25-year-old man from Pakistan, was killed Friday night. His death came just days after those of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41, who were also from Pakistan and members of the same mosque.

Ehsan Chahalmi, the brother-in-law of Naeem Hussain, said he was “a generous, kind, giving, forgiving and loving soul that has been taken away from us forever.”

For now, Syed is charged in the killings of Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain because bullet casings found at the crime scenes were linked to a gun found at his home, authorities said.

Investigators consider Syed to be the primary suspect in the deaths of Naeem Hussain and Ahmadi but have not yet filed charges in those cases.

The announcement that the shootings appeared to be linked produced more than 200 tips, including one from the Muslim community that police credited with leading them to the Syed family.

Police said they were about to search Syed’s Albuquerque home on Monday when they saw him drive away in a Volkswagen Jetta that investigators believe was used in at least one of the slayings.

Officers followed him to Santa Rosa, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) east of Albuquerque, where they pulled him over. Multiple firearms were recovered from his home and car, police said.

Syed’s sons were questioned and released, according to authorities.

Prosecutors expect to file murder charges in state court and are considering adding a federal case, authorities said.

Shiites make up the second largest branch in Islam after Sunnis.

Aneela Abad, general secretary at the Islamic center, said the two Muslim communities in New Mexico enjoy warm ties.

“Our Shiite community has always been there for us and we, Sunnis, have always been there for them,” she said.

Muhammad Afzaal Hussain had worked as a field organizer for Democratic Rep. Melanie Stansbury’s campaign.

“Muhammad was kind, hopeful, optimistic,” she said, describing him as a city planner “who believed in democracy and social change, and who believed that we could, in fact, build a brighter future for our communities and for our world.”

___

Dazio reported from Los Angeles and Fam from Winter Park, Florida. Associated Press writer Robert Jablon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.



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Beaned batter rises to console upset pitcher

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Beaned batter rises to console upset pitcher



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