I recently undertook a quick getaway to “Nawlins.” City of music, food, and amazing houses. The history of the city dates back to 1718 when the French first founded the city. It has since burned down a few times, passed to the Spanish and back to French, and eventually came to the USA via the famous Louisiana purchase. The city is rich with history, producing a fair share of famous sons and daughters. From Mahalia Jackson and Louis Armstrong to Reese Witherspoon and Lil Wayne. The food, the music, the sights and sounds of New Orleans never fail to amaze…

Going on 5 months for me, longest I've gone completely quitting, without trying vapes or anything. This might be the final attempt at quitting :)

For an indefinite period of time…

Twenty nine years later I look at the country that became my new home, and don’t recognize it somedays. But hope is on the horizon.

Becoming a refugee

In 1988 when I was a 10 years old school kid, living in Baku, Azerbaijan, a conflict started between Azerbaijan and the neighboring Armenia, over the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region. The conflict quickly escalated, and a war began. A war that has continued, on and off, for 30 years, culminating in a new war exploding in September of 2020.

My family was Armenian and quickly realized that living in Azerbaijan wasn’t safe for us anymore. At…

Penfield Beach, Fairfield, CT. Photo by author

With lack of travel, I have been struggling to spark creativity with my photos. So a week ago I decided to give myself a challenge. “Self,” I said, “let’s make-up a daily challenge for a week, and get our creative juices flowing!” Below is the challenge and its results. (Feel free to try it out!)

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

So your candidate lost?

I’d like to say I’m sorry about that, but that would be lying. I know lying is big for your candidate, but it’s wrong. I am not sorry he lost. In fact, I’m relieved he lost. Even more, I’m excited he lost!

I’m excited to see a new Secretary of Education who is not a corrupt, anti-public education hack and who won’t try to cut funding to Special Olympics.

I’m excited to see a new Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, who is not hell bent on destroying the environment.

I’m excited to see a new Secretary of State, who…

I wasn’t raised to talk about mental health

Photo by Finn on Unsplash

I always enjoy my birthday in September. It’s usually still warm, and I get a few days of celebration out of it. Last year I decided to go a bit low key (for me) so I texted my sister, my brother, and my 2 cousins to join me for family dinner and drinks at my favorite sushi place. They came, we had a blast, eating, having drinks and laughing. Exactly five months and one day after that, sometime during the night on February 13, 2020, my youngest cousin Stas took his own life.

I was born in 1978 in Baku…

A beach town with a great food scene

I’ll be honest, I got the idea for this article after reading “What to Eat in Mystic, Connecticut”. It’s not that I was looking to copy the idea, it’s just it hasn’t occurred to me before to write about where I live because I think at times I’ve come to take it for granted. But for an outsider, Fairfield is a foodie paradise. So allow me to talk about it a bit.

Sasco Hill Beach in Fairfield. Photo by author.

I’ve lived in the area for about 4 years. There are many reasons why I like Fairfield. It’s a beach town, with 4 town beaches that I regularly…

I won’t steer you wrong, I promise!

View from San Juan Marriott balcony, photo by author

First time I visited Puerto Rico was in 2012. I was happily married family man, with a beautiful wife and a 15 year-old stepson. We traveled to Puerto Rico to escape February in New England. My second visit was in May of 2017. I was in month seven of being separated from my wife, going through a divorce that at times felt like a roller coaster. San Juan allowed me to unwind and for a few days forget the real world existed. Visit number 3 happened in November 2018. This was a special visit, because I was coming back to…

Alex Mnatsakanov

Dad to Sophie, immigrant, world traveler, amateur photographer, product manager. Instagram: @alex.mnats.travel

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store