Two prominent stories published in The New York Times over the past week have featured Latvian Americans as main characters.
The first, a story from August 14 about how Philadelphia is becoming New York's sixth borough, starts with an anecdote about a young man named Laris Kreslins who moved from Williamsburg, Brooklyn (my neighborhood) to Philadelphia in order to save money and let his artistic soul breathe free. I don't need to investigate. If that's not a Latvian name, I'll eat my hat. In the Latvian language, Kreslins would be pronounced KRESS-lynch.
The second story, entitled Taking Personal Training To Extremes, was published today. Its protagonist is named Juris Kupris. Juris (pronounced YOO-riss), is a very successful young personal trainer whose well-heeled clients like to have him around wherever they go, from winter homes in Florida to summer mansions in the Hamptons.
In case you don't think two Latvian-American rising stars constitute a real "trend," then keep your eyes peeled for the November Esquire, where I am told my last submission will finally be published.
I think you hear us knocking, and I think we're coming in.
UPDATE: Jenn reminded me that another Latvian American was mentioned in the media recently. Restaurateur Sarma Melngailis was named one of New York's most beautiful people in New York magazine a week ago. I am friends with her sister Ilze, although we haven't been in touch in a while. In any case, I wish all the best to the Latvian American kids doing good things.