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25 years ago today I was visiting Moscow.

Red Square

That was a great trip, which remains a highlight of my life. Back in 1985, visiting Moscow was no trivial thing for an American. It meant going behind the “Iron Curtain.” It was toward the end of the so-called Second Cold War. Gorbachev had become the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union that March, and he had his first talk with Reagan in Geneva later that November, I think. Still, things were quite frosty between the US and the USSR. I had the good fortune to be escorted by a family of Finns, which made everything easier.

Coffee in Moscow

So what were you doing 25 years ago?

Seriously, I’d love to hear from everyone who reads this. “Don’t remember” and “wasn’t born yet” are acceptable answers.

Published inPixTravel


  1. alli alli

    I was not quite five months old. I think I can safely assume that 25 years ago today, I was eating and sleeping in Michigan.

  2. Avocado Tom Avocado Tom

    I had just moved from the suburbs of Philadelphia to the woods of Connecticut and was trying to adjust.

    Bus ride to school vs. riding my bike.
    Snow storms in October results in no power or water for multiple days.
    Getting punched in the face at the bus stop (not initiated by myself).

    It was an interesting time.

  3. Anne Anne

    Hmm. I was 13 years old. I can’t remember anything cool happening that year. It was probably a lot like the rest of my early teenage years– talk on the phone, read books, go to school, work crappy afterschool jobs, save up money to buy LPs, bubble gum, and used books, and hang around being nerdy with my nerdy friends. The only moderately interesting thing I might have done that year was revolt against 80s fashions and start wearing “vintage” (ie, thrift store) clothing. I still know 6 or so folks I knew then, two of them are still close friends.

  4. Brooks Brooks

    I went to Moscow the year before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and while it wasn’t an easy trip, it was an amazing trip and a deep trip. I’ve been to China and Japan, but communist Russia was, hands down, the most exotic place I’ve ever been in my life. My incredibly kind hosts were members of the Moscow Art Theater, whom I’d met the year before when they performed in NYC.

    In 1985, I was still acting, and the summer of ’85 I was performing in London in a revival of a strange 1930s agitprop musical called The Cradle Will Rock. (The original ’30s production had a fabled opening night. See Wikipedia.)

  5. dsb dsb

    In 1985 I worked full time at an Amoco gas station on I-94 north of Chicago (the Lake Forest Oasis). And I also started taking classes at a community college–the College of Lake County (CLC = College of Last Chance). A year later I transferred to a 4 year state university …

  6. Carol Carol

    Not sure what we were specifically doing on 11/3/1985, but since we had purchased a run-down florist at the end of August I’m sure we were getting it ready for the holidays.

  7. Raymondo Raymondo

    I just love the picture of you and Paivi and her Dad in Moscow. Paivi looks so pretty. Is that coffee you’re sipping?

  8. Max Max

    In Pittsburgh. 4 years old. Mom was a social worker. Dad was unemployed because his store went under. I was probably watching PBS and helping him cook dinner.

  9. Andrea Andrea

    I was in 5th grade in South Bend, IN. I was probably looking forward to the outdoor ice rink opening, my friends and I would walk there after school. It was one of my favorite things to do. Other than that, I was probably disliking my step family and feeling miserable about having to move. I’m pretty sure that was the year my Mom remarried and then promptly divorced the guy, and we moved back to our old house.

  10. I was a freshman in high school in Elkhart. I was insanely into cycling at the time, and rode something like 20 miles a day through that entire winter, which seems pretty ludicrous now, given the amount of snow and crappy weather we had back there.

  11. Let’s see – I was nine years old which means I was in third (?) grade. I had just moved back to my home town after living in Oak Ridge, Tennessee for a short while. When not at school I would have been spending my spare time designing things in LEGO and exploring the woods of middle Tennessee.

  12. Hmm. 1985 would have been preschool. Four years old, at some small non-religious preschool across the river. Little-girl dancing lessons were one afternoon of the week. Probably Tuesdays. Waiting for my kids’ magazines to come in the mail to have something new to read.

    Knowing how to read at that age would prove less useful than you’d think; all it set me up for was many years of being completely and utterly bored to pieces in school.

  13. 10 years old, 4th grade, my parents had just split up and I was adjusting to life in 2 households. Sr. Giovannina (sp?) would regularly dump out the contents of my desk so that all the class could see what a pack rat I was. Joined the band; wanted to play the drums but Mrs. James (band director) said drums were for boys and gave me a flute.

  14. Garvey Garvey

    On the morning of Nov 3, 1985, I was waking up from having seen the Dead Kennedys in Chicago the night before. Naked Raygun opened–a band I went to see a dozen times after that. This was also during the Bears historic Superbowl season. They were 8-0 and playing the hated Packers. As I turned on the TV, I saw William “Refrigerator” Perry in the end zone, spiking the ball after a touchdown. We were staying at my buddy’s sister’s apt in Evanston that weekend. Good times.

    BTW, sweet mullet, B.

  15. Graduated from Shaw High School in Marrero. Don’t remember anything notable before that. Was into Miami Vice. Entered UNO in August which was about the same time that Hurricane Danny hit. Took Italian 1001 with Dr. Santi. Have vague memories of this voluptuous female in the class who I found attractive. Discovered WTUL’s hardcore punk program on Friday nights. That’s all I can remember.

  16. Jack Schick Jack Schick

    ’85 featured live-in caretaker job a block-anna-half from Venice Beach sand,
    so body-snurf, girlfriend, and make no money until breaking a foot in the autumn, so
    losing the job and the place to stay. Went to stay with my Sister up in Oregon,
    riding the Amtrak from L.A. to Klamath Falls in the snow, very close to Turkey Day.
    Oregon was way too cold and I went back to LA after Christmas, to sleep on mom’s apartment
    vividly remembering That Challenger’s exhaust flame LOOKED WRONG, Oh God!!
    …that was Jan. ’86.

  17. Jaime Coffman Jaime Coffman

    I was studying at IUPUI, living in a trailer and working at Greenwood Park Mall food court. Not one of the best times of my life. Paivi does look nice in the pic.

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