Read on LADA RAY BLOG
Year 1703. During the Northern War with Sweden, Peter the Great stands on the wind-swept bank of the Neva River, amid mosquito infested swamps and desolate landscape of the north and declares that he’ll build a city of unrivaled splendor to become Russia’s first sea port and maritime window to Europe.
Presenting St. Petersburg, Russia‘s second capital, unique cultural phenomenon, UNESCO World Heritage site and the most beautiful city on planet Earth! The entire center of “Peter,” as it’s affectionately called by the Russians or St. Pete, as it’s called by the expats, is the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The unbelievable beauty of its many exquisite buildings, bridges, palaces and statues can awe even the most seasoned world traveler. Despite its harsh northern climate, it can be incredibly romantic and it always is unforgettable.
Some of the most important episodes in GOLD TRAIN take place in St. Petersburg. The GOLD TRAIN heroine, international journalist Jade Snow, stays at the Duchess Vera’s house, in the very heart of the historic center, not far from Nevsky Prospekt and the Hermitage.
“Want to talk about Russian history? Got a Millennium?” – Anthony Bordain, TV show host: No Reservations.
Russia‘s history is overflowing with revolutions, wars, change as well as incredible achievements in science, technology, art, sport and literature. And its capital, Moscow, has always been at the forefront of it all.
I was born in Moscow, but my parents moved a lot for work, and so I spent part of my childhood in Kishinev (Chisinau) Moldova, and Odessa, Ukraine. However, I always maintained close ties with Moscow.
My aunt lived on famous Tverskaya Ulitsa (Tverskaya Street,) Moscow’s principal street starting at the Kremlin Wall and Red Square and stretching all the way to the outskirts where it would become the highway to St. Petersburg. Lined with posh hotels, restaurants and homes of the rich, it was the street used by the Russian Tsars and dignitaries on their visits to Moscow.
I love celebrating Chinese New Year! My husband’s family is from Hong Kong, so Chinese New Year has a special meaning for us. My husband’s parents always have auspicious red Chinese envelopes stuffed with money, waiting for us when we visit.
The family dinner includes fish, shrimp and lots of auspicious vegetables – the symbols of prosperity. The house has to be brimming with red lanterns and envelopes as well as oranges and mandarins, also symbols of prosperity and abundance.
Whenever we get a chance, we go to New York Chinatown to watch the Dragon and Lion Dances. All Chinatown restaurants are packed, reservations being made well in advance, each restaurant trying to outdo themselves and each other with the most creative and prosperous dishes imaginable. Read More
If you are used to the gloomy, dungeon-like New York Subway (sorry, dear New Yorkers) as I am, absolutely nothing can prepare you for the gorgeous Russian Metro! Don’t get me wrong, I love New York and it is my second home, but the City’s unbelievably ugly and outdated subway is a different story all together.
When I complain about it, my husband – a consummate New Yorker – just shrugs his shoulders: “It gets you from point A to point B!”
Yeah, right… Point A to point B. But what about beauty? Style? Aesthetics?
Well, in all truth, even if you come from Paris, London or Vienna with their much nicer underground transportation systems, you’ll still be amazed at the Russian Metro! Read More
Trains and travels are in my blood. I was born in Moscow and my parents both worked for Russian Railways. When I was barely two, they were transferred first to Kishinev (now Chisinau) Moldova and later, to Odessa, the beautiful city on the Black Sea, now part of the Ukraine. As part of my parents’ job benefits, I always had free railroad tickets, the privilege I enthusiastically abused for years.
There is a huge train-centric culture in Europe in general and in Russia in particular. Something that is probably very difficult to understand in the US with its car dependent culture. There is always something romantic and breathtaking about a train journey through the night, when everyone’s asleep and the rythmic song and sway of the rails makes you think about far away lands and the fascinating discoveries awaiting you at tomorrow’s destination. Read More
WHEN SEVERAL PEOPLE IN ONE DAY APPROACHED ME WITH THE SAME QUESTION: “HOW DO I DE-CLUTTER MY HOME? AND HOW DO I DE-CLUTTER MY BUSINESS SPACE?” I KNEW THE TIME FOR THIS ARTICLE HAS COME! In Feng Shui terms, clutter represents stagnant, old, dying energy. It prevents the free flow of Chi, the life giving force that is necessary for us to feel vibrant, positive, successful and have you guessed? …HAPPY.
It has become a cliche of sorts, everyone knows they need to de-clutter. In our consumer oriented society having many things – some unfortunately useless – is a norm.
We buy things & clothes when we feel down, when we need a boost, when we want to lift our spirits. The logic behind that is correct: new items brought into our space bring fresh energy with it. However, here is a problem: when you buy while feeling sad or depressed, chances are you will buy the wrong item(s).
I hear many complaints from clients who despite making big money, “have nothing to show for it”. Meanwhile, I also know some other people who while having much smaller incomes, live full, happy and truly prosperous lives.
In observing various cultures from around the world, I can’t help but notice that the amount of cash in the bank or a fat paycheck are not synonymous with prosperity. True prosperity is so much more than that! And alarmingly, a disproportionate number of complaints about the lack of it originate from my American clients – some of the highest paid in the world.
What makes life prosperous and abundant is the feeling of life’s fullness, which in turn is generated by balanced enjoyment of fruits of one’s labor. This very positive energy can be attracted into one’s life by certain actions and attitudes and discouraged by others.
The Jade Snow International Adventure Series idea was born several years ago when I was flying through Dubai to Asia. In Dubai, I met American journalists returning from Afghanistan and Iraq who told me stories of their adventures. As I was leaving Dubai, the picture of Jade Snow, a young, beautiful and spirited international journalist who’d worked in Iraq and Afghanistan, appeared before my eyes. It occured to me that she would make a great heroine for an international mystery/thriller series.
A beautiful and witty red-head with unusual blue-green eyes, budding psychic powers and rare talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Jade Snow is the protagonist of the Jade Snow International Adventure Series and of GOLD TRAIN, the gripping mystery/thriller, set in Russia and based on true historic events. Read More
For the fans of the Da Vinci Code and National Treasure comes this gripping new mystery/thriller, set in Russia and based on true historic events!
“Alexei” is pronounced (Ah-lek-sáy) with emphasis on “say.”
Alexei is the iconic Russian name whose popularity never dwindled through many centuries of use. The name “Alexei” is especially symbolic in GOLD TRAIN as those who read the book would appreciate, because it is also the name of the last Russian Tsar Nicolas’s son and Heir to the Russian Throne.
The Year of the Black, or Water, Dragon starts January 23, 2012. Note, the Chinese New Year Celebration normally lasts 15 days, so January 23 is referred to as the first day of the New Year. More about how to celebrate Chinese New Year in my future post.
The New Chinese Year is always celebrated with Dragon Dances. Each store and business in China, Hong Kong, New York’s Chinatown as well as other Chinatowns around the world will welcome the Dragon and Lion Dancers inside during the 15 day celebration period, as it is believed to usher in the brand new, yang and auspicious energy of prosperity and success for the entire year.
And this goes double for the Year of the Dragon.The beloved symbol of Chinese folklore and ancient art, Dragon is also considered the most recognized and important Feng Shui symbol to have in one’s home or office.
First, a quick announcement: I’ve been planning to write BOOK OF PREDICTIONS – AFTER 2012 for some time now, but it’s been on hold due to other priority projects. I hope to write and release it this year, depending on my schedule.
What qualifies me to predict the future? In the past decade, I taught a number of my proprietary Feng Shui courses and did lots of consultations, in addition to writing about Feng Shui and spirituality for various publications around the world. As part of my speaking and writing, I made predictions about certain events in society and our lives as well as advised clients on various real estate and investment-related matters. My various predictions usually came true. Read More
Full Schedule: Year of the Dragon Extravaganza
CHINESE YEAR of The DRAGON starts January 23, 2012
It is believed that the Dragon ushers in a special energy of prosperity and protection
To celebrate the New Year of the Dragon AUTHOR & FENG SHUI MASTER, LADA RAY, announces:
YEAR of the DRAGON EXTRAVAGANZA on New Lada Ray Blog!
January 11 – February 6, 2012