Latvians in the Grey Lady

Laris Krēsliņš, one third of the “Latvian love punk” band Mācītājs on Acid, two years ago said “ar dievu” to New York and moved to Philadelphia. Who cares? Well, The New York Times for one.

In her Aug. 14 story, writer Jessica Pressler reported on the exodus of young artists and musicians from overpriced apartments in New York to the historic Pennsylvania city, where cost of living is 37 percent less.

Helping to promote the exodus is Krēsliņš, who has set up a Web site,, to plug Philly.

Mācītājs on Acid includes Laris Krēslins, his brother Kristaps (proprietor of the Pharmacy Bar in Washington, D.C.) and his cousin, Gustavs Mergins.

Thanks to Jānis Bībelnieks and Victor Ozols for the tip. And visit Ozols’ blog, New York City Diary.

Ozols notes another Latvian-American who warranted mention in The New York Times: 23-year-old personal trainer Juris Kupris, owner of Juris Kupris Fitness. In an Aug. 18 story, Stefani Jackenthal reports Kupris is part of a growing trend of personal trainers who are taking their jobs outside of health clubs into the homes and lives of their clients.

Kupris, a former NASCAR driver, is set to release four fitness DVDs this autumn. Hey, maybe he could use Macītājs on Acid for the soundtrack!

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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