If you look up the word "impression" in an English/Russian translator, chances are you'll come up with two very different words: ощущение ("oshushenya") and впечатление (vpechetlenya). "Oshushenya" is a very general, intuitive feeling you get about something without knowing why. And "vpechetlenya" is a specific impression that is left on you by an action, an experience, or a person. For example, if I met someone who often darted their eyes in distraction and twirled their hair, I would have the "oshushenya" that they were air-headed. But if that person came up to me, challenged me to a chess duo, and won in five moves, they would have given me the "vpechetlenya" that they're bright.
I have come to the conclusion that my "oshushenyas", or generalized feelings about my surroundings based on a certain type of distanced voyeurism, tend to be very damaging, while my "vpechetlenyas," or impressions and conclusions based on real, specific experiences and conversations, have the power to transform a city of 20 million people from an ogre with boils (yes, that's right! boils!) to a bachelor prince with a sexy, sexy hairy chest.
One of these so-called "vpechetlenyas" happened today, when I went into Shareen Vintage on 13 W 17th Street in Chelsea and was able to talk to Shareen herself! I was so starstruck I could hardly handle it. The day I got home from St. Petersburg I plopped my butt on the couch and searched On Demand for a good show, and "Dresscue Me" was absolutely addictive. Charlie, my cockalhasahavapoo (in other words, cutest rescued mutt in the world...) and I sat watching all the episodes of the show from beginning to end. So you can imagine my SHOCK when the star of my TV screen engaged me in an incredible conversation. You see? So I was feeling an overall "oshushenya" of defeat in such a grandiose, over-populated city where everyone has a dream that can swallow you whole if you don't believe in your own. But talking to a successful owner of a famous vintage clothing shop and having her tell me that I was destined for amazing things? It was the "vpechetlenya" of a lifetime.