Russians may not be as plentiful on the scene these days in New York, given international tensions that harken back to the bad old days of the Cold War, but thankfully we’ve still got Anna Anissimova.
The heiress to a billion-dollar fortune, once dubbed “the Russian-American Paris Hilton,” graces our cover this issue in a photo shoot as hot as diplomatic relations between our countries are cool.
Anissimova opens up about her remarkable journey from a 15-year-old kid living in Manhattan with no parents and an unlimited bank account, through years of hard partying, to her life these days as a mother and working actress.
Among her outrageous antics: Anissimov once stole off to the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya for a safari with a couple of friends in order to break off an engagement. She left another friend behind to help convince her fiancé that she wasn’t the one for him. (It worked.)
It’s a real coming-of-age story involving, of course, lots of prime real estate. While still a teenager, Anissimova grabbed headlines when she paid $23 million for designer Diane von Furstenberg’s townhouse in the Meatpacking District. And then there was the summer in the Hamptons when she paid a record $550,000 to rent singer-songwriter Denise Rich’s Southampton estate — for just two months.
There has been plenty of darkness to grapple with, too. Her father, businessman Vasily Anisimov, made his fortune in the rough-and-tumble world of Russia in the 1990s, and she has seen tragedy, including the murder of her half-sister in Russia. Not to mention some “shame” about the vast wealth she’s been forced to come to terms with over the years, she said. Check out the intriguing story by Christopher Cameron on page 12.
Speaking of dark, our other profile story in this issue, on actress Michele Hicks, opens with her death.
Don’t worry; it was just a scene from USA Network’s hit cyber-thriller “Mr. Robot,” where her character, Sharon Knowles, was killed off.
The indie actress (and former model), who may be best known for starring in the David Lynch cult classic “Mulholland Drive,” has now been reincarnated as Kay O’Bannon in Edward Burns’ “Public Morals,” a police drama about corrupt cops, prostitution, gambling and violence in 1960s Hell’s Kitchen that premiered this summer.
Thankfully, her home life seems like a happy respite from the world of cops and robbers. Hicks lives with her husband, actor Jonny Lee Miller (of CBS’s “Elementary”), and six-year-old son, Buster, on the Lower East Side. We peek inside their airy duplex in a story on page 24.
Beyond heiresses and heroin-chic-models-turned-actresses, we’ve also got Jewish grandmas in this issue. Talented reporter Isabel Schwab brought her grandmother to check out the fare at hip new eatery Sadelle’s to see if the delicatessen is worth the hype. How do the whitefish salad, matzo ball soup and chopped liver served to gallerinas, hipsters and fashionistas fare? Meh, but the blintzes do stand out. Mendy’s in Grand Central is still her favorite. See page 64.
Other stories in the issue are more firmly rooted in the 21st century. Check out our piece on the best apps for luxury travel, lifestyle and fashion. They include, incredibly enough, an application that can read your facial cues and tell you what color car to buy (see page 20).
You can also book your next trip by private plane, helicopter or yacht with some of these apps. That might be useful if you want to travel down to take a look at one of the pricey properties in South Florida and the Caribbean that we feature in our story on page 28.
Enjoy the issue.