Next, pick out a Russian greeting card from two doors down at European Gifts, drop a C-note for a porcelain tea set direct from the motherland, followed by a haircut at Eduard's Barber Shop and dinner at Restaurant Samarkand (both across the street). Despite the Eastern-bloc feel to this area, avoid asking anyone about his or her background, or you'll risk getting the evil eye and being accused of trying to dig up some kind of Mafia connection. Others might simply riff on the stereotype. "We're all in the Mafia; Russians are everywhere here," quips one heavily accented twentysomething as he cuts hair at Eduard's. "We're thinking of changing the name of this area to 19th Avenue and Russia."
Who knew? Phoenix has its own Little Russia.