Anastassia Smorodinskaya

Multi-Media Journalist

Location icon United States of America

Though born in Moscow, Russia, Anastassia grew up in the tiny town of Middlebury, Vermont...which she left as soon as she could to travel the world and embark on a career in journalism. Anastassia eventually wound up in New York City where she earned a Master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism. Her professional accomplishments thus far include serving as an on-air correspondent for several broadcast outlets, ghostwriting Katie Couric’s daily blog while working for Yahoo! News, covering the 2014 winter Olympics for Sports Illustrated, and regularly contributing to a number of online publications including, The Wild Magazine, and The Brooklyn Ink. She currently lives in Hollywood, CA.

***Please note that the articles are not presented in the order of most to least recent. Scrolling through the entire portfolio is the best way to get a more complete sense of my background and versatility***


Sports Illustrated (Topics Covered: Sochi Winter Olympics, Social Issues, Politics)
Sochi Paralympics failing to meet London Games' standard

Leading up to the London Olympics, organizers ran a spectacular promotional campaign for the Paralympics that would follow the Games. Nick Springer, a member of the 2012 U.S Paralympic rugby squad, said that London's efforts were wonderful in bringing attention to Paralympic events.
Adler, not Sochi, ultimately endures community impact of Olympics

ADLER, Russia -- The Sochi Olympics have been riddled with controversy and idiosyncratically Russian absurdity. This is a country where things are not always what they seem. So it comes as no surprise that even the name "Sochi Olympics" is somewhat misleading, because none of the venues are actually in Sochi city.
Breaking down strengths, weaknesses of men's figure skating contenders

While there are obvious frontrunners in men's singles, Sochi will host the greatest number of medal contenders in recent history. Here is a breakdown of the top ones, each of whom has the complete package of artistry and athleticism -- once considered an elusive combination. Patrick Chan, Canada Strengths: * Graceful athleticism.
Sights and sounds from inside the Olympic Park

When they aren't rooting for their respective nations, spectators, many of whom have traveled from far and wide, are out and about the Olympic Park taking pictures and enjoying its various amenities.
Women's figure skating preview: Breaking down the skaters

The Olympic women's figure skating competition, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday night in the Iceberg Skating Palace, shapes up as a dramatic showdown among a defending champion, a returning silver medalist and rising stars as young as 15.
Gala Exhibition provides lighthearted closure to figure skating in Sochi

After three weeks of intense battles for the podium in each of the figure skating categories, the Gala Exhibition was, fittingly, an emotionally charged event as well. Fortunately all of the emotions felt by both skaters and fans at the Iceberg Ice Palace on Saturday night were strictly positive ones.
J.R. Celski preps for Sochi with renewed passion

For 23 year-old J.R Celski, the road to Sochi has been a story of love lost and found. Team USA's pack leader in short track speed skating believes it's his rekindled passion for the sport that will make the difference between his appearance at the 2010 games in Vancouver (where he earned two bronze medals) and his success in Sochi next month. (Topics Covered: Entertainment, Politics, Music, Pop Culture, Odd News/Humor, Society, Opinion)
Country, Honky Tonk and Americana: The New Sounds of the Indie Scene?

When you think about young, fashionable bohemians who are known as a subculture for taking over entire neighborhoods in major metropolitan areas - aka hipsters - country music probably doesn't come to mind. But it soon will. For decades the indie music scene was dominated by the sound of synth -electronic tunes, airy vocals, euro-inspired ennui.
What Pizza Hut's New Commercial Says About Our Self-Confidence

What ever happened to self-esteem? Have you noticed it's no longer the buzzword it was in the 90's and early 2000's? In fact, liking yourself appears to be a foreign concept. Today we strive for self-deprecation instead. In recent years, smack-talking yourself has become a bizarre cultural phenomenon.
Insane Clown Posse's Juggalos Are Now Legally a "Gang"

Juggalos: They're the die-hard fans of rap-rock duo Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope - aka Insane Clown Posse. In fact, Juggalos are so united in their passion for ICP's songs and ideology, they've become one of the most widely recognized band fan base of all time-their dedication outdoing even that of "Deadheads"-because being a Juggalo is about much more than a shared appreciation for ICP's music; it's about more than having every ICP album or regularly attending ICP shows.
Is It Possible to Be Addicted to Meat?

Meat: Many of us couldn't imagine life without it. For one, meat is a cultural staple. It brings people together-just think about all the beloved social pastimes that revolve around the cooking of animal flesh: Barbeques, luaus, grilling burgers in the back yard, and roasting hot dogs 'round the camp fire-to name a few.
Where Do Plastic Surgeons Need to Draw the Line?

Plastic surgery has been in the news a lot recently. First, we learned about calf-reductions. It's a procedure that's been gaining popularity among women who, for the sole purpose of fitting into knee-high boots, are willing to undergo elective surgery. Then for a few days in late September, we couldn't stop talking about the allegedly "three-breasted woman."
Mexico Asks Kids to Give Up Toy Guns. Should We Do the Same?

The Mexican state of Nuevo Leon has launched a government initiative to counteract the nationwide epidemic of violence and organized crime. The new campaign isn't going after full-fledged gang-bangers however. Instead, it targets the state's more impressionable residents-kids and teens.
ALBUM REVIEW: Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence'

Lana Del Rey is young, white and from an affluent east coast family. At the same time, she's projects the image of a young woman with a dark side and a fixation with death - a self-destructive, melancholy drug user with a ride-or-die devotion to dangerous men.
What Really Happens in Solitary Confinement?

Solitary confinement: Also known as 'the box' or 'the hole.' Some believe it to be an effective way to discipline prisoners for bad behavior - after all, human contact is pretty much all there is to take away from people with hardly any privileges left to lose.
Some U.S. Cities Are Ruling It Illegal to Be Homeless

Throughout the U.S., more and more cities are cracking down on the problem of homelessness - not by funding more shelters and job placement programs, but rather by making it illegal for people to not have a roof over their head.
The 'Proud Whopper:' BK's Cautious Way of Supporting LGBT's

San Francisco is a city well known for its progressive stance on *** rights and populous LGBT community. It's a place where ***** culture is not only accepted, but celebrated all year long. So naturally the city takes its annual *** pride parade pretty seriously. It's something all San Franciscan's-both *** and straight-get excited about.
Are There Cannibalistic Urges Lurking Inside You?

These days, more and more reported murders seem to also involve at least a little cannibalism. No longer is it enough for psychopaths to simply kill their victim - for some reason, feasting on human flesh has become inexplicably fashionable among the criminally insane.
Man Chokes To Death During Hot Dog Eating Contest: America!

When talking about a death so senseless, so unnecessary, so... Darwin Award worthy as that of 47-year-old Walter Eagle Tail - who passed away during a 4th of July hot dog eating contest in South Dakota last week having choked on a wiener mid competition - I can't help but quote Louis CK in saying, "Of Course...But maybe..."
"Sexy" Mug Shot Guy, Jeremy Meeks, Makes Ladies Swoon

In the last two days, tens of thousands of people have liked, shared, commented on and drooled over the mug shot of criminal, Jeremy Meeks. The Stockton (CA) Police Department posted it-as they do with all mug shots-to their Facebook page on Wednesday.
Russia Says "F You America" By Cracking Down on McDonald's

The whole world has been pretty pissed off at Russians all year. First, it was because they passed anti-gay laws right before the Olympics; then they invaded Ukraine and, most recently, because they may have shot down a passenger plane for no reason. So yeah, the international community's anger is more than warranted.
Sorry, But Taylor Swift's New Video Is NOT Offensive

Normally, Taylor Swift can do no wrong in the eyes of the both the fans and fellow musicians (with the exception of Kanye, maybe). And this is why I was so surprised to see the whole freaking Internet turn on her after yesterday's release of the music video for Taylor's new single "Shake It Off."
No, Women Don't Need Paid Time Off During Their Periods

Periods get a pretty bad rap. Men, who are totally mystified by menses, assume that time of the month to be a weeklong horror flick: bloody, angry and complete with a werewolf-like transformation from woman to menstrual monster. And we ladies perpetuate this belief by constantly whining about how awful our lives become when we get them.
Panda Pretends to be Pregnant, Successfully Scams the System

Faking a pregnancy is the oldest trick in the book. Women have been playing the old "I'm knocked up" card since the dawn of time - and with good reason. It's effective in all kinds of situations from locking down a noncommittal boyfriend to accessing any bathroom on the planet no matter how big the "No Public Restrooms" sign out front may be.
What You Don't Know About Pick-Up Artist Julien Blanc

It appears as though everyone hates Julien Blanc right about now. In case you haven't heard, he's the dating coach who was banned from holding his seminars on Australian soil earlier this month and it looks like several other countries will soon follow suit.
Lawyer May Be Guilty of a Lot More Than Photo Fraud

Would you hire a lawyer based on how many celebrities they've taken a picture with? The State Bar of California thinks you would. That's why Svitlana Sangary, a Los Angeles based civil lawyer, currently faces a six-month suspension from practice. You see, Svitlana had posted dozens of pictures of herself hobnobbing with the rich and famous on her business Website.
The Problem With the 'Lion King' Cast Subway Car Flash Mob

Here's a video that only people who've never taken any sort of public transportation could possibly find amusing. To everyone else, this impromptu performance of The Lion King's Broadway cast "treating" subway commuters in June looks like nothing but a major annoyance.

The Brooklyn Ink (Topics Covered: Local News, Brooklyn Culture, Dining, Arts)

Brooklyn-born Activist Promises Co-Ed Showers If Elected As Mayor

He's been drawing crowds in Union Square since 2010 with his eccentric brand of social commentary-part performance art, part political activism. His penchant for smelling the flatulence of strangers, asking women to sit on his face in public and his advocacy for interactive sex education in schools-all intended to enhance the existence of mankind- have been covered by the Huffington Post, The Village Voice and media outlets worldwide.

After Protest Arrest, Back in Court 13 Times - And Counting

After more than a year of hearings and a week in jail for her disorderly conduct arrest at a stop-and-frisk protest, activist Christina Gonzalez, hopes her case isn't dismissed. She says she would rather go to jail.

At Grub's Groaning Board, the Feast Is Not Just Moveable, But Free

On a hot Sunday afternoon, a group of seven or eight people is gathered in the second-story loft of a building on Vernon Avenue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Some are seated at a large wooden table, diligently dicing cloves of garlic, peeling carrots, mashing avocados and chopping a variety of aromatic vegetables.

Grassroots Volunteers Hold Hurricane Sandy Relief Summit

Friday marked the beginning of the People's Recovery, a three day summit in Brooklyn, dedicated to the continuation of grassroots relief efforts in areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy last October. "It's a crisis. It's an absolute humanitarian crisis," says summit organizer Justin Wedes.

The Wild Magazine (Topics Covered: Entertainment Reviews)

Picasso Baby Didn't Do It for Me

Jay Z rapped for six straight hours during his performance at New York's Pace Gallery -an ambitious and commendable artistic endeavor indeed. Sadly, the magnitude of it is completely lost in the much anticipated, eleven-minute short, "Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film," which debuted on HBO this past Friday-Mostly because the film doesn't even once reference the six-hours time span, which is by far the most notable aspect of what Jay Z accomplished that day.

Pussy Riot Packaged for an American TV Audience

It seems that everyone in the West, has a different reason for getting on the "Free Pussy Riot" bandwagon. Some say it's a fight for freedom of speech, some rally in support of a global punk scene, some see their trial as an oppression of the feminist movement and some believe it to be artistic oppression.

On-Air Work: (INASECTV, The Daily National, Anchor Test)

A-Show: King of New York BMX Competition

Anastassia meets with this years' KoNY competitors as they gear up for the big event on August 7th at Tompkins Square Park and August 8th at Cunningham Park.

Thomas Edwards: Professional Wingman

Looking for love in the big city? Look no further! Dating veteran Thomas Edwards can help you find it! Thomas sits down to talk about his very unique company "The Professional Wingman", what it takes to find that special someone and the most common mistakes to avoid in the process.

A-Show #24: Ice Time For Anastassia w/ Yale Cousino

The twenty-fourth A-Show features our own Anastassia with Pro Snowboarder Yale Cousino, who shows her a few tricks at Sugarbush in Vermont. Also featured is a look at the Ice Theatre Company as they prepare for their next show, in this episode hosted by Max Rich.