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Grey, Dull Moscow - USA!


I planned on boarding a plane to France on Wednesday, but unfortunately the trip will have to be postponed for health reasons. I'm suffering with a severe form of sciatica and a slipped disc, which makes it almost impossible to walk. :( Because I'm in a bit of a depressive mood, it seems like a good day to tell you about Moscow. Not Moscow, Russia but a small town with the same name in rural Tennessee. I visited this remote village last December, and in some ways it would fit in perfectly with the overall landscape of Central Russia. A lot of abandoned buildings, small houses in disrepair and the overall feeling of a ghost town. Despite all of this, we encountered some friendly Americans who somehow manage to survive just fine in the gloomy little town.

1. Moscow, Tennessee was founded in 1829. The main business in the village appeared to be this taxidermy/meat processing shop. We came across the location after seeing photos of dead deer hanging on the outside of the shop on the Internet. It seemed a bit grotesque based on the Internet photos, but in fact the store was quite cozy. For meat lovers, the perfect place to shop!


2. The owner - a man of many trades! He has two tasks - processing the dead animals and turning them into wall decorations or gutting them and turning them into meals. I traveled here with Alex, macos, and he informed the owner in a joking manner that he also lives in Moscow. After a few minutes, the shop owner got the joke and then an immediate discussion ensued about Ukraine and gun rights in Russia. Notice he wears a gun right on his belt? Normal thing to see in rural America. Warning - next set of photos should not be viewed by vegetarians or animal rights activists! Photo credit for the shop pictures goes to macos.


3. A man with a gun may appear intimidating to some, but this guy was just a big teddy bear. He offered to give us a quick tour of the shop. I must admit it's a bit disgusting to walk into a room and see dead deer hanging, decapitated and dripping blood! But this is where they are tied up until the skinning and fileting begins. I can't imagine handling one of these animals, but for hunters it's just second nature. I would not even know where to begin.


4. Later, the cute little deer look like this - dead flesh and meat ready to be devoured. I've never tasted venison, but many Americans eat it. Remember my cousin's boyfriend, Ben, who is an avid hunter? I told you about him in my Thanksgiving post. He just killed two deer this weekend and will feed the family with the meat. Prime hunting season is happening now in Virginia, but there is a two deer maximum per person/per day. So, Ben shot two and his teenage son shot two. Both used a bow and arrow rather than a gun. Supposedly this is a more humane way to kill the animal. I'm not a huntress, so I wouldn't know.


5. The owner's wife creates venison sausages, which line the shelves of the store. She was very shy and didn't want to photographed. Have you ever tasted venison? I haven't. Not sure if it's tasty, but mentally it seems sad to eat a cute little animal like a deer. Thoughts of Bambi immediately enter my mind. :)


6. Locals come and buy the sausages and venison filets for cooking. This is a popular meat for hearty, winter stews and soups.


7. I'm not sure what this building is, but it's nice to see some bright colors in an otherwise grey town. Somehow brightens the mood. I remember in Russia seeing so many dark buildings, however it appears newer apartment complexes and buildings are finally incorporating bright colors into the landscape. I think it's a very welcome sight, especially to brighten the winter season, which is depressing for many people. But not me.


8.  Local police car. So many foreigners have told me they were amazed by our emergency personnel equipment - from the bright, shiny red fire trucks to decorative police cars. This is such a small village, with less than 600 residents. A very small police station, with only a few cars. We tried to visit the station and talk with a police officer, but none of them were there. There was only one policeman on duty at the time, the rest of the crew were celebrating the police station's annual holiday party at a local restaurant.


9. Absolutely the worst house in the village! Completely unkempt and the yard is covered with all kinds of junk and trash.


10. Other residents of Moscow live in modest homes, but they are well kept and in general order.


11. My favorite house in the neighborhood. Very quaint and charming with the front porch and hanging clock. Typical American style home.


12.  Why do people leave appliances on the front porch? I have no idea what people in Moscow do for work. They must travel to nearby, larger towns because there is absolutely no commerce in the tiny village with the exception of the meat shop and a few restaurants.


13. Another old building, with America's national symbol - Coca-Cola painted on the side. It looks like some businesses may still operate here, but there were no workers or cars when we visited.


14. A reminder that we're in Moscow, USA not Moscow, Russia. I've never seen one of these Jeeps on the streets of your country. During university, this was my dream car. :)  But I never owned one. Great for road trips and adventures on American highways.


Moscow is located about 65km from Memphis, Tennessee. The whole village can be explored in about an hour, as it only encompasses a total area of 3km. Sleepy place, where the average income is only about $30,000 USD, average rent about $700 USD and probably a lot of boredom on most days. There's no desire to return here, but it was interesting to see. What do you think? Does it look like Russia? :) I still do not know how or why the village acquired the name Moscow.

Overall, Tennessee is a beautiful State! We drove from Paris to Moscow in one day. Sounds cool, huh?  In the next post, I'll tell you about Paris, Tennessee. A much nicer and cozier small town. :)

Other reports from Tennessee:

Bristol, Tennessee

Walking in Memphis

God's Tree House: Crossville, Tennessee


Dec. 1st, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
No fences! It's a great thing. I can't understand all these barriers in Russia. Even the Russian Embassy here in Washington, DC is completely walled in, like a fortress. :)) Almost all of the other Embassies are wide-open, sitting on streets and decorated nicely. I love small American towns, but this one was a bit depressing. Paris, TN, which I'll show in the next post, was great! Esp. at Christmas time.
Dec. 1st, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
No life without fences in UK. I've read a story of 87 old lady, who sued her neighbours when they built too high house next to her. "I was able to sunbathe every day all my entire life naked in my garden, They destroyed my life!" - was her reason ))).
Dec. 1st, 2014 06:05 pm (UTC)
Brave lady to sunbathe naked at the age of 87!! :))
Dec. 1st, 2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
She's probably getting ready to jump with parachute soon ))) I'm thinking this direction too
Dec. 2nd, 2014 04:29 am (UTC)
Ha! Google "american embassy ottawa". It's a nice building, well-fenced and barricaded. :)
Dec. 2nd, 2014 03:21 pm (UTC)
I googled it, it's not that enclosed. The Russian Embassy has a massive concrete wall all around it, you can't even see the building and have to ring in on an intercom to gain access. But the scariest part is the mean, old Russian ladies who work there!! :)) I had to deal with them when I was trying to get my visa.
Dec. 2nd, 2014 12:28 pm (UTC)
Reason for that is history. If most of western countries experienced embassy sieges only in Peking, for russian and soviet ones that was normal business. So some precaution was always in order. And it paid off recently in Tripoli, when attackers of russian embassy were routed.
BTW, looks like creators of US embassy in Baghdad take page from russian book. 8-)
Dec. 2nd, 2014 03:16 pm (UTC)
Sure, I understand the need for these fence/wall barriers for embassies located in volatile countries. But I was mostly speaking about huge fences around ordinary homes, which isn't so common in America.
Dec. 2nd, 2014 03:45 pm (UTC)
Well, US has last conflict on its territory 150 years ago and majority of population was not directly involved. In Russia since tatars big fences provide if not protection but at least slowing down enemy advance which give one additional chance. Also big fences are provide protection from wild animals, wind and snow.
Believe or not but only 40 years ago volves were seen on Moscow streets.
Dec. 2nd, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
Wolves also can be seen in many parts of the U.S.,esp. on the West Coast. One of them killed my aunt's dog in Orange County, California. And bears also! They came right up to our log cabin in Tennessee. So, Russia isn't the only place where animals run wild. :)
Dec. 2nd, 2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
But perception s different. Time back wolf or fox in coop was total disaster for russian family and quite possible death sentence. Now, it the US wild animal in backyard mostly seen as cute nuisance. But for pioneers it was not and they did good job eliminating all that Toms and Bambies. You know that 80 years ago it was 30 000 turkeys in whole US? And nt many more deers?
Dec. 3rd, 2014 03:54 am (UTC)
>> Even the Russian Embassy here in Washington, DC is completely walled in, like a fortress. :))

US embassy in in different countries too:)


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