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Distant Moscow Memories...


Ah, another bright and cheerful Muscovite. Perhaps she was frozen. It seems like years have passed since my visit to Russia, but in fact it has only been a few months. I was going through some photos tonight and realized I never wrote a proper post on Moscow. Everyone knows how I feel about this city and it's not worth repeating, but here are a few photos I never posted. It's a mix of camera and iPhone pictures, so the quality isn't always the best. Maybe you will enjoy them.

1. This Moscow metro station is fabulous! I think the name of the stop is Revolution Square. I admired various statues but remember this one best because of the dog's faded bronze nose. Yes, I rubbed it for luck. I'm always a fool for these gimmicks all over the world, having rubbed that plaque on the Charles Bridge in Prague and Buddha bellies all over Thailand for luck.


2. Late one afternoon we took a stroll around the Moscow State University area. It was insanely cold and windy, but what beauty in the sky as the sun began to set. So rare to actually have clouds and color in the grey winter sky. I remember the university was founded in the mid-1700's, before America's birthday! Great historical traditions at this place.


3. There's a nice lookout point in this area where you have views of the city, some big futbol stadium and smoke stacks. But mostly I remember this colorful sign with the bird. I think it's advertising some type of ski lessons. In fact, there's a huge ski platform in this area but I couldn't tell if it was still in use.


4. Pindos and other holders of tourist visas are required to "register" upon arrival in Russia. We went through an acquaintance at a hotel who registers visitors at the local police station. On the walk over the hotel owner showed me this mural. If I recall, it's a tribute to a famous singer who died very young. I don't remember his name? There's a tiny picture of him in the center of the mural.


5. After registration, we took a walk on famous Arbat Street. Full of tourist shops and interesting characters!


6. Hats! :)) What a pity that I didn't buy one during my visit.


7. I think these are traditional Russian costumes, though I don't know from what era. They're quite colorful and eye catching from the street. The woman inside saw me taking a photo and immediately waved me away so I didn't go inside to investigate the costumes or head wear closely. But I'd like to wear that princess-like and ornate tiara.


8. The outfits reminded me of the traditional shirt Ukrainian boys wear. I purchased one for my nephew a few years ago when I visited my friend in Kyiv. I remember joking that it looked like a Mexican shirt. Here we are in August 2011, shortly after my Ukraine journey.


9. Perhaps you're curious what types of souvenirs foreigners purchase in Russia and drag home to distant lands. Here's a picture of all my treasures. You'll see the usual things like matryoshka dolls and vodka but also lots of tasty treats and other oddities.


10. I can read Cyrillic so I recognized that the sign says "Wendy's." But even those Americans who don't know the Cyrillic alphabet will immediately recognize this as the fast food chain due to it's distinctive design and the red-haired girl who serves as the fast food chain's mascot.


11. Another famous American brand - Campbell's soup stand in Gorky Park. The park was completely empty during a winter weekday afternoon. Absolutely nothing going on, but we ate some tasty roasted corn. I imagine the park is very festive, vibrant and active during the summer months.


12. Speaking of food, at Cafe Mu-Mu Sasha threw this monster on my plate. What is it? Oh, something very scary and gross. :)) Some type of minced meat in a cold, slimy jelly mold.


13. These traditional Russian pancakes were much better and very tasty, especially the cream sauce.


14. Horror! Some type of canned Russian chicken product covered in fat. I'm sure there must be normal, white meat canned chicken. But not this brand.


15. Russian sweets were the saving grace. So delicious! It was in Moscow that I celebrated my birthday with cake and this box of candies given to me by my host. And dinner at a nice Italian restaurant.


16. Of course we also visited Red Square and the surrounding area, but I don't know what happened to my photos!?! Sadly I couldn't stop and view grandpa Lenin's mausoleum because it was undergoing repairs. I'll admit I had some morbid curiosity about it and was upset I couldn't see the spectacle. Instead, I watched happy families skate around the rink in Red Square. I wanted to take a spin but my host didn't. So I passed, because it's no fun falling on your butt alone.


17. Here it is - the Red Square cover photo from my "Russian Impressions" post. The fake American smile that sent Russian Internet trolls into a feeding frenzy. The cathedral, which from a foreigner's perspective is probably the most recognized site from Russia, is really beautiful and stunning in person.


18. Animated Russian women enjoying an afternoon chat.


19. Young Russian soldier, standing at a memorial to fallen servicemen.


20. Countdown clock to the Sochi Olympics. Will any readers go to the games? It will be very interesting to see how Russia is portrayed on the world stage during the games.


21. There's something very curious in Moscow. When riding on this big red tourist bus, pedestrians stop and stare at you as though you're an alien sitting atop a spaceship. Anyone who has traveled even a little knows that these buses are common in most major cities. Apparently in Russia they're relatively new and locals, like these men viewed through the bus window, aren't accustomed to their presence.


I will say once again that it's a real pity there's no tourist infrastructure in Russia. It's an interesting, diverse and strange country. For me, there's a real desire to return and explore other areas. I have only one more report to write - Novgorod - and will try to publish it in the next few weeks. Moscow, it will likely only be an arrival and departure point for me in the future. I don't like the city, but it's home to a close friend I greatly miss. Far away, but close in thought and spirit.

Btw, a quick follow-up on the Boy Scouts post from earlier this week. It was announced today that the organization did in fact lift the ban against gay scouts. Some religious organizations and churches even supported removal of the prohibition. I'm honestly shocked by the decision, but very pleased as it's a real sign of progress. Certainly a lot of you will disagree and see it as further evidence of the moral decay of America. It's fine, you're entitled to your opinion. :)

I hope everyone has a great weekend. In America, we begin the official start of the summer season with a three-day weekend to celebrate Memorial Day. Looking forward to some rest and relaxation!


( 103 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 24th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
Once you finish that bottle of Белочка while smoking Беломор, your fake American smile will be gone, replaced by an authentic Russian one;)
May. 24th, 2013 04:33 am (UTC)
"bottle of Белочка" - this name in the Russian means delirium tremens.
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 24th, 2013 02:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_forester - May. 24th, 2013 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 24th, 2013 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 24th, 2013 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 01:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_forester - May. 24th, 2013 06:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 24th, 2013 03:59 am (UTC)
His name is Victor Tsoy Виктор Цой.
May. 24th, 2013 04:39 am (UTC)
You sure it's not Majakoyckyi?
(no subject) - togliatt - May. 24th, 2013 05:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ypolozov - May. 24th, 2013 06:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 02:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 24th, 2013 04:34 am (UTC)
That embroidered shirt used to be called "antisemitka".
May. 24th, 2013 01:48 pm (UTC)
Ah, we have a wise ass on our hands.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 24th, 2013 02:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 24th, 2013 04:46 am (UTC)
Traditional Amerindian shirts do look like Ukrainian-Russian (and other Slavs) ones, it's a fact. How this could happen, different theories, but in the end it's not a joke. I had one bought at remote market in northern Peru, and it's exactly the Ukrainian "вышиванка", just with kind of Quechua colors: predominantly red and green. Theoretically, patterns and colours are supposed to be informative, but I guess by now this knowledge is lost, just basic design remains.
May. 24th, 2013 01:49 pm (UTC)
Peru, is it an interesting country? I've never traveled there or anywhere in the region.
(no subject) - descolorio - May. 24th, 2013 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 24th, 2013 05:06 am (UTC)
Good time of day!!!
Moscow and St. Petersburg is still not Russia!
To learn more about Russia must drive at least to lake Baikal.
May. 24th, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC)
Sure, I'd love to visit this area and many others in Russia. But time and financial resources are restraints.
(no subject) - sergastra - May. 24th, 2013 02:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 02:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sergastra - May. 24th, 2013 02:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - llueve - May. 24th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - llueve - May. 24th, 2013 05:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 24th, 2013 06:12 am (UTC)
I think these Wendy's and Campbell's soup are not parts of original American companies.
May. 24th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
Wendy's was founded in Columbus, Ohio and its headquarters are still in the State. The founder, Dave Thomas, is an interesting character.
May. 24th, 2013 06:20 am (UTC)
The University moved to the area after 1953, once construction of the new main building shown at your photo had been finished. Before it was occupying a building nearby Kremlin (they still have some departments there), and the present main campus area used to be just a forest with a small village.

And the poster with owl advertises ski jumping school for children. Not sure about the large ski platform, but they have a smaller one nearby, which they definitely use for trainings event in summer.

And the singer's name was Viktor Tsoi. He died in a car-accident in 1990 at his 28, just at the peak of his fame. He fell sleep while driving.
May. 24th, 2013 01:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the history of the university, which I didn't know. Sadly many famous singers have met tragic deaths at a very young age and at the peak of their careers.
(Deleted comment)
May. 24th, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC)
If the jelly was actually a solid version of real broth it would definitely be tastier! But I don't eat much meat in general, that's why I don't like the dish.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 24th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 24th, 2013 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 24th, 2013 01:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the video. I love music and will check it out, though I will not understand most of the lyrics. :)
(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 24th, 2013 10:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Some brilliants of modern folk-rock - rincele - May. 24th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Some brilliants of modern folk-rock - rincele - May. 24th, 2013 11:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rincele - May. 24th, 2013 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - archistanton - May. 26th, 2013 11:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 26th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - archistanton - May. 26th, 2013 03:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 26th, 2013 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 24th, 2013 11:44 am (UTC)
Very interesting post for me, because I haven't been in Moscow since 1991. And don't want any more. I used to love Moscow in my studying years in 1967-73, but not now. I feel scared and uncomfortable in Moscow and particularly with muscovites, although some are really nice
May. 24th, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC)
Yes some Muscovites are nice. I just met with a reader and his wife during their visit to DC. Muscovites and very interesting and warm people. But the city as a whole is not friendly or welcoming from a foreigner's perspective. I don't think I'm the first tourist to have this impression. Perhaps if you live there you get used to it, but for an outsider the general rudeness is very noticeable.

Edited at 2013-05-24 06:29 pm (UTC)
May. 24th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
Glad you had a good time. I love your blog!
May. 24th, 2013 01:59 pm (UTC)
Hello, thanks for reading!
May. 24th, 2013 02:44 pm (UTC)
"But I'd like to wear that princess-like and ornate tiara". - it is a kokoshnik (кокошник) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokoshnik
May. 24th, 2013 03:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you, it's interesting to read about the origins of the head dress.
May. 24th, 2013 03:04 pm (UTC)
I don't like Moscow. I was in Moscow many times but could not found something what would drew me. Another story with Saint-Petersburg! I was there four times and every time was fantastic!
May. 24th, 2013 03:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, we agree! St. Petersburg is beautiful. I wrote several posts about the city. And people there are much friendlier.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - May. 24th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 24th, 2013 03:21 pm (UTC)
All the questions you have answered. So not interesting :)
May. 24th, 2013 03:23 pm (UTC)
And this meat jelly dish, you like it?
(no subject) - yarowind - May. 24th, 2013 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 24th, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
7. Boy's hat is a modern, not traditional. These shirts are rich or holiday shirts. Typical or daily shirts look like on 8 pic. It is not only Ukrainian. We were one nation. Different regions of Russia had their own pattern and colors of shirts... Such or similar shirts used till 20-century and began used by Slavs before Russian nation appeared...
May. 24th, 2013 04:34 pm (UTC)
I didn't see any young Russian or Ukrainian boys wearing the "daily" shirt in photo 8 during my visits. It's my impression they are still reserved for festive or special occasions, but I could be wrong. It's cool that each region had unique colors and patterns.
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 24th, 2013 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nevzor0f - May. 24th, 2013 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
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