Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Picture Series #1: Brodskii

As my time here in Moscow starts to wind down, I'm still working hard trying to finish up a few things in the archived before departing for summer travels.

At the same time, I've taken the time to get out and enjoy some wonderful early summer weather we've had. In the course of those walks, I've come across some good opportunities for pictures.

The first in a series, I stumbled across a literary-figure monument I'd never seen before. It's to the mid-twentieth century poet Joseph Brodsky, and is on Novinskii bulvar', right across the street from the American embassy.

I'm not sure my photos captured it, but I like the odd perspective on and whimsical nature of the Brodsky figure, as if he were strolling along hands in pockets, lost in thought or contemplating whatever that is up there in the sky.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spring to Summer

Some pictures, to prove that spring really is here and, in fact, summer is starting to creep in:

Literally overnight, the lilacs are in bloom, and are kind of intoxicating.

A good old fashioned summer storm front.

More of the summer concert poster series. 1999 called and, unfortunately, said they didn't want Limp Bizkit back. Also: two dates?

ZZ Top, on the other hand, might be a good show.

Even Starbucks speaks crappy English.

Ahh, summer. The open road.

Oh, wait: this is the Garden Ring, at Zemlianoi val at 7:00 on a Thursday. Four lanes of traffic in each direction and I was moving faster on foot. Good times.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Just a selection of what the concert scene has to offer this summer. There's more, so this may be a recurring theme.

Colors of the Rainbow - Tiffany Blue

The stairwell in my apartment was painted last week.

I'm pretty sure they let Newt and Callista pick the color.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Of Statues and Saints

What with the holiday weekend, and it being spring and all, I've managed to get out with a few friends over the last few days. The first picture comes from VDNKh (Vay-Day-En-Kha), or the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy. Formerly the "Soviet Disneyland," most of the pavilions have today fallen on hard times. Some have been transformed into unabashed corporate advertising, while others have been chopped into dozens of kiosks selling cheap plastic crap, behind which you can catch glimpses of the Stalinist neo-Classical architecture of the core of original pavilions, which date from the late 1930s and early 1950s.
"The Worker and the (Woman) Collective Farmer"

This statue by sculptor Vera Mukhina, however, is worth the Metro ride. It was originally designed for and displayed at the Paris World's Fair in 1937, where it capped the Soviet pavilion that, fittingly enough, faced the pavilion constructed by Nazi Germany. After returning, it has served as a symbol of VDNKh, graced the introduction to films made my Mosfilm, and, recently, been relocated to a prominent new location atop a suitable pedestal for such a work of Stalinist Art Deco.

The other highlight of VDNKh: ponchiki (not pictured), which are small doughnut-type pastries. There are several stands tucked into a corner, which I had heard rumored to be the best in the city. I'm no expert, but they were really, really fresh and good.

Today, in search of some sun and fresh air, a friend and I hopped on a suburban train for a ride to Sergeev Posad, home of the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius. If you'll read back to May/June of 2007, I've been there before. Not much has changed. But the air was fresh, the sky blue, the sun bright, and the kvass delicious.