Monday, January 15, 2007

One of the weirdest places in central Moscow: the backyard of a music school on Prechistenka. There must've been stables there before, but now people live in these buildings - and there are probably a couple of artists' studios there as well.

Reminds me of Odessa a lot.

And of the spooky place where I lived in Iowa City during my first year there - Black's Gaslight Village on Brown St.


I almost posted this, but then wandered off to find some photo of Gaslight Village or a story about it. Very few mentions, unfortunately, and no photos.

Found the Black Angel, however - here. I'm probably one of those few people who've never seen it up close.

Here's what the woman who took the picture wrote:

I too had many nocturnal visits to the Black Angel. It was just one of those things you had to experience, like Black's Gas Light Village, or Gabe's oasis. Those kind of memories are part of what made my Iowa City adventure so wonderful.

The Oakland Cemetery, where the Black Angel stands, is located at the end of Brown St.: I got lost on my way home one night in February 1997 and realized in the morning that I'd been walking in circles a block or so away from the cemetery, blissfully unaware of it. Another time, also late at night, my Gaslight Village neighbor was giving me driving lessons at some cemetery, and it could've been the Oakland Cemetery, but honestly, I've no idea.

Anyway, here's another photo that I've taken today at that weird place on Prechistenka - I wasn't planning to post it because it's out of focus, but after running into the Black Angel of Iowa City, I have to post what looks like the Yellow Angel of Moscow:


Here's a cute link: Haunted Iowa City. Both the Gaslight Village and the Black Angel are on the map used by The Third Eye Over Iowa Ghost Hunters Club.



  1. ah yes, Gaslight Village. And let's not forget the poisonous room there made from railroad ties that seeped out so many toxins they killed plants and who knows what all. Sounds like something an avant-garde Bolshevik might build.

    And by the way, there's a huge photo of Rodina Mat' (baba) in the New Yorker this week--part of someone's gallery show in NYC. But it's not online, of course. Also there's a review of Martin Amis's new book about gulag livin. Sounds like he really wants Russia to be weirder and more cruel than it already is.

  2. Hello Veronica =) My grandfather was Henry Black of Gaslight Village. My father was raised there. My step-grandmother Frances continued the place on til selling it several years ago. When did you live there? Any interesting stories you care to share? lol I really enjoyed reading youre blog.
    ~Peace~ Laurel Black J.