Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hitchcock, a block away from Kremlin:

Living next to a church in Moscow (click to enlarge):

Living next to a church in Moscow
An old, wooden building in downtown Moscow (click to enlarge):

Old, wooden building in downtown Moscow

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Traffic in downtown Moscow is horrible. And now that the weather is finally so nice, this comes as something of a shock, somehow.

But - I've seen a middle-aged traffic cop today who was smiling a genuine, human smile to a cute young girl on a moped, who, for some reason, had smiled to him first as she passed him on Bolshaya Nikitskaya.

I've also seen a traffic cop today who shouted an unusually friendly "ay-ay-ay" to a woman who decided not to bother walking all the way to the intersection and was instead crossing the street illegally, right in front of his car.

And, almost sadly (in this context, at least), I've seen a traffic cop who was talking on his cell phone about his kid's cold and low-grade fever.

Monday, April 25, 2011

An elderly, fat, homeless mutt was running down the dusty street, thinking: "I have survived. I have survived winter."

A tiny, young Yorkshire Terrier was riding a bicycle down by the river, squeezed into a leather bag that her gorgeous owner had tied to the rack over the rear wheel. They were going very fast. The poor thing was thinking: "I hope I'll survive this ride. I hope I'll survive."

All this on the second truly warm day of spring 2011 in Moscow. The 55th day of the actual, calendar, spring.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Internet for Russian writers

This note is pasted on one of the first-floor windows of an old building on Bolshaya Nikitskaya, which, I assume, houses the Moscow city branch of the Russian Writers' Union.

It reads like something from the 1980s, very sour in a Soviet kind of way, very pitiful. Very uninspiring.

But they mean well, so I wish them to succeed. Or - I hope they'll feel as if they've succeeded.

Internet is a path to the reader!

The Moscow City Organization of the Writers' Union of Russia is launching a program aimed at creating a centralized system of personal WEB-pages [sic] for writers who are members of the MCO WU of Russia.

From now on, every writer will have an opportunity to post on the Internet, under the aegis of the MCO WU of Russia, [his/her] biographic and bibliographic data, information on awards and achievements, as well as [his/her] works!

An application form and instructions on how to fill it out are available at the Secretariat of the MCO WU of Russia (2nd floor, room 18 - Conference Hall, phone # [...]). Completed forms should be returned to the Secretariat of the MCO WU of Russia or sent electronically to this electronic address: [...]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Municipal workers' revenge :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In addition to this wonderful French site for kids, Marta really likes this Polish one. The ongoing Russian Orthodox Church luxury scandal has reminded me of her concern for Jesus and his family after she had played a Christmas baby Jesus game: "They are so poor, they live in a barn," she told me sadly, then added hopefully, "Did they become better off later?"

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Moscow's downtown buildings, just as Kyiv's, don't get treated nicely when it comes to preserving their initial height...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

This is Moscow a few days ago:

And this is Moscow today - the first lovely spring day, but a bit too much dog shit everywhere still:

It'll only be getting better from now on, hopefully.