June 15, 2008

Keyser Soze, this one's for you

I'm heading to Russia over the July 4th weekend if anyone has any insights on Moscow... my first trip

Meanwhile, here's Rachmaninov, on request. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Simply heaven

Swann's Way said...

If a policeman starts yelling at you, and is using the word "straf" (fine) a lot, reply:

Я взяток не даю (I don't give bribes).

Ya vzyatok ne daiu.

Shostakovich said...

Russia has its own housing bubble, fueled by higher energy prices.

I think Moscow and St. Petersburg are the two cities in the world with the highest average home prices now.

Mark said...

Go read the communist manifesto - and see how it parallels the democrat party platform...

Garry said...

Moscow has some great sight seeing, however, St. Petersburg is a nicer place to visit. Moscow is full of ugly Soviet-style buildings, which contrast starkly with the colorful, imperial buildings in St. Petersburg. You still do have many museums, the Kremlin, the often-pictured St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's tomb, and some good restaurants (I'd suggest a Ukrainian/Belorussian restaurant called Karchma).

Let me know if you need any more input. I've been to Russia twice and spent over 2 months in Moscow.

keyser soze said...

Thank you Keith, a beautiful performance. The cadenza's in the 2nd movement always bring a tear to my eyes...as does the triads in his 'Rhapsody on a Theme from Paganini'.

My beloved is Russian, so I'll give you my humble tips about Moscow:
1) The World War 2 Museum in Victory Park is a great afternoon. I especially remembered the female heroes...pilots and grunts! Many people don't realize 30 million Russians died in the European theatre of WW2 as compared to 200,000 Americans. "NOT ONE STEP BACK!" Zukov is their Patton. Note the 4 seiges and the Battle of Kursk.
2) The Pushkin Museum was a surprise as there was a great collection of art i.e. an unforgettable Picasso which I will not spoil for you...think blue, Gaugans, Van Gogh's et al.
3) Check out the babes on Red Square....simply beautiful women. The ice cream is good too!
4) Arbat Street is too touristy.
5) I also enjoyed the Moscow River cruise.
6) The museums in the Kremlin are enjoyable...jewels, ancient carriages, huge cannon, huge bell...the Czars and Catherine.
7) The old Russian Orthodox churches....best one is near the Pushkin Museum.
8) Try to find restaurants where the locals eat.
9) St. Michaels Cathedral was closed when I was there.
Beware: the Bolshoi and other cultural events will probably be closed for the summer; the city has air pollution problems; there are only a few onion-dome buildings...I thought there were 1000s of them(lol); as always it's a big city so you must be careful.

The best part of Russia is it's people.
Have a great time!
E-mail me if you have any questions.

edd said...

‘Miserable’ Moscow Ranks Low
St Petersburg Times --June 12, 2008
By Nikolaus von Twickel

Moscow’s quality of life for expatriates is one of Europe’s
most miserable, while personal
safety is the worst on the continent, according to a study
released Tuesday.
The 2008 Quality of Living Survey,
published by consulting firm
Mercer to help big companies and
governments with international
assignments, ranks Moscow a low
166 out of 215 cities worldwide in
terms of overall quality of life.
…. Moscow’s performance was
particularly poor in terms of
personal safety for expatriates,
published as a separate ranking
based on a mix of internal
stability, crime, effectiveness of
law enforcement, and relationships
with other countries.
…rank of 196, the lowest in Europe.
… Mercer has for the past two
years ranked Moscow as the world’s
most expensive city for
expatriates. …

Lost Cause said...

Putin's Russia

Curse of the Moscow bombs

Andrew from Russia said...

I thought the mayor's office has succeeded in FUBARing Moscow's status as a tourist attraction. Oh, well...

Make sure any maps/directions you are using are recent enough, switch your brain's coordinate system from Cartesian to polar, don't feel confused by the reduction of pedestrian sidewalks/crossings (if you don't drive, you are regarded as a someone of a lower caste by the urban planners), be aware of the exquisite art of Russian fencebuilding - the long labyrinths of ugly and apparently useless fences, note that road works are a permanent feature (and help keep immigrants employed), don't expect the same level of proficiency in English among locals as in the EU, remember that you HAVE to pay fines for taking pictures at subway stations, trust ATMs and vending machines more than people (but beware of rogue ATMs in unguarded locations), and please smuggle some roubles home to help us disinflate M1.

Don't expect any advice on places of interest from me, as I (and many other locals) would be still referring to central streets by their pre-1991 Soviet names and pointing to locations that no longer exist. :-) The center of Moscow has become somewhat of a blindspot for us.

Anonymous said...

"Many people don't realize 30 million Russians died in the European theatre of WW2 as compared to 200,000 Americans"

WWII Deaths per WikiAnswers:

Anonymous said...

Visit Red Square, Lenin's Tomb and get the hell out. Russia is the most expensive country in the world and the people make an art our of being cold and vicious.

Anonymous said...

Note on Pushkin's Museum:
Large number of art are replicas of famous pieces. The museum was set up as the place for art students to study works of masters.

To visit the (biggest) church of Christ The Savior across from Pushkin's Museum don't wear shorts, they won't let you in.

Kieth, till what date are you in Moscow?

Anonymous said...

Not sure about the Keyser Soze reference, but I think he was Turkish or something, not Russian.

keyser soze said...

To the 2 anons:
I've seen Russian WW2 casualties ranging from 10 m to as high as 40m. I had a long talk with my brother in law, whose parents were government officials, and he thinks 30m, which includes civilians, is the best estimation, so, I use that number.

Other anon: I knew many of the sculptures were replicas, as the originals are in Paris, but I thought the oil masterpieces in the back side were real(WW2 booty). I would be a dollar to a hole in a doughnut that the Picasso is real! lol

Anonymous said...

Russian girls are so hot. I can't wait to party there.