I just returned from Moscow! It was amazing, and yes it did help to get my creativity flowing again.
The first thing I noticed: the beautiful architecture. Every building in the town center has intricate detailing from centuries past, but they look as if they were just built. Apparently, once a building begins to look run-down, the city immediately starts working to repair it. I heard that the new mayor of Moscow has made it his mission to clean up Moscow. Literally. They wash the streets many times a day. They’re even out during the rain. (Send your water to CA!) They’ve opened many walking streets with beautiful, yet expensive, shops, and the parks are gorgeous with a lot of fun activities (ping pong or bocce ball, anyone?). We were visiting my boyfriend’s parents who have lived there for 3 years. They told us how much the city has changed since they first arrived. There’s always something new: beautiful lights during the winter, festivities year-round, and people out and about at all times. (I can’t imagine that in the dead of winter)
Check out some of the scenic photos:
The next thing I noticed: I looked like a tourist. Yep, I brought comfortable walking shoes, some boots, and flats. I am so glad I did! However, the women of Moscow don’t seem to care for flat shoes. Sure they have their ballet flats, but they seem to prefer the 5 inch heels. Even in the park! Even in the rain! Yep, in the rain, on cobblestone. And I’ve heard that they’re masters at wearing them in the ice and snow. I love my heels – but since I rarely walking in them in SF, I will definitely not be walking in them in Moscow!
We went to the Ritz for drinks (and of course we walked there) So I wore my boots, if only my heels folded up nicely to fit in my Kate Spade Clutch…
And finally, I realized, I really don’t know Moscow at all. On the one hand, the unemployment rate is next to nothing (1%, I think) but on the other – everybody talked about the tiny one-room apartments that houses an entire family. But of course – that’s the issue with being a tourist – you see everything from the outside and never really understand what it’s like to live there.
One day we wandered into a Russian exhibit where nobody spoke English. A young man who had wandered in behind us helped translate for us. We invited him to spend the rest of the day with us, at which he jumped at the chance. We hadn’t met anybody so friendly and outgoing. He wanted to practice his english & we welcomed the interaction. (I had tried on a few occasions to engage with people, must didn’t speak english or didn’t want to) He then spent the rest of the day with us wandering the park & space museum. We also met up with him the next day at the Kremlin. He noted, “I’ve never done any of these things before.” He told us some stories about growing up in Russia, living, dating, and working in Moscow. However, between my attempt to be polite by not asking too many questions and his english skills, I left Moscow wanting to know so much more. Next time.
Yes, there will definitely be a next time.