Tag Archives: Moscow

Golden Autumn: Russia’s Agricultural Expo

IMG_0437Backdrop for the expo.

IMG_0435A helicopter for dispersing fertilizer and pesticides.

IMG_0509A yurt in the Kazakhstan pavilion. It is covered by layers of felt wool.

IMG_0503This band blended traditional Russian folk music with synthesized beats.

IMG_0436A yurt made out of empty diesel containers.

IMG_0446Hundreds of food vendors were received by eager customers.

IMG_0443Red caviar. By the kilogram.

IMG_0500Honey. Lots of it. Enormous quantities of it can be seen in the metal tanks behind the counter. In Russia it is frequently used for medicinal purposes.

IMG_0498Do you want to get stung by a medicinal bee? This guy will do it for $5. I didn’t risk it but later found out some bee venom is clinically proven to reduce swelling in arthritic joints.

IMG_0497Business men warming up to some award-winning sheep. Note how that ewe is leaning into the caretaker’s leg.

IMG_0495Two women admiring a traditional wool hat and jacket on display by the sheep pens.

IMG_0493Sheep with lots of medals, ribbons and certificates.

IMG_0491A raccoon dog on display as a breeding specimen. Yeah, fur coats are cruel.

IMG_0485A fox, also for breeding.

IMG_0492Nearby, fur products were available for sale.

IMG_0467 Expo staff prevented poop from touching the floor and wiped the cow’s anus with a soft cloth after excretion.

IMG_0465Pretty lady #1.

IMG_0464Pretty lady #2.

IMG_0450Every vendor had a table with tea, sweets, kielbasa and liquor set up for business negotiations. I guess you get a better deal when everyone’s in a good mood!

The Yogic Presense in Russia

IMG_0517A hallway in the Prana Yoga Center off the Barrikadnaya metro stop in Moscow.

IMG_0518Photographs of instructors are gracefully displayed on center walls.

IMG_0522Founder of the center, Michael Galaev.

IMG_0521Studio space.

IMG_0526A cafe in the ayurvedic tradition at the center.

IMG_0524An advertisement for “Our Yoga,” an international two-day conference to take place in November.

IMG_0523A Russian practitioner published this book on Ashtanga Yoga.

IMG_0528A casual Om in the park.

Random Russian Media Clips

IMG_0376A Russian travel magazine with headlines including, “Weddings From Around The World,” “Vladimir Putin: Russia’s Most Unique Treasures,” “The Five Year Old Kind: Parenting in Thailand,” and others.

IMG_0371A Russian travel magazine, “Around the World,” from 1908. A trip to the Middle East is on the cover.


Vogue: Special Edition in Russia. The main headline is “Beauty After Giving Birth: An Ideal Body from Elena Perminova,” with the cover model a mother of three. The magazine focuses on retaining one’s “figure” after birth. Women in Russia, and in Europe, rigidly hold themselves to a fashion model standard.

IMG_0393A breakdown of several types of armed civilians in Ukraine from a magazine akin to the Economist.

IMG_0403An advertisement for a Russian play is a telling example of the contrast between Russia’s czarist history and the modern citizen.

Food and Friends on a Russian Meal Schedule

IMG_0320Croissants, boiled eggs, kielbasa, lavash bread, fruit and of course coffee, make for a semi-traditional Armenian breakfast with Ida and Grachik.


Plums, watermelon, grapes and baked goods are served for lunch by Antonina Vasilievna.


A traditional Armenian lunch at Gala’s house.

IMG_0362Tea time with marmalade, apples and halvah. Just the usual.

IMG_0392Ilya and I grew up together and so did our mothers.  We got together for dinner.


Antonina Vasilevna bakes several times a week. She made a Napoleon cake for dessert.


Fall is apple harvest time in Russia as well. These are all from his own trees at the dacha (vacation home).

Russia’s Rap Revolution: Part II


Underground Details

Meet Me Under The Chandelier

Wait, Which Way Is It?

I Knew She’d Be Late

 Caution! Doors Closing!

Women Dancing On The Ceiling

Commuter Background

To Exit

Residential Graffitti

I Heart Free Press

Arm Yourself Or The Television Screen Will Win!

Звук “Sound”  (This Photograph is Dedicated to Tom Phonic)

I Love Octopi

Old and New: Communism to Consumerism

In many ways, aside from the coffee and cigarettes, Moscow reminds me of Barcelona. Here you can lose yourself in the contrast between old and new. Late in the evening you can find kids skateboarding off the steps of a statue of Lenin. Just blocks away from the colors and zigzags of St. Basil’s Cathedral you can nurse a nine dollar cappuccino. On the way there you probably won’t be able to stop yourself from doing a double take at the Ritz wondering if it’s an unlisted landmark. And of course, you also can’t help but peer at the ways of the old and the new generation of Russians.

The old, having experienced one of the most brutal regimes in the world, once waited six hours in line for two sticks of kielbasa or two loaves of bread (everything came in two’s). Today’s teenagers, born after communism collapsed, are instead struggling to keep up with the latest fashion do’s and don’ts. They are also determined to make out as much as possible in as many places as possible. I think the main purpose of the abundant public spaces and benches is to stimulate Russia’s lagging population growth rate. Then again, who can blame those good looking Muscovites for not being able to keep their hands off each other?

Old and the New

Moscow VS St. Petersburg AKA Leningrad

There are some similarities between Moscow and St. Petersburg. They’re both bustling cities with an impressive history and they both lack a sufficient amount of bathrooms for public use. However, St. Petersburg’s never ending selection of cafes allows any traveler more bathroom options. As in Moscow, the bathrooms often play trance music and you have to pay to use them. St. Petersburg is a city on a much smaller scale, unlike Moscow which developed in rings around the Kremlin beginning in the 1150’s. St. Petersburg is on a grid that runs along the many canals of the Neva River. Like the famous Novinsky Boulevard located in the Stariy Arbat neighborhood, Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg is lined with shops and cafes, mostly aimed at tourists.

A View of Moscow

Coffee and Cigarettes: First Impressions from Russia

The smell of gasoline and cigarette smoke awakens me long before my first sip of coffee. I never knew it was possible for a city to actually take on that scent at certain times of the day. Then again, I can recall even more pronounced cigarette smoke suffocating me in Parisian cafes and the diesel infused smog visibly hovering over Barcelona each morning. I can even remember a man lighting next to me at a booth at a diner in St. Louis, just a few years ago.

Cigarette smoking in Russia is a favorite pastime. In Moscow, most residents find themselves helplessly immobile without a white bit of tobacco rolled in bleached paper. They are even less functional without their morning dose of crack-caffeine. The coffee here is comparable to the jolting cups you can find in Europe. The menu lists dozens of caffeinated drink, most without milk or sugar. The average American is no match for a coffee shop around here. Sip it too fast and your brain will be throbbing well into the afternoon, too often and you’ll be making best friends with your dentist.

I won’t event get into the beer drinking that starts after breakfast.

See $9 cappuccino below:

9 Cappuccino