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Old October 19th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #1
Jan
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My Moscow

Two days in Moscow is to short by any means, but it is what I had to work with. Images differ in size as the battery of my main camera went dead and I moved on with the snapshot camera. Anyway, here we go.

01. Especially when growing up in the 80's, the Red Square is the backdrop of the military parades and the journalists reporting on bilateral negotiations and the likes we saw on TV. Now it's what is should be: a tourist magnet. Here's a detail of the St. Basil's Cathedral.


02. State Historical Museum on the other side of the square.


03. I guess they still have this changing of the guards, or something like that.


04. East meets west seen from the Kremlin.


05. Sidewalk spam at the entrance of a metro station. Judging by the dates this seems to be a new phenomena. As much as I think this is kinda cool in an urban way, it's also a bit of a shame as the streets in Moscow are generally quite clean. Hopefully the paint wears off quickly.


06. Moscow State University is one of what they call Seven Sisters towers, being seven towers built in the 1950's in a style which has elements of Art Deco and Gothic in them, but above all with the sole purpose to impress. The Seven Sisters were high on the must see list, with the Moscow State University being the prime building. I got off at the Leninsky Gori station with the intention to walk a bit towards the building. That station is actually integrated into a bridge structure spanning the Moskva River.


07. It actually takes a bit of climbing to walk up the elevation on which the University stands, but it does give you a nice Autumn-in-the-woods feel.


08. In the early days of communism, public features, such as this university building, but also the metro stations were shaped like public palaces so 'the people' can all enjoy the kind of wealth which up until the mid 20th century was only reserved for royalty. This building is a good example of that as everything about this complex is monumental. When standing in front of it, looking out towards the city, it resembles Versailles, and I'm sure that is exactly the whole gist of it. This is truly grand architecture.


09. I must have looked at this building for at least an hour as there is so much to see. Every detail has a message, most of them just as political as medieval cathedrals have numerous religious references. Here is the entrance.


10. Here's the Hotel Ukraina, currently the Radisson Royal Moscow.


11. Sister 3: the apartment building on Kotyelnicheskaya embankment in Moscow.


12. Sister 4: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


13. Door details of that one.


14. The building is flanked by two Modern styled hotel blocks which are quite enthusiastically illuminated during the dark hours. Like some other things that were not possible or not done during the Soviet years, they tend to overdo these a bit now that they can. Public advertisement is another example of that. Anyway, here's a video. Those sensitive to epileptic seizures might want to skip.


15. I remember when I was quite young I saw an image of the Lenin Library in some Encyclopedia for Kids and even at that age I thought it was the coolest building. As the image had stuck ever since, I felt like a Muslim entering Mecca's Grand Mosque for the first time when I set foot in the building. This is another example of the great splendor which with public functions were designed in that age, a sort of public wealth that sometimes is painfully missed these days. Here is the study room (also featured in this Eurodance video clip).


16. Lenin still reading in the back of the hall.


17. Luckily these buildings have never been subject to renovation projects which sometimes can be a grand way to properly **** up the intrinsic qualities of these buildings. I'm not sure about the modern usability of search systems like these but they sure look rather splendid to me.


18. Entrance area of the Lenin Library.


19. My impression of Moscow was that the city was generally one big gathering of commieblocks so I was pleasantly surprised that most of the city center has a empire city feel to it, similar to the many monumentally designed buildings you see in Paris and London. A fine example of communistic urban glory is New Arbat road, which has a Brutal urban scheme of huge flats, which is both impressive as intimidating at the same time.


20. Near the Western end of the New Arbat road is the former Comecon headquarters, currently the office of the Mayor of Moscow.


21. A trip to the Moscow City area was already part of the plan, and luckily some of our Moscow forum members had set me up with a tour of the Federation Towers project. They must have really made an effort to introduce me as we were followed around by a professional photographer while doing the tour. Here is Moscow City during the day.


22. Moscow city is impressive and seems to be planned pretty decently. I'm just wondering how a collection of glass towers will be judged upon in some 25 years from now, but that's not something to worry about now I guess. Here it is during the evening.


23. The tour of the Federation Tower was very thorough and interesting, and of course introduced great views from the top. Here is another look at the Hotel Ukraina.


24. Using the widest zoom possible, and thanks to the construction of the other tower halting at a good moment for this, the Ostankino TV Tower is still visible from the top.


25. Sister 5: Kudrinskaya Square Building, built to house apartments for the Soviet elite.


26. Regrettably I didn't have too much time to inspect the wonderful train station of the Moscow Metro System, but just by using it to get around, one can see it sure is splendid. There really is value in investing in public amenities even if it does mean paying higher taxes. Here is just one example, the Paveletskaya station which also caters the train station above.


27. Just an image to show how well maintained these stations are, as I have never seen a system which is so heavily used while being crispy clean at the same time. Indeed something to be proud of.


28. As the names on my Metro Map were in the Latin alphabet but everything in the metro itself is written in Cyrillic, I sometimes had to guess my way around, but all it sure looks cool for some reason. I want that line on the door on a t-shirt.


That's pretty much it. All I can say is: I'll be back. Cheers guys.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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Jan come still. Are always glad to see you.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #3
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Thank you for quality photosession. Just some corrections / additions:
26. This is not "Paveletskaya", but next station - "Avtozavodskaya" (former name - "Stalin Plant"). It was opened on January 1, 1943 during the Battle of Stalingrad.
28. This line mean "Don't lean (to the doors)". There is always preserved small theoretical probability that the driver will open the right row of doors instead of the left by mistake, and the passenger will fall on rails
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Old October 20th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #4
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Beautiful shots
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Old October 20th, 2010, 06:45 AM   #5
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Great photos there Jan, thanks for posting and the commentary.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #6
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Indeed great and very nice photos from Moscow, Jan
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Old October 20th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #7
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i ve been two week in Moscow, very high life standard and nice style of living
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Old October 21st, 2010, 12:03 AM   #8
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Cool pictures. I love those gingerbread style buildings on the Red Square. Moscow sure looks unlike any other city I've ever seen or been to.

From the photo threads I've seen on here I get the impression that Moscow isn't a very vibrant or human-scaled place though. How come that there are never any pictures of crowded shopping districts or boulevards lined with restaurants or regular pre-war residential neighborhoods as you can find in any Western city? Is it because they don't exist or are they just never photographed?

Please note that I'm asking this out of genuine interest. I don't mean to offend anyone.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 01:41 AM   #9
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cool pictures jan thanks for sharing
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 02:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
27. Just an image to show how well maintained these stations are, as I have never seen a system which is so heavily used while being crispy clean at the same time. Indeed something to be proud of.
Ever wondered about the low unemployment rates in former Soviet Union? Well there is an army of people working on jobs like maintenance and cleaning that would normally be unemployed. There is even an absurd job of the "controller of the escalator on duty"

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Old October 22nd, 2010, 10:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk780 View Post
Cool pictures. I love those gingerbread style buildings on the Red Square. Moscow sure looks unlike any other city I've ever seen or been to.

From the photo threads I've seen on here I get the impression that Moscow isn't a very vibrant or human-scaled place though. How come that there are never any pictures of crowded shopping districts or boulevards lined with restaurants or regular pre-war residential neighborhoods as you can find in any Western city? Is it because they don't exist or are they just never photographed?

Please note that I'm asking this out of genuine interest. I don't mean to offend anyone.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1142539
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 02:59 PM   #12
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A truly majestic european capital.

Thanks for your impression of the city.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 03:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singidunum View Post
Ever wondered about the low unemployment rates in former Soviet Union? Well there is an army of people working on jobs like maintenance and cleaning that would normally be unemployed. There is even an absurd job of the "controller of the escalator on duty"
Well, on Japan you can see the even more absurd job of "advertisement holder"

image hosted on flickr
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 10:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk780 View Post
Cool pictures. I love those gingerbread style buildings on the Red Square. Moscow sure looks unlike any other city I've ever seen or been to.

From the photo threads I've seen on here I get the impression that Moscow isn't a very vibrant or human-scaled place though. How come that there are never any pictures of crowded shopping districts or boulevards lined with restaurants or regular pre-war residential neighborhoods as you can find in any Western city? Is it because they don't exist or are they just never photographed?

Please note that I'm asking this out of genuine interest. I don't mean to offend anyone.
Moscow street life thread may answer your question http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=940842
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 11:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aokromes View Post
Well, on Japan you can see the even more absurd job of "advertisement holder"

image hosted on flickr
It is not specific to Japan and I doubt any of them are paid by the state
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Old October 24th, 2010, 03:57 AM   #16
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the library looks awesome... thanks for sharing
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Old October 24th, 2010, 05:26 PM   #17
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I was indeed wondering what these 'controllers of the escalator' were doing, and I guess my idea of 'probably not very much' was quite close. I think I'd rather be jobless.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I was indeed wondering what these 'controllers of the escalator' were doing, and I guess my idea of 'probably not very much' was quite close. I think I'd rather be jobless.
They are regulate work of escalators - switch them during peak hours and ungear one or two of them in the late evening or at night. For example: in the morning two escalators must run down and one up, in the evening - two escalators up and one - down, in the night - one run up, one down and one switch off. It's actually at the busiest stations.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 07:50 PM   #19
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It is not specific to Japan and I doubt any of them are paid by the state
All personal of Moscow Metro are paid by the organisation "Moscow Metropolitan", not by the state.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #20
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Great photos, Jan, Moscow is really exciting! Especially the metro and the old skyscrapers are really impressive.

@Singidunum: The "advertisement holder" job can be seen in Denmark as well, but it is really rare in Sweden.
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