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Old December 13th, 2004, 07:04 PM   #1
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Moscow :classic walks - part 2 - Arbat and New Arbat

It is time to walk along one of the most famous streets of Moscow - Arbat.

During the Soviet times Arbat stood for Bohemian Moscow. It was the heart of a quarter where writers, actors and scientists lived and met. It had the most vibrant streetlife in the city. Other parts of Moscow were quite "dead" at that time, but that has changed in recent years and the position of Arbat is not that exceptional anymore. Nowadays it's kind of a tourist trap, but it's still very nice and cosy.

I marked the way I walked on the map below. The walk starts at the Stalin-gothic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Garden Ring. Arbat begins here (or rather ends here, as most people enter it from the other end).

Let's enter Arbat

Street artists are always present here

Looking back at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Street life

Monument of Bulat Okudzhava, the legendary singer, who spent a great part of his life here. "Oh Arbat, my Arbat, you are my destiny, you are my happiness and my sorrow"

Something for the ladies

And for the gentlemen...

"Master and Margerita"...?

What the hell is going on in the heart of Moscow!!!

I'm here

Looking back at Belgrade Hotel

Vakhtangov Theatre

Side street. The "brutal" highrises at the New Arbat can be seen from many places on the old Arbat.

hmm... it wasn't her father... or grandfather

A nice cow

I turn into a small side street. The wall here is covered in graffiti about Viktor Tsoy, the singer of the legendary rock group Kino. He died in a car crash and is regarded a cult hero. Fans gather here to sing his songs and contemplate.

That's what the girls from previous pic have written.

Interesting contrast: the wall, Arbat and New Arbat

I continue the walk along the small side street. I will do a loop and get back to Arbat. Here the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be seen,

Cute dog

Back on Arbat

Toy-toy babushka Apparently the introduction of toy-toys to the streets of Moscow didn't leave the "toilet babushkas" job-less.

Side streets

After cows, it' time for tigers

Peace Wall. The wall consists of scores of tiles painted by Soviet schoolchildren, expressing their hopes for peace and fears for war. I read it was a part of propaganda against Reagan's Star Wars.

Another contrast

Leather clothes are very common among Moscow's women.

Side street

The last (or rather first) part of Arbat.

Let's leave Arbat for a while. Last glance at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I'm heading towards the New Arbat, as you can see...

A parking lot worker...

The New Arbat

Hotel Ukraina in the background. In the next years a few 300-meters towers will rise beyond it at International Business Centre.

Between 1962 and 1967, a neighbourhood of old wooden houses, a few churches and one monastery, were bulldozed to make place for the New Arbat. The new highrises and department stores along the New Arbat become the symbol of the new Moscow.

New York?

This picture is somehow symbolizing Moscow. Mixed architectural styles, a jungle of advertisements and an old orthodox church in the middle of it all.

Side street. The Stalin-gothic residential at Kudrinskaya Square can be seen.

In the part of the street (New Arbat) close to the Arbatskaya Square some old buildings were left.

Arbatskaya Square. At the corner where Arbat and New Arbat begins, stands the beautiful building of the "Prague Restaurant".

Arbatskaya Square. Another lonely orthodox church. The white rectangular building is the Russian "Pentagon", I think. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Arbatskaya Square is situated on the Boulevard Ring (the second ring). Unlike the stalinistic Garden Ring (the third ring), it has preserved much of its pre-revolutionary atmosphere.

This is a common sight in Moscow. People walking around the city with cans of beer in their hands.

Last look at Arbat. You can say that it begins here at Prague Restaurant, as most people enter it from this end.

I hope that you enjoyed the Arbat The Moscow walk is to be continued...
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Old December 13th, 2004, 11:15 PM   #2
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Michau, just excellent pictures. As well as the coments.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 12:51 PM   #3
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marvellous!!! wanna parts 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,infinity
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Old December 14th, 2004, 06:40 PM   #4
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Great respect! Nothing is showing city life better than this.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 07:31 PM   #5
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Excellent pictures!

You know what I noticed: Moscow looks so much like San Francisco on street level, unbelievably similar (of course except the Russian characters, old cars and the Orthodox churches). I lived for years in San Francisco, and consider myself a true Franciscan, and I can swear the God that had you shown some of these picture to me, my first reaction would have been: "What part of SF is that?"

No wonder there are tons of Russians in San Francisco-one of the biggest communities in SF (for your info, almost every single cab driver in San Francisco is Russian, and all are from 3 cities called Krasnodar, Sevastapol and Simferepol - or sth like that - and I have no idea why everyone from these cities are cab drivers (once I checked on the map and I noticed that these cities are pretty close to each other). Can anyone tell me that if they know the answer for that? Even the cabs in Moscow are similar to SF.). San Francisco, for many and also for me, is world's most beautiful city, but Moscow is as charming as SF (+the women are hotter for sure)

Good job again,

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Old December 14th, 2004, 08:35 PM   #6
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i wouldn't say moscow is as charming as SF but there are some really beautiful parts especially in the center old buildings (from 18-19-20 cent). and yes IMHO
girls are beautiful, especially if you dig Slavic chicks.
As far as Russian cabbies being from same 3 cities it's pure coincidence.
In fact Russian drivers usually work in car services not taxi (wich run by Russsians)
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Old December 15th, 2004, 12:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for the amazing photos!
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Old December 18th, 2004, 09:00 AM   #8
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Thank you for your comments

Originally Posted by coth
marvellous!!! wanna parts 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,infinity
hehe, it will "only" be 5 walks (7 threads altogether) from THIS visit to Moscow (I want to go back and make another 7... )
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Old December 18th, 2004, 03:33 PM   #9
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Nice architecture.

I like the chicks too.
Veritas Omnia Vincit

"The greatest way to live with honour in this world is to be what we pretend to be." (Socrates)
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Old October 4th, 2005, 04:50 PM   #10
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My Moscow series is going to be continued tomorrow
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