Friday, 31 May 2013

Petrovka street

    Last spring days are the time of pure school kid's joy. The last lessons and complete freedom make their smiles totally careless. They eat ice-cream, play outside and wait for the trips parents organized for them. Most of them leave for dachas* ( * summer house in Russian) to stay all three months of vacations with grandmas. Sky is blue, grass not yet yellowish, nothing could be better!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Beauty salon

    There was a time when all beauty shops in USSR were national with universal haircuts and standart service. Some of those salons survived hectic 90-s and still remain as an oasis of Soviet  times. Most of the hairdressers there have a municipal barbers school degree and a set of type haircuts they offer. Those salons often practice in a basement for 20+ years without  any renovation. Workers are normally very fast and hard working, love their job, prices are at least two times lower than in commercial parlors.

    Nevertheless most Russian ladies experienced a haircut in such a place. Old-style salons still offer chemical hair wave techniques, decolouration and permanent brows colouring. I myself made my high-school graduation set there and sometimes come to clip my hair. 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Storm warning

    The first heavy showers and storms smashed blooming lilacs and chestnuts. Pink, white and light green petals dance in puddles, curl near street gutters. Umbrellas became almost useless.
    Two little kids a girl and a boy were playing with pigeons near Alexander Garden, very close to Kremlin. They flapped, birds soared up many-many times. That is the place with hundreds of pigeons, anyone can feed them from hands. Kids made dozens of circles enjoying themselves not leaving birds a chance to rest.

    Metal Dostoevsky, a statue in front of Russian State Library, enjoyed the weekend sun. Tourists make pictures of a gigantic Soviet period building of the Library. Moscow experience the first bicycle improvements – we've got free bike parkings and a city bike rent! Bike communities organize group tours, using light-traffic weekends to show the city in the most friendly way. The capital inhabitants are luxuriating, moving from one park to another, eating package-free old-fashioned ice-cream.

Men's choir in Hermitage

    5 men were singing Russian folk songs in one of the best halls of the State Hermitage Museum. The music was flying to the high ceiling of a hall painted with white and gold. The sound brought listeners to the fields and meadows, endless country roads and horse carts. The contrast between strict black&whites, shining gold and a bright country feeling was so strong.
Here is the song!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Saint-Petersburg, the Hero City

    This tall cactus is not an ordinary plant. It grows in a greenhouse of Saint-Petersburg Botanical Garden and survived the terrible years of the Siege of Leningrad. That time the botanists dying from hunger and cold without any facilities like heating system, water or electricity were able to save 250 sorts of plants. Workers put on a Ribbon of Saint George to celebrate the strength of both people&plants.
    More about what was the Siege of Leningrad here
    We met this beaver near the cemetery where thousands of Lenigrade Siege victims lie in mass graves. It's a peaceful place now, but long ryes of hillocks reminds people how many lives that war took. There are also a professor's grave of the Art Academy (Ivan Bilibin died from hunger too and a kid's grave without names.
    Mothers with kids, older people and workers from neighborhood enjoy themselves on the riverbank between two parts of a cemetery. Kids observe the beaver, peacefully crossing the river, young couples feed ducks. It's a place where terrible past and peaceful present meet.