With the eyes of the world on Russia, Marcel Theroux recalls 25 bittersweet memories of the old Red Empire. In the summer of 1990, I was travelling through the Soviet Union collecting information intended for a guidebook. Though no-one realised it at the time, the days of the USSR were numbered and the guidebook never found its way into print. The current Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has declared his deep regret at the break-up of the Soviet Union. I don't feel the same way; but here, in no particular order, are 25 things that in some way capture the strangeness of that vanished place and time. 1. Back in the USSR Arrival in the USSR was charged with a strange frisson from the moment you stepped off the plane. The unsmiling passport inspectors in their strangely-lit booths scrutinizing your documents were a reminder that you were crossing the front-line of the Cold War, into a nuclear-armed country that was ostensibly devoted to promulgating the gospel of Marx and Lenin. 2. … [Read more...] about What the Soviet Union was really like
Museum of soviet arcade machines
Soviet arcade machines are something of a cult: they are a little clunky, a bit funky, and an incredible amount of fun. The proprietor of the Go Pinball Museum in Sokolniki has been collecting and restoring these magnificent playthings for years. He has also gathered every pinball or arcade game played in post-Soviet Russia. In the museum you don’t just look – you get a pile of tokens and play.On Saturday afternoon, The Moscow Times Clubs is arranging a trip to the museum. You’ll learn all about the history of arcade games in the Soviet Union and Russia (in Russian and English), play some games, and have drinks and snacks provided by Coffee & Cakes Lovers.For more information about the museum in Russian, check out the site. For more information about the event and to sign up, click here. … [Read more...] about Become a Pinball Wizard
It’s the simple things that sometimes present the biggest challenges. I was looking for a way to get to the Four Seasons Moscow, a huge beige box of a building that skirts Red Square in central Moscow — but I couldn’t figure out how to get across the road. The broad Mokhovaya Street stood in my way, imposing, and there were no crosswalks to be found. Jaywalking seemed inadvisable — no one else was doing it, so I wasn’t about to, either. A stairway that led down to a passage under the street eventually got me to my destination, late to my meeting with Gleb Kryuchkov, chief concierge at the hotel, where rooms are decidedly not frugal. Enjoying Russia’s capital, a huge, dynamic city of 12.5 million people, can take a bit of work. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, the rewards are abundant. Mr. Kryuchkov loves his hometown, as any good concierge should. “A concierge is someone who cannot live without their city. If I work someplace … [Read more...] about A $1,000 Day in Moscow for $100
1. Fly the cable car over Moscow River Opened in November 2018, the ride is a fantastic experience, which quickly bagged the top spot in a matter of days. 700-800 rubles gets you a return ticket from Luzhniki to Vorobyevy Gory. At night time you get a bird’s eye view of the magnificence of Neskuchny Sad’s light display. 2. Dance, ride and chill at Gorky Park This centrally-located slice of heaven is the capital’s pride. Fun activities and rentals of every sort imaginable, cool bars such as Lebedinoe Ozero, or a game of boules and cocktails at La Boules. Or just a chillout session by the famous pond. When you’re in Moscow in the warmer months, Gorky Park should be at the very top of your list. In winter, a huge chunk of the park turns into a skating rink. P.S. And don’t forget to visit Neskuchny Sad - the long serene stretch along the embankment. Konstantin Kokoshkin/Global Look Press 3. Travel to medieval Russia at Kolomenskoye This … [Read more...] about 50 things you must do in Moscow: Our randomized guide!
The Moscow Times Club went to play arcade games Viacheslav Vasilev & Marie Lipikhina Even an enormous industrial city like Moscow has plenty of outdoor pleasures in the summer – you just have to know where to look. Head to the city parks! They are located in different neighborhoods all over the city, providing a weekend escape for city dwellers in search of peace and quiet. Sokolniki Park has updated its grounds and now offers a full array of activities for children, picnic grounds, horse trails, fitness trails, and even a pool. After enjoying nature, get out of the sun at the GoPinball Museum, which was opened at the beginning of summer by Alexander Kazmin. Kazmin has been collecting and restoring these magnificent arcade machines from different parts of the world for many years. His favorite arcade games are nothing like the ones that began to appear in the Soviet Union in the late 1970s. By the time they were made in the U.S.S.R., they'd … [Read more...] about Sample Pinball and Cupcakes in Sokolniki Park