It’s been an unforgettable three days. Moscow is even livelier than I’d expected and I learned a few things.
1. In an effort to relieve Muscovites from the traffic jam Putin causes when he rides a car to work (led by an entourage clearing traffic for him), he had a helipad built by the Kremlin and began using a helicopter. Apparently the helicopter caused gold leaf from the church domes and palace tops to break away and sprinkle along the Kremlin lawn. Putin doesn’t ride his helicopter to work that often anymore… and our guide claims you can still see specks of gold leaf inside cracks on the ground. I will have to return to Moscow and find some.
2. Women’s heels can never be too high. Really, how do these gorgeous women walk?
3. Porta Potties can be works of art.
4. If you like statues, you’ll like Moscow. But you better know how to read Russian or bring a guide so you know what you’re looking at.
5. I love Gorky. Also, I love Gorky’s house. It’s cosy, it’s funky and I’d like to rent his room. And library. And dining room.
6. Naked-man-paintings are a thing in Moscow. Or I’ve just been lucky enough to see one a day. Also, Disney-world-like characters are a thing at the Red Square: we’ve seen a tiger, a princess and a rabbit. Don’t ask; I don’t know.
7. Moscow’s public transportation rocks. New York could learn something about fast, clean cars and stations from Moscow. Sorry, New York.
8. Underground crosswalks are brilliant. They keep you dry, dozens of steps help you burn off the herring and they protect you from cars and bikes. Note: not ideal for heavy luggage.
9. It’s not that cold here (fine, it’s not that cold yet). Also, it’s not that gray in September. Anyway, pack short-sleeves next time I come in the fall. Not that interesting, but practical.
10. There are more carats here than potatoes. If you want to see some bling, head over to the Diamond Fund at the Armory. It’s only fit, I suppose, in a city that collects oligarchs and charges outrageous prices for everything. Unfortunately, no cameras or phones are allowed inside the Diamond Fund.
Moscow, I wish I could stay longer. I’ll be back, though. Promise. Next stop, St. Petersburg… In the meantime, I leave you with these…