15 April 2013

First Day of Spring: Arbat Street

So after our afternoon at Gorky Park, Ben and I found ourselves with only a little money and a lot of time to kill before we met some friends for dinner. We walked to the train station before we had even decided where to go, but since it was nice out I thought we should check out the equally as famous, Arbat Street

Arbat street is great. It's one of the most historic roads in Moscow and it looks like it. When the Russians set Moscow on fire to prevent Napoleon from taking over (I know, so badass) the street had to be rebuilt, which is unfortunate. But it's still amazing to walk down a street that millions have walked down before you, over dozens of lifetimes. 

 I didn't even want to edit this photo so you could see more of the station. I like the lighting-that's what it's really like. Moody, dark, victorian. I always feel transported in the train stations.

Arbat Street is cool. Like, really cool. Lots of street art, lots of music, crazy breakdancing. It's a good time to just walk around and look.

I really should have taken more pictures, but it was quite crowded and I wasn't feeling the camera at that point. As much as it's important for me to document these times, Moscow is also my home and I want to feel it that way. Walking around with a camera in my hand takes away from the authenticity of the experience: just walking with my boyfriend down Arbat Street.

Ben and I stopped into an American themed restaurant for some drinks when the sun set and it grew cold. I feel kind of bad when we go to American restaurants because I didn't come to Russia to eat cheeseburgers and look at menus with pictures of Elvis Presley on the cover. 
But it's so fun.
The Russian interpretation of America makes it just the most bizarre thing ever. Ben and I were bar hopping the other night after work and had a hard time getting into any of the cool ones downtown because we hadn't made reservations, so we stopped in somewhere simply called Aloha. The bartenders wore Hawaiian shirts and pretty much stood around looking grumpy until we needed a drink and then they forced themselves to lean across the counter and ask what we wanted with the most forced jolliness I've ever seen. Is it terrible that we just died laughing? Really, go to another country and see their version of America-- it's both insulting and ridiculous all at once. 

ANYWAY, Ben and I met up with some people we had met at a seminar for work and ate at this really, really adorable Russian restaurant (which I guess made up for our poor American restaurant/bar choices) and had a nice time. 

I think people who come to teach English in Russia are a bit of a strange bird to begin with. I've met so many different people since we've been here, and while all of them are brave and cool, some of them demand a little more attention and praise for their worldliness than I'm comfortable giving. Like I get it: you love the Soviet Union and have the symbol tattooed all over you. 

But all and all, good weekend. I'm teaching an intensive in-company business course for the next two weeks, so that's hectic, but after that... May holiday! Ben and I are thinking about taking what we have saved up for Munich so far and heading up to St. Petersburg to see my sweet Hungarian college roommate and explore. Some finances need to be checked, but I'm sure it will all work out. Good things are ahead : )

1 comment:

  1. I can't get over the train station! It is so different from the cold, grey, concrete Metro stations in DC! Beautiful pictures, as always.


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