happy birthday, moscow!

September 18, 2007

so i’m going to try to catch up one city at a time…first: moscow! aaron and i happened to arrive for the celebration of moscow’s 860th birthday (mockba 860!) on the first weekend in september, which was great because it meant that there were lots of events lots of fun signage (which helped us with the learning of a little bit of cyrillic!), some parades…and extra security measures…happening all around the city. it also meant that we, as pedestrians, got to use the eight-lane-wide main city streets for the day (fun – mostly because the entire city is choked with cars the rest of the time!) but it also meant that red square was mostly cordoned off during the time that we were there (less fun, for photography reasons). i found moscow to be a really interesting city – especially having spent time in china, it was strange for me to see so many buildings and city forms that reminded me so strongly of beijing (though with lots of european flavor and lovely old buildings thrown in). it’s centrally planned with extra-wide ring roads…we walked one of the ring roads which was a boulevard one day, which was a great way to get a sense of the city.  and moscow is enormous (it’s the largest city in europe with more than 14 million people in its metro area)! my trip into moscow involved a 40-minute bus ride from the airport to the end of one of the metro lines, which i rode for an additional 30 minutes to get into the city center. crazy. okay, photo time…here are some images from moscow’s birthday party:

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some full-building birthday signage

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one of those enormously wide city streets sans automobiles

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red square being set up for a birthday concert event

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security screening and bag checks to enter the parade area

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the parade – a blue blimp!

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more parade security…

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around the event areas, those extra-wide streets were packed with people..

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students from an oil-drilling school with their mascots?/birthday fun for all ages untitled-2.jpg

celebration signage/paraders

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one really amazing thing about moscow is its metro system, which is by far the most lavishly designed and executed underground rail i have ever seen. the stations are beautiful – most are surfaced with marble, and many are decorated with some combination of chandeliers, ornate carvings, and mosaic work. it was hard to choose only a few photos to show, but here are my favorites:

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and finally, some random urban images from around the city:

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One Response to “happy birthday, moscow!”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Wow! those underground stations look like an art museum! way better than cementy-old NYC/DC/London.
    Russia always confuses me…because it seems like it’s part of the Asian continent, but it’s European. very interesting…


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