Concert today at 7pm in benefit of Russian political prisoners

Singer Alexey Paperny, essayist/poet Dimitry Bykov, and Shenderovich, a writer described as “satirical”. Mir Concert Hall, Tvetnoy Boulevard 11. Right by the Old Circus.

I’m probably going. Company welcomed. I’ll be offline soon but my number is +7 985 217 3241.

Bykov, in my opinion, is the one destined to become a classic for capturing zeitgeist in its totality. Let me know if you see any of Bykov in English translation. I would especially recommend his Zh/D to anyone looking for the core formula of Russian-ness. Shenderovish is one of these “Russian comics” that use humour to package and fortify their message that’s anything but funny. Paperny is somehow associated with the fashionable and slightly alternative club scene. 

Tolstoy Museum on Pyatnitskaya

tolstoy_museum_pyatnitskayaPyatnitskaya 12, the main drag of Zamoskvorechye. Although called “museum” this place is more of a low-key cultural center. Painting and drawings, usually from the Tolstoy era, are regularly exhibited there, and small semi-private music events. It is one of many small hubs of “cultural” activity scattered around but not usually mentioned in guide books. Go to the Tolstoy Museum page and scroll down for photos of what’s inside. Steps from my apartment that you can rent at a very reasonable rate.

Bolshoi tickets

One of the dancers or perhaps even the Bolshoi director after one of recent ugly episodes.

That’s one of the regular question. I’d try Olesya who is better oriented in these things. has been recommended but I have no personal experience with it. Attempted going to Bolshoi once in 1993, was turned off by matreshka dolls in the lobby. I could tell you more about my Bolshoi related experiences and impressions but as it is now I think this project suffers from lack of balance and proportion between information you travellers need and my views that I try to inflict on humanity so I’ll shut up but if you think I’m just an old grouch google Bolshoi+scandals+acid to see what sort of a place you want to support by paying for these silly $400 tickets.

Center for Contemporary Arts

Putting it on my “recommended” list. See (English). Pushkarev pereulok 5 (Metro Tsvetnoy Boulevard or Sukharevskaya). There you may find pieces that capture and convey Russia in its essence if not here and how, then with a small (usually 7-10 year) delay. Artists that capture the core of things seem to always do it with a lag. Lots of admirable pieces telling how it was in the 90s. Guess that’s the nature of the beast. An artist needs time to condense the whole of life into one or a few images, a poem, or a song..

Artist Vasily Shul’zhenko (Василий Шульженко) and his Russian gloom

See or

The point of Shul’zhenko’s art is to capture the essential Russian-ness which of course gets him the russophobe label.

Unlike his namesake Vasily Lozhkin (Василий Ложкин) in Solnechnogorsk MORE>>

Novopodrezkovo flea market in Khimki. Photos, comments.

How we went there as sellers
a couple of weeks later >>

Finally, here is the promised set of images, made by Alexandra, with my comments.

General view. One serious dealer has a whole makeshift barn to himself. Privileged traders are in stalls. In the outer reaches there traders who sell from cars. Poor babushkas just spread their wares on the ground.