Florida sun, here I come!

THESE BOOTS ARE LEFT FOR WALKING

After setting the record for the warmest March ever — a couple of days the highs hit nearly 20C / 70C — Moscow is making up for that lost winter, in April. I’m talking freezing temps, icy roads and daily snow. My seasonal footwear has lost the will to live. Within a span of one…

Just a touch of leopard

IT’S A ZOO

Russians’ love affair with animal-print clothing is pretty famous, and it manifests itself most strongly in the colder seasons. Just a touch’ of leopard as an accent is rarely enough; usually, the larger the swath of fabric, the better. The snaps below were taken over a handful of outings in Moscow, mostly on my commute…

Savior of Spilled Blood - mosaic detail

IF IT’S NOT BAROQUE…

Onion-domed churches are one of the most defining visual symbols of Russia. Yet you would be hard-pressed to spot them around Saint Petersburg, save for the famous, whimsical Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. That’s because traditional Russian Orthodox cathedral architecture, so prevalent in Moscow and the Golden Ring of Russia developed during the…

IMG_0292

CURIO and CURIOUSER

Saint Pete’s is full of the fun and the funky, of the unusual and the unexpected. Here’s just a small sampling: Lions and Boobs Those are the predominant themes in architectural decoration in this city. One signifies might, another …I’ve got nothing. I guess breasts are just generally a good thing? Museum of Curiosities There’s…

Saint Petersburg streets and embankments. Fontanka River.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Moscow vs. Saint Petersburg. Which city is superior has been a subject of debate for Russians and foreigners alike pretty much since the latter was built on the marshlands of the Gulf of Finland in the early 1700s and subsequently  inaugurated as the capital of the Russian Empire, borrowing that title from Moscow for some…

Neva and St Isaac's

(Letting go of) THE BEST LAID PLANS

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to plan, and the thing I love to plan above all is travel. Mapped out itineraries, color-coded Excel timetables, museum tickets purchased in advance – all this stuff gives me the special kind of tingles. So when an opportunity presented itself not just to go to Saint…