RUSSIA: Moscow

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Somehow I missed a rescheduled flight in my emails, and showed up at the airport seven hours too early only to become embroiled in an aviation mystery to be solved. Luckily I managed to figure things out before having to purchase a new ticket for $250. That would have stung a lot.

I arrived in Moscow exhausted and hungry, and opted for an overpriced taxi to avoid worsening the situation. The Sputnik Hostel turned out to be first rate, and was a hundred feet away from Prada and Louis Vuitton so you know the neighborhood is top class.

NOBU and PRADA and LOUIS VUITTON, Oh My! – Sales manager in a luxury store for the largest watch retailer was my final job for “the Man” so none of this designer stuff really impresses me anymore. Being an international vagabond turns you into a minimalist. Most of the stuff I buy goes to loved ones back in the States. I buy the occasional special ring, small antiquity, or black Boss t-shirt for myself, but that’s as far as my retail therapy takes me these days.

One of the things that launched me on my adventure was the irony of selling costly timepieces. Here I was with my life dripping out of my sleeve, as I squandered my days selling $30,000 watches to petulant millionaires and billionaires. In the summer of 2014, my daughter married the man of her dreams, and my son eloped with his bride to Vegas. My former wife had remarried, and all the variables fell into place for me to begin my journey on January 1, 2015.

Basically, the job had become unbearable, I made the decision to escape on the first of the year, and I subconsciously set about sabotaging my continued employment so I couldn’t change my mind. I essentially decided my life was worth more than their money. As it turned out, I blew that pop stand before November because I needed every minute to prepare for my five-year journey, thus avoiding the dread Christmas rush. Sweet!


Modern Stainless Kitchen – Not only attractive, but the kitchen is also well stocked to handle all of your cooking needs as well as filtered water and hot water at a perpetual boil for tea or coffee.

You will feel right at home with attentive staff to help out with the sights and the sometimes confusing Metro system. The built in beds have plugs and shelves for your electronics. Key card locker drawers make accessing and stashing your laptop and valuables very convenient.

For me, there is no place else to stay in Moscow. It’s not a party hostel, but it is a great place to socialize and make friends. This is one of those no-brainer destinations guaranteed to please.

With the Bolshoi Theater within walking distance of my hostel, the local street murals reflect the upscale spirit of the neighborhood.

Maya Mikhailovna Plisetskaya – She was a Soviet-born ballet dancer, choreographer, ballet director, and actress. Nikita Khrushchev considered her to not only to be the best ballerina in the Soviet Union, but the best in the world.










                                                             RED SQUARE

GUM – Shopping Mall on the right – Photos of the inside to come.





DINNER WITH PETYA – Passion fruit mousse and coconut panna cotta with mango sauce.








A motorcade leaves the Kremlin with several police escorts joining the ranks. Vladimir Putin’s dog is being escorted to the Veterinarian.











This museum has a truly thorough and excellent collection of impressionist art. This is my second strong dose since the exhibit across the square from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. There are two amazing Van Goghs and a collection of Matisse that will blow your mind. I adore this type of work, and although I will be in Paris in two months it will be hard to exceed this kind of quality in one space.

William ZORACH – Mother and Child – 1887-1966

Aristide MAILLOL – Flora -1910


Claude MONET – White Water-Lilies – 1899

Claude MONET – Vetheuil – 1901

Claude MONET – Le Boulevard des Capucines – 1873

Claude MONET – The Rocks of Belle-Ile – 1886

Louis VALTAT – Portrait of Paul Cézanne – 1910

Paul CÉZANNE – Trees in a Park – 1886-1887

Paul CÉZANNE – The Aqueduct – 1885-1887

Paul CÉZANNE – Peaches and Pears – 1895



Vincent VAN GOGH – Portrait of Doctor Rey – 1889

After cutting off part of his left ear in December 1888, Vincent van Gogh was taken to the hospital of Arles and placed in the care of Dr. Felix Rey. Rey proved to be one of Vincent’s most sympathetic doctors. He genuinely cared about the health and well-being of his mentally anguished patient. Eventually, Vincent would give Dr. Rey the portrait shown above as a gift. Rey, while appreciative, never really liked the painting and used it for years to repair a chicken coop. People of that time did not have the capacity to grasp his genius. Has anyone ever presented the suffering of prison with such beauty imbued throughout.

Vincent VAN GOGH – The Prison Courtyard – 1890

Vincent VAN GOGH – Landscape at Auvers after Rain – 1890

Paul GAUGIN – Self Portrait

Paul GAUGIN – Café at Arles – 1888

Paul GAUGIN – What Are You Jealous? – 1892

Paul GAUGIN – (“Tahiti is a Wonderful Land”, Gathering Fruit) – 1899

Paul GAUGIN – Matamoe (Death), Landscape with Peacocks – 1892

Paul GAUGIN – The Flight – 1901


Jules BASTIEN-LEPAGE – Village Lovers – 1882



Camille PISSARO – L’Avenue de L’Opera (Effect of the Snow Morning) – 1898


Edgar DEGAS – Blue Dancers – 1898

Edgar DEGAS – Dancer in Front of the Window – 1873-1875

Edgar DEGAS – Nude Drying Herself – 1888-1892


Auguste RODIN – Eternal Spring – 1884


Pierre-Auguste RENOIR – Bathing on the Seine – 1869

Pierre-Auguste RENOIR – Bouquet of Chrysanthemums and a Japanese Fan – 1880-1882

Pierre-Auguste RENOIR – Girls In Black – 1880

Pierre-Auguste RENOIR – Portrait of the Actress Jeanne Samary – 1877

Pierre-Auguste RENOIR – In The Garden – 1876-1880

Pierre-Auguste RENOIR – Nude Woman Sitting on a Couch – 1876



                                                   MATISSE COLLECTION


Henri MATISSE – Corner of the Artist’s Studio – 1912

Henri MATISSE – The Artist’s Studio (The Pink Studio) – 1911

Henri MATISSE – Nasturtiums and “La Dance” – 1912

Henri MATISSE – Arums, Irises and Mimosas – 1913

Henri MATISSE – Goldfish – 1911

“Goldfish” – Always a favorite, especially in person.

Henri MATISSE – Fruit and Bronze – 1910

Henri MATISSE – Spanish Woman with a Tamborine – 1909



Henri ROUSSEAU – The Poet and His Muse – 1909

Henri ROUSSEAU – Jaguar Attacking a Horse – 1910

André DERAIN – Table by the Window – 1912-1913

Pablo PICASSO – Portrait of the Poet Sabartés – 1901

Pablo PICASSO – Young Acrobat on a Ball – 1905

Pablo PICASSO – Harlequin and his Companion – 1901

Joan MÍRO – Composition – 1927

Move over Yoko, Míro had you beat by about fifty years with the “Yes” business that you used to captivate John Lennon, and subsequently, wheedle and manipulate your way into his life. Poor Cynthia, to be upstaged by that shrieking, Asian, avant-garde poseur. Clearly, the drugs had taken their toll on the lad for him to abandon her and his son for that opportunistic, meddlesome interloper.



Fernand LÉGER – Builders With Aloe – 1951

Fernand LÉGER

Fernand LÉGER – Composition – 1918

Wassily KANDINSKY – Blue Over Multicolored – 1925

Boris TASLITZSKY – Paris Metro Escalator, Evening – 1935

Marc CHAGALL – Nocturne (Night Scene) – 1947

Marc CHAGALL – The White Horse – 1960


Fernando BOTERO – Woman with a Pocket Mirror – 1976

It’s one thing to be rubbing statues out in the street for good luck, but for God’s sake keep your hands to yourselves in a State Museum. Look at how they’ve gone and rubbed the patina clean off her bum cheek. I guess the museum gave up on trying to monitor her buttocks. It does, however, add an amusing element to an already entertaining sculpture. It’s almost as if she’s trying to inspect the damage done to her by the excessive palpation administered to her tush.


If you are in Moscow you really need to pay your respects to the first man in space.

1957 – The year marking the beginning of the space race when the Sputnik satellite was launched.

YURI GAGARIN – The First Man in Space – One of Russia’s Greatest Heroes Ever


GIANT FRIEZE – Gagarin is the Focal Point



Yuri Gagarin’s smiling face welcomes you to the museum that his accomplishment helped to forge.

Many of the objects are replicas but that doesn’t diminish their historical importance.

THE FIRST EARTH SPUTNIK – Launched in the year of my birth, this diminutive orbiter sparked a space race that would span just over a decade culminating in man’s first steps on the moon. It was launched from Baikonur cosmodrome on October 4, 1957. It lasted 92 days and made 1400 orbits around the Earth.

BELKA & STRELKA – Man’s best friends who were the first two dogs to survive their launch into outer space on August 20, 1960. Belka on the right and Strelka on the left. They were just strays picked up off the streets of Moscow because the scientists figured they would better endure the harshness of outer space than their pure bred counterparts.

On August 19, 1960, they launched into space aboard Korabl-Sputnik 2. The dogs orbited the Earth more than a dozen times before landing the next day. They became four legged national heroes in their own right, and paved the way for Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight less than a year later. Those are indeed the two canine cosmonauts in the picture lovingly preserved  for the ages.

STRELKA – She seems to be gazing towards the heavens that she once visited. Strelka continued to make history when her puppy, Pushinka, was gifted to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Pushinka lived with the Kennedys in the White House.





Yuri beams as president Khrushchev relays his gratitude and congratulations on a successful mission. Truly a great moment in Russian history and the that of mankind. The whole world could smile along with this fresh-faced cosmonaut. An international hero was born. How anyone can visit Moscow and not this museum to pay their respects is beyond my comprehension.


CRAMPED QUARTERS – One of the things that qualified him for the mission is that he was only five foot two inches tall and able to fit into the puny payload.


GIANT GAGARIN – A statue well in excess of his physical proportions, but not so of his spirit and bravery.


AUTOMATED LUNA-9 STATION – The descent capsule of the station made the first ever soft landing on the Moon (Ocean of Storms) on February 3, 1966 and sent a panoramic view of the lunar surface back to Earth.

LUNA-9 DESCENT CAPSULE – Its active operational life on the lunar surface was 75 hours. It made possible the study of the micro outline of the lunar terrain with the help of acquired images from the landing site, to define the size and form of depressions and stones, and to find signs of complex geologic processes.

SPACESUIT “BERKUT” FOR A SPACEWALK – On March 18th. 1965 Alexei Leonov made the first exit in history from a spacecraft into outer space. The duration of the spacewalk was 24 minutes.


As you can see the museum paid tribute to our space program and those of the international community. You can’t miss the Saturn V rocket that launched us on our way to a successful moon landing and return home. I miss those days when we could hold our heads high as Americans. Hopefully those days will return soon.

APOLLO-SOYUZ MISSION – Thomas Stafford Commemorative Bench – Little did I realize that I would come into contact with two of the men in the photograph above within the next hour. Commander Thomas Stafford is on the top left and Commander Alexei Leonov is on the top right. I was starving and went to the snack bar where I waited forever because they forgot my order. I finally ate and subsequently went to the men’s room from which emerged Alexei Leonov who cordially surrendered the space to me. I had seen another older gentleman who I suspected might be connected to the space program. Sure enough, it was Tom Stafford and, I was smack dab in the middle of an Apollo-Soyuz reunion interview. June 30th. 2017

APOLLO-SOYUZ COMMANDERS – General Thomas Stafford is wearing the blue tie on the left and General Alexei Leonov is seated on the right.

GENERAL SERGEI LEONOV – Commander of the Soyuz capsule during the Apollo-Soyuz Mission and pioneer of the Russian space program, General Leonov was the first man to walk in space in 1965. That was his space suit you saw earlier in the tour.

Two old friends prepare to give an interview at a time when we could use some positivity in our relations with Russia.

“Well we were about this far apart when we tapped on the thrusters to slow down to ease her in, and it worked like a charm. It was a little more worrisome for Alexei since we had the momentum and his ship was a lot lighter. Anyway, it was a big relief to be locked and docked.” The Apollo was 14.7 tons vs. the Soyuz 6.8 tons.

The Apollo-Soyuz first international mission was a symbol of the policy of détente that the two superpowers were pursuing at the time. Soyuz and Apollo docked on July 17, 1975, at 19:12 over the Elba River where Nazi forces were driven out of Russia. Both Leonov and Stafford’s father were fighting there at that particular moment in history.

During the flight five joint experiments were conducted, and the two crews got along very well. They were known to joke around a bit. Alexei insisted that the American crew join him in a drink of vodka which he insisted was a Russian custom. He then preferred a tube labeled Stolichnaya. Commander Stafford declined to say that it was against regulation for them to drink on duty. Commander Leonov revealed the ruse. It was actually just borscht, an equally traditional Russian liquid.

MIR ORBITAL SPACE STATION MODEL – The Apollo-Soyuz Mission helped to pave the way for the Mir program in 1986.


A tricky bit of waste management, but if not for a trip to the museum bathroom I might have missed my rendezvous with two legends of space travel.


GUM – The ultra-luxurious, exclusive shopping mall right on Red Square.

Many of the stores were so exclusive you wouldn’t recognize the name. These are the kind of places that would charge you $300 for a plain black tee shirt. As it was I coughed up $80 for a nice Hugo Boss version.

If you’ve got stupid money to spend, this is the place to do it. I love my new shirt. It’s the most luxurious thing I’m traveling with clothing wise.





Zurab TSERETELI – Antique Arch – 1934



Alexandra DEMENTIEVA – Mirror’s Memory – 2003

The “Mirror’s Memory” installation cannot exist without the active participation of the viewer who by stepping onto a carpet sensor becomes its main character. There’s nobody standing next to me except for projections of a couple of blue jean adorned individuals who previously stood on the mat. I’m shooting this clever selfie in real time at waist lever. How fun, I’m a work of art. Overall the exhibition was pretty weak, but this made it all worthwhile in addition to the sculpture garden outside the museum.

Alexandra DEMENTIEVA – Drama House – 2009 – Push a bell and they come to the window.

Alexandra DEMENTIEVA – Blow into the spinner and your man will know what he’s in for.

Zurab TSERETELI – A celebrated and controversial Georgian artist who is known for some incredibly large scale sculptures, one of which you will see later on as I cross the bridge on my way to New Tretyakov Gallery.

Zurab TSERETELI – In Memory of Victims of Oppression – 2001

Zurab TSERETELI – In Memory of Victims of Oppression – 2001

Zurab TSERETELI – Pirosmani and Rousseau – 1934

Zurab TSERETELI – Vassili Kandinsky – 2013

Zurab TSERETELI – Musicians – 2013

Zurab TSERETELI – Grinder – 2004

Zurab TSERETELI – String Snapped (Vladimir Vysotsky) – 2004

Mikhail DRONOV – Swan Lake – 1956

Arnaldo POMODORO – Sun of the World – 1926




Such amazing decor and cool restaurant to celebrate the halfway mark of my five-year mission. The food was delicious as was the environment.


However, the music left little to be desired and did not aid in the digestion. Firstly it bore little resemblance to the promised jazz. Secondly, the odd woman sounded like you took Yoko Ono, Bjork, and a cat and threw them all in a sack and then proceeded to beat on it with a stick. It was some of the worst self-absorbed, avant-garde nonsense that I have ever encountered. However, the all natural, cacao nib, stracciatella ice cream with a rich brownie was brilliant and managed to wash the bad taste out of my mouth.

Even her hand gestures were nausea inducing. Such pretentious crap rounded out with a guy sporting a man bun playing the cello really grated on my musical sensibilities. Jazz my azz.

One of their two dining rooms. The foliage is 3o years old and imported from the Netherlands. Clearly, they spent a fortune on the interior design. They’ve only been open for a month, but they better sort out their musical issues if they want to stay that way.


JULY FIRST-  TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN – Today marks the halfway point in my five-year journey throughout the world. Who thought I would make it this far in my solo vagabonding endeavor? It’s really been very easy, except for Morocco of course. I do know that the whole process has been all the more pleasant because of the folks back in Mission Control, and the unexpected new friends I’ve encountered along the way.

Jason in San Diego has encouraged me and egged me on from the get go making sure flan the flames of my acerbic wit when misfortune arises. He was the first person to join me during my adventure abroad when we had an excellent time down in Playa del Carmen. His new healthy approach to living inspired me to lay off my last vice, marijuana. Of course, it really wasn’t agreeing with me anyway.

Karen in Oregon has continually left insightful comments and been an understanding ear when Morocco had me down or some Aussie was vomiting off of the top bunk above me. In fact, one of the reasons this year has gone so smoothly, is the time I spent in Portland planning for it. She cued me in on a spreadsheet system so I have the whole year of travel at my fingertips. Once while in customs, they were grilling me about my plans so I just whipped out the laptop and sorted it out on the spot. She will be joining me in Paris in September for a three-week French Adventure that will cover the Loire Valley, the Dordogne, Provence, and Marseille.

And of course my daughter Dina and I speak regularly on FaceTime, and I get to see my granddaughter Mia grow up until my next visit. My stepson, Danny and his wife Vilena have been a big help with my Russian adventure, and I will be meeting her here in Moscow for dinner on my last night. Vilena’s family live here and her brother in law was kind enough to take me out to a wonderful restaurant for dinner. The dessert was featured earlier in the post.

The blog has been more than just a chronicle. It has been the engine that drives this nomadic experience. It keeps me focused, and reminds me why I’m out here. More than anything it’s fun to do. I haven’t bothered with boosting readership yet. I’ve been happy to have this be an exclusive club for a select few, and often refer to people personally or include photos with certain individuals in mind. Who knows, maybe I’ll up the game or maybe not. My main focus is hitting 100 countries and finishing my five-year mission. A hundred countries will no doubt be completed well before the end of next year.

I have already made plans to return to Moscow after my five years are completed. On Victory Day, May 9th. of 2020, Moscow will celebrate the 75th. Anniversary of Russia’s successful counter-offensive of the Nazis and march into Berlin. Few Americans truly grasp the significance of the sacrifice of the Russian people during WWII in which it is estimated that their losses exceeded 24 million lives. Without their assistance, the West would have been hard-pressed to defeat Adolf Hitler.

Truth be told, the defeat of the Nazis was very much the result of a concerted international effort of which the rest of us owe Russia a debt of gratitude. If not that, at the very least the awareness of the severity of their suffering given that the Soviet Union truly bore the brunt of the overall casualties during WWII. It is for this reason that I will return to pay my respects to their memory and ultimate sacrifice.



                                      THE NEW TRETYAKOV MUSEUM


Zurab TSERETELI – Peter the Great – Some find this work a bit over the top.


Giorgio DE CHIROCO – The Archaeologists – 1986

There was an extensive exhibition of this artist’s work at the museum, but photos were forbidden. Giorgio de Chiroco was a famous Italian painter, sculptor, poet, writer, set designer, one of the greatest masters of the avant-garde of the twentieth century, the forerunner of surrealism, and the founder of the movement “Metaphysical painting”.

Natalia GONCHAROVA – Bouquet and Bottle of Paint – 1909

Natalia GONCHAROVA – Smoker – 1911

Natalia GONCHAROVA – Autumn Evening (Spanish Women) – 1922-1928

Natalia GONCHAROVA – Still Life with a Pineapple – 1909

Natalia GONCHAROVA – Peacock in Bright Sunlight (Egyptian Style) – 1911

Ilya MASHKOV – Portrait of an Unknown Man with a Flower in his Buttonhole – 1910

Ilya MASHKOV – Pumpkin – 1914

Ilya MASHKOV – Self-Portrait – 1911

Alexandra EXTER – Venice – 1918

Aristarkh LENTULOV – Tverskoy Boulevard – 1917

Robert FALK – Red Furniture – 1920


Lyubov POPOVA – Italian Still Life – 1917-1918

Lyubov POPOVA – Composition with Figures (Two Figures) – 1913

Lyubov POPOVA – Painterly Construction – 1920

Alexander YAKOVLEV – Portrait of the Ballerina Anna Pavlova – 1924

Mikhail VERBOV – Portrait of I.S. Ostroukhov – 1924

Nikolai ULYANOV – Self-Portrait with Barber – 1914-1923

Sergei LUCHISKIN – Brass – 1925

Alexander DEINEKA – Before Going Down the Mine – 1925

Yuri PIMENOV – The New Moscow – 1937

Vladimir LEBEDEV – Portrait of Tsita Volina – 1933

Pyotr KONCHALOVSKY – Self-Portrait with Family – 1912

Pyotr KONCHALOVSKY – Portrait of Vsevolod Meyerhold – 1937

Pyotr KONCHALOVSKY – Lilac – 1933

Mikhail LARIONOV – The Interior with a Deck – 1909

Mikhail LARIONOV – Girl – 1930s

Alexander LAKTIONOV – Letter from the Front – 1947

Arkady PLASTOV – Spring – 1954

Yriy KUGATCH – Before the Dance – 1961

Tatyana YABLONSKAYA – Summer – 1967

Boris TURETSKY – Pilots – 1968

Marianna ROMANOVSKAYA – Hero (Andrei Sakharov) – 1993

Sergei SHERSTUK – Father and I – 1984

Viktor PIVOVAROV – Reflections – 1971

Yuri KUROLYOV – Brothers of the Cosmos – 1981

Konstantin YUON – New Planet – 1921



                                                         ART OF THE BRICK

On the adjacent building this image caught my eye. Having enjoyed Legos immensely as a child, I couldn’t resist an exhibition of Lego based art. I was also ready for a little bit of whimsy after all of the serious art over the past two weeks. I’m sure the man behind the Legos wouldn’t appreciate that comment, but that’s how I saw it. It was far and away better than the exhibit at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Artnet rated him the 8th. most popular artist in the world in 2012.



Nathan SAWAYA – Yellow – 11,014 Bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – The Beatles – “I Wanna Hold Your Brick”

Nathan SAWAYA – Ballet Blanc – 8,847 bricks


Nathan SAWAYA – Cello – 7,695 bricks

The artist’s representative had a word with me about referring to Mr. Sawaya’s artworks as whimsy. Overall I found our conversation to be productive, but his side of the proceedings tended to be a bit plastic. Nonetheless, I concluded upon further inspection, that although derivative in many cases, these pieces were incredibly difficult to execute effectively. A rectilinear based toy does not conform easily to the construction of organic shapes. When taking this into consideration, many of his creations are mind-blowing. It was about this time that I realized I had been talking with a large collection of blue Legos.


Nathan SAWAYA – Writer – 3,210 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Think! – 3,164 bricks



                       THE CLASSICS

Nathan SAWAYA – Venus de Milo – 18,483 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – The Parthenon – 30,201 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Michelangelo’s (The David) – 16,349 bricks




Nathan SAWAYA – American Gothic – 8,303 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Whistler’s Mother – 15,283 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – The Kiss – 18,893 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – The Scream – 3,991 bricks




Nathan SAWAYA – Starry Night – 3,493 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – The Mona Lisa – 4,573 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Rembrandt Self-Portrait – 1,948 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Jimi – 1,203 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Warhol – 1,657 bricks



                                                        MORE ORIGINALS

Nathan SAWAYA – Square Torso, Circular Torso, Triangular Torso – 29,409 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Hands – 15,161 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – My Boy – 22,590 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Gray (Emerging Artist) – 23,678 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Dark Despair – 11,274 bricks

Nathan SAWAYA – Red Skull – 12,444

Nathan SAWAYA – Dinosaur – 80,020 bricks



Rendezvous with Mama to be and daughter in law Vilena at Odessa Mama Restaurant. What a stroke of luck for her to be in Moscow on my last night. She just flew in from the states to visit family and made quite the effort to get together after a day of travel. She looks like she’s holding up fine, but should sleep well tonight.

One last stroll to Red Square before leaving.

GUM – There’s that magnificent mall on the left. Can you imagine how pretty it is with snow on the ground during the Christmas holidays?


  1. Jason
    June 29, 2017

    Whats on that plate? looks interesting.

  2. The Travel Zealot
    June 29, 2017

    Sorry for the anemic post. That is passion fruit mousse with coconut panna cotta and apricot sauce. Very tasty.

    I was taken to dinner by Petya at an out of the way restaurant where Danny and Vilena celebrated their Las Vegas elopement, and were subsequently feted here in Moscow. Vilena’s family here showed great kindness and generosity in hosting an event at the establishment.

  3. Jason
    July 6, 2017

    Was funny to see my old post after looking at all the wonderful art. lol Seems so out of place now. Loved looking at all that amazing art work. And the cosmo museum looked awesome. Is that building functional or more of a sculpture?

  4. The Travel Zealot
    July 6, 2017

    Yeah Jason, St. Pete’s and Moscow have some incredible art and I just scratched the surface. Sad thing is that most people completely miss the Museum of Cosmonautics. It’s rated number 19 in the best things to do in Moscow in TripAdvisor. That upper part of the structure is all sculpture and tribute. The museum is all subterranean.

  5. Karen Devers
    July 7, 2017

    Hi, John,

    Well, there is so much glorious content in your Russia posts I’m feeling overwhelmed. You have opened up another country for me with your photos and comments. My curiosity and interest are piqued!

    I agree with you about the Russian involvement in WWII. It took Russia, The US, Canada, and others to rid Europe of the horror. Worth remembering that it was a collaborative effort with great suffering on all sides.

    I wonder what the Russian people think about some of the social issues we talk about in the US such as climate change and robotics. Do they see automation as a threat to their jobs? How are their schools preparing students for the future? These are conversations I would love to explore!

    I laughed at your description of the unjazz musicians at the restaurant. Although when Schoenberg’s Rites of Spring was first performed people fled the opera house, the performance you heard seemed to be without any redeeming features. Maybe we could do some cultural sharing in that area.

    Thank you for your kind comments. It is always fun to spend time with you and I’m very excited about our trip through France.

    Janet is asking me when you will be in India. Is that this year or next?

  6. The Travel Zealot
    July 7, 2017

    Karen, here’s a little bizarre factiod for you. Russia is the only country in Europe where Trump’s popularity is on the rise. Did you catch my comment about how the doctor who treated Van Gogh used the portrait Vincent painted for him to patch his chicken coop. That said, I don’t think there are any plans to remaster any of Yoko Ono’s recordings nor do I suspect that the singer who was desperately trying to ruin my celebration dinner will be remembered for anything but indigestion and tinnitus.

    My trip to India will probably be coming up next year. I was reading it is wise to take probiotics for two weeks before going and for the duration of the trip. I think noise canceling earbuds would be wise as well.

  7. BigD
    July 14, 2017

    Great post, I’ve never seen Moscow in such a colorful way. Probably because both times have been during the winter, but, that aside you’ve captured some great perspectives and your comments are always enriching.

    Funny, we saw the “Art of the Brick” a couple months ago here in Balboa Park at the Reuben H Fleet Museum.

    Speaking of Balboa Park, I didn’t see pictures of VDNKh. I wonder if you happened to walk through there since you were just near the entrance. The Cosmonautics Museum is just steps away from the main gate. VDNKh is basically the Balboa Park of Moscow (though, its probably about 10 times as big). It’s just a huge park with a whole collection of museums spread throughout, and If I remember correctly both of them were originally built to host a World’s Fair at some point. Anyways it’s a expansive complex filled with beautiful fountains, buildings and natural surrounds. There’s even a small carnival complete with games and a ferris wheel.

    If you didn’t take a walk through there I’d definitely recommend spending a whole day there on your next visit, especially since you’ll be going on such an important national anniversary next time. It is one of my favorite things we did in Moscow.

    Anyways congratulations on getting halfway. 2.5 years of near constant traveling is no joke. True to your name you are a traveler, and, you manage it with great zeal. Wish you another successful 2.5 years and beyond.

  8. The Travel Zealot
    July 14, 2017

    Big D,
    Totally missed VDNK. Upon arrival at the Metro stop there was a cloud busting thunderstorm and hailstorm. It broke upon arriving at the Cosmonautic Museum, and the rain started up upon leaving. Since I’m going back I will have the opportunity to visit the many things that I missed like the Bolshoi Ballet. I’ll probably follow up with another visit to St. Petersburg. So funny you saw the bricks too, but on the other side of the world.

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