Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cloud blasting...

I must say this is a concept I have never encountered before, but I met with a few times in Moscow... apparently they can disburse some chemicals into the atomosphere to make it not rain.... and not snow.....

Well, the Mayor of Moscow has decided maybe it is more cost effective to do this than to let it snow this year......

Moscow will blast clouds from the sky this winter to save money on snow removal, a city official said Wednesday, but the plan threatens to anger the surrounding region, which would have to cope with the extra powder.
Airborne snowfall prevention will save the city about 300 million rubles ($10.2 million) this winter, said Andrei Tsybin, head of City Hall’s department for public works and utilities. Moscow is ready to spend about 180 million rubles to disperse clouds “in the event of very big and serious snowfall,” he said at a news conference.
Mayor Yury Luzhkov is a long-time proponent of fighting clouds by spraying liquid nitrogen, silver, or cement particles into the cloud mass, which forces precipitation to fall before it can reach the capital and spoil holidays like Victory Day and City Day.

What do you think?


Izmailovsky is the "souvenier market" Ok, I am pretty sure I spelled that wrong, but I am sure you know what I mean. A place to buy nesting dolls, shashlik, dvds, etc...
How nice to be greeted by this statue at the metro..
The green sign says "pizza" - I never tried it, but some of the best hachapuri (Georgian cheese bread) could be bought for like $1.
I am certain PETA does not exist in Russia. One day, I saw bear skins, but the batteries in my camera were dead - so, you only get to see the wolf skin.
Some broken-down part of the market that is hidden away.
Intricate wood-work
Carpet shop.... I really never anticipated the "middle-eastern" influence I felt in Moscow.
Uzbek plates.... I love the colors and design. There was a trash can - it had a picture of the Simpons cartoon - and it said "you don't have to be Uzbek to love Uzbek art".... I have to try to get that picture.
Kiosk where you can buy juice and beer....
Me and my hat that says "PoccNa" well, I don't have cyrillic keyboard. N should be backwards to make the "I" for the word "Russia" It was quite chilly that day. This part of the market is more local artist... and alot of unusual stuff - like antique war medals, clocks, gas masks...
I think this is the "kreml" or kremlin of Izmailovsky...
Nice wooden bear carving - notice the extensive bead display to the left.....

More Random Photos

St Basil's, Red Square.
Mosaic on church in Red Square...
The only part I can read is below Medvedev - "where is my truth.... " Also, there was a Russian Football (soccer) match that night. That is why the guys in front were dressed up. Russia lost to Germany.
Beautiful mosaic on the entryway into Red Square
Beggar lady also in the entrance. They have religious icons in front of them and make the sign of the cross.

Random Photos

Sveti (flower) kiosk
Chicken bryani at the Pakistani restaurant
Church near Novokuznetskaya Metro
Flowers I bought for Jenny
Escalator going down into the metro. Imagine really drunk people wobbling here. Could be quite dangerous.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Back in the US

Sorry it has been so long since I posted anything. Lots of things have happened since my last post.... an incident in which my computer (among other things) was stolen, trips to the police, trip to the US, changes in living situations, changes at work.......

So, about 3 weeks ago, it was decided that I would return to the US as soon as possible.

Although I really was not finished in Moscow, I agree it is the correct decision, and am looking forward to having more sanity and comfort in my life.

But, there are still many pictures to post - and stories to tell!

One quick story from last week - so I decided to go back to the Tretyakov Art Gallery - I had been there before, but I knew it was important for me to go back. I needed to see some of the works of art again - because I knew they were an important part of my decision to come here (I'll post on that later)...

Everywhere in Moscow has a cloakroom - you would never take your coat into a restaurant or theater or museum... So, I go to the cloakroom. Well, apparently my US made jacket does not have a little horizontal tag at the neck area with which it is supposed to be hung... The babushka was quite irritated and told me I needed to pay 10 rubles for her to hang it on a hanger.

No, 10 rubles is not much - there are paper bills worth that amount - but of course I don't have any. So I end up counting out all of my change - down to the kopecks.....

Well hey, at least I agree that charging 10 rubles to hang something on a coat hanger is probably a profitable business decison....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Absolutely Weird News in The Moscow Times

This is a news story about the illegal immigrants arriving here in Moscow. I found this story to be quite haunting. Although I realize it is really not different than the immigrants illegally arriving in the US every day - I think I see more of it here.

Snoop Dog returns to Moscow Buddhists love Medvedev?

Weird Crime.... cop runs over someone, hides body, investigates self? killed with a hammer? hunting sheep from a helicopter?

And I swear, I saw something really shady happening in a Georgian Restaurant tonight... Hachipuri was excellent though...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Традиционный тайский массаж

This says - Traditional Thai Massage. Has also been referred to as "yoga for lazy people"

It is my medicine here. Since I don't do yoga or exercise regularly - I go here
There is actually a good video here demonstrating how it is done. Fully clothed, no oil. It is like rythmic, assisted yoga. They stretch and pull using their body weight and some really interesting moves.

So, this is the salon I go to for everything. They speak some English... and believe me, when trying to communicate what you want done to your hair, that is important. When walking up Bolshaya Ordynka - I see St. Basil's down the street before I get there. Yes, it is in some back alleyway... but it is good.

They have the best jasmine green tea here....I am always amazed. And, I am amazed at the feeling I get when I walk down the stairs into the massage room. The incense, the music. Reminds me of yoga class and GrayBear. They give you a t-shirt and baggy cotton pants to put on. I always think of Jason from GrayBear who lives in Thailand alot of the time.

The first thing she does is strike the singing bowls. You yoga people will know, but I can't describe to you how calming that is. The second thing she does is to wash my feet in a bowl of water with rose petals. Even though Thai massage is clothed, it is still very phyiscal and close.

For two hours, she presses and pulls and stretches. Look at the video - there is one point where she has her knees bent, and the person's back is arched up over her knees. That was amazing. And another where she sort of swings you from side to side...

This helps me. It brings me back to my body. Back to here, and now.

Something in my new book described Russia as Schizophrenic - which is defined as - "abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality. Distortions in perception may affect all five senses, including sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch" and I must say I agree, although probably not in the bad way most people would first assume.

But Thai Massage (and yoga if I would go) relieves this distortion. Right now, I choose the Lazy Man's yoga. It is worth every penny.