A babushka punched me yesterday coming out of the metro. This particular metro stop was just a madhouse; it was impossible to walk in a straight line without bumping into someone or getting plowed into. I bumped into this lady and she hit me, not even breaking her stride or checking to see how the blow landed. I think she represents the overall attitude this city has to me. I keep stumbling, and it keeps punishing me for doing so.
Graffiti close to the stop where I was punched.
My favorite contemporary Russian musician, Mujuice, playing at a really cool space called 1980, which is basically a museum dedicated to Nike Air shoes. You can buy tons of Nike gear there, and they have a bunch of "artifacts" related to the birth of hip-hop in NYC in the 80s.
The shoes at 1980. I had Adidas on and therefore was not cool enough. See? Once again, Moscow smacks me in the face for trying.
A trip to a mall in Russia proved fruitful:
No comment necessary.
--"Vladimir, what should we do for the new window display? We gotta spice up our presentation. Just having some mannequins wearing suits is not enough."
--"Hmm, good point. People won't buy these clothes that we have marked up 300% from normal retail value unless we entice them somehow. Do we have any watermelons we could put around the mannequins? That might do the trick."
--"Fuck yeah, dude. I'll send Zhenya to the market right now. We're definitely getting promotions for this one."
Nothing makes a bag designed specifically for Russian women to drape across their arms while looking bitchy look better than an oil drum that some lazy fucker spilled paint on and called it art.
Sign says, "Opening soon."
Emerging from the metro. Some stations have really elaborate halls, like this one, with a floor-to-ceiling tapestry that has Lenin's visage on it. He's probably going nuts witnessing what has happened to this place in the past 10 years.
It costs 15 rubles to take a leak in a porta-potty. But all amenities are included, like mood lighting.
This is the building I work in. It houses The Moscow Times, a financial paper called Vedomosti, and 10 magazines, including the office for the Russian version of Esquire.
The newsroom. News is occurring.
A recent cover of Vedomosti. Pictured is Oleg Deripaska, the richest man in Russia ($28.6 billion). The headline says, "They didn't call Deripaska." The financial crisis here is hitting him hard. He might only have $20 billion by the end of the year.
I leave you with this series of photos. These are instructions on the soda machine at work. Now, I understand that buying a soda is complicated. We've all had to do it at some point. The confusing part is why the instructions have been translated into English. As if any native English speaker would not know how to do this.