Monday, June 20, 2011

The Last Days of Moscow

I'm not sure how time is slipping by so quickly. I feel like I blinked and a week has gone by. For me, Moscow can be sensory overload. There's so much to do and see, and so little time I feel like I have to constantly keep moving otherwise I feel guilty for not seeing enough. Even this time around I find myself with a list of things that I insisted on seeing that will now remain unfulfilled.

I've learned, however, not freak out or stress out about this list. If the past few years of grad school have taught me anything (and I hope it's taught me more than this otherwise, I'm screwed for my comp exams)it's that I'll be back here again. Many many more times, and I'll eventually cross those "must see" things off my list and continue to add new ones.

In the meantime, here are some things that I did get to see this trip:


Pasternak's dacha.

This was my first trip to the tiny little town of Peredelkino. Located about a 20 minute train ride from Moscow proper, this little town is made up of dachas--the country homes that Russians love and for reasons that are still inexplicable to me, Americans have not.

Specifically Peredelkino was (and is) home to some of Russia's most famous writers like Boris Pasternak (writer of Dr. Zhivago), and Kornei Chukovsky (writer of some of Russia's most famous children's poems).

The town was charming, and a wonderful little escape (that perhaps lasted several hours too long) from the hectic pace of Moscow. Watching a new Orthodox church being constructed was a highlight of the day for me. It looks like it's going to be absolutely stunning when it's finished.

Bulgakov's Apartment:

If you know me, you know I'm pretty obsessed with Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master & Margarita. It's what made me fall in love with Russian literature. I'd been to the Bulgakov House several times already, but what I didn't realize was that there was a whole other museum located right next door to the one that I'd been to that was actually the one that Bulgakov lived in. Apparently there's a big rivalry between the two neighboring museums.

I adored this museum. The walls of the staircase going up to the museum were filled with Master & Margarita graffiti, which sent my little literature-loving heart all a'flutter.

I also happened to sneak over to the other Bulgakov museum, and received quite a surprise. There was an exhibit there by an artist with the same last name as me! I don't have that common of a last name, so I was beyond thrilled that there's another person out there with my last name who has a connection to The Master & Margarita as well.

Giant Matryoshka Dolls:

I learned about this exhibit via the Moscow Expat Forum, and felt like it was the perfect thing to see on our last cold rainy day in Moscow. It was just the right amount of kitsch & interesting. What can I say about the giant matryoshka doll exhibit at the Afimall? They are really really damn big.

So those were my last few days in Moscow. Up next? My most beloved city of Petersburg.

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