Although I was not at the parade, it must have been fascinating to see the Western allies march through Red Square. At the end of this blog you can see a small snippet of the victory celebration as fireworks dance over St. Basil's Cathedral.
St. Basil's Cathedral carries the theme of victory. Ivan the terrible built it to commemorate Russia's conquest over the Mongol Tatars. Some people believe that Ivan had the architects blinded after the cathedral was built so they could never build anything like it again. I've never seen anything like it; it is extremely unique. The upper portion of the building is such an interesting mixture of rigid geometry (pyramids) and organic forms (onion shapes). These shapes are all purposely fixed to form an eight pointed star. The meaning is specific to denote the eighth day which represents Christ's resurrection.
I find myself noticing Russian headlines after having traveled in Moscow this last month. I think these headlines capture a unique period in Russian history that may surprise many Americans. In the same week that Ozzy Osbourne gave a birthday toast to President Dmitry Medvedev on his 45th birthday, Norway and Russia found resolution in their 20 year old boundary dispute. The NBA recently opened up an office in Moscow to meet their growing basketball fan base.
In addition to seeing performances by the Bolshoi Ballet at the Russian National Theater, you can also catch shows by artists such as Sting, ZZ Top, Boyz II Men, and Joe Cocker. Imagine seeing Joe Cocker sing 'You are so beautiful' in the State Kremlin Palace.
The State Kremlin Palace (one of the many places I visited) sits within the Kremlin walls - the biggest Medieval fortress in the world. It is a city within a city which boasts a myriad of man-made wonders. It has the world's largest canon and bell (both non-working), timeless artifacts and architecture of old Tsarist Russia, a Venetian cathedral dedicated to the Archangel Michael, a 16th century armory, and a diamond treasury that houses the 190-carat Orlov Diamond. This diamond is black in color and there are debates surrounding its origins and some of its history. The latest theory is that the black diamond was formed in outer space. For the longest time, people believed that the diamond was cursed; three previous owners supposedly committed suicide. Stories such as these add intrigue to the beautiful treasures of the Kremlin.
Within the first 12 minutes of the Russian movie "12", a juror refuses food and declares, "Thanks anyway, I have a business lunch at Cafe Pushkin. Don't want to spoil my appetite." Of course the juror never makes it to his appointment. What the juror thought was to be a snap verdict turned out to be a long exercise of careful deliberations. While I was in Russia I felt it was important for me to approach the people, the landscape, and the culture with a mindset of careful observation and appreciation. I savored the week that I spent there and it turned out to be a marvelous adventure. Photograph by Nikolai Kichatov While the character in "12" missed out on his Cafe Pushkin experience, I managed t make it to the world famous restaurant. Cafe Pushkin spans four floors and the cuisine can be described as Franco-Russian: a classic French menu with Russian ingredients.
Upon entering, I had no idea that the menu is a lengthy 12 pages of (mostly) cold items and hot items (as specials), and somewhat impossible to figure out. Included in the menu is a full page of aperitifs, a full page of honeys, a full page of cigars and cigarettes, and a wonderful selection of homemade cured pickles and mushrooms. I decided to try something different, by ordering the smoked eel appetizer and stuffed pike head. Should you ever make it to Cafe Pushkin be prepared for a unique, and expensive dining experience.
This video was posted via an independent source. The header should read, "MARTHA STEWART."
There's only one kind of person I know of who daydreams of an outdoor setting filled with mayflies, caddis, and stoneflies. If you happen to be an avid fly fisherman - you know exactly what I'm talking about. During this time of year Sun Valley, Idaho, makes a great backdrop for all kinds of summer activities.