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Blessing of June water

late May - early June 2001

    ...Or it can be a curse! For almost a month, since the middle of May (after nice weeks described in the previous story), Moscow was plagued by persistent cyclones that brought pouring rains and damp cold. With all my love for bike rides I could not spend a single weekend in the woods - it was prohibitively unpleasant out there. However, even the rain can be spectacular if properly lighted by the low sun - look at the photo on the right.

Most beautiful type of water, a rainbow

   But bad weather does not last too long, fortunately. The rains made lawns and trees look bright and young, the sun started to evaporate all the precipitation so that nice Russian groves all of a sudden became a local demonstration of tropical rain forests, muggy and thick. Again it was wonderful to spend time outdoors and to take pictures that I can share with you on these pages.

   My illustrated show of Moscow is going on as it has been for years... Enjoy!

As always in my stories here, you can zoom in on any picture. Just click on an image and a larger and better quality photo will open. Many of the photos are worth looking at in postcard size.

Plants and stones live in harmony in the Gapanese Garden Family walks in the Japanese Garden Flowers and the pond

I do not know the name of this beautiful flower... Tender and sweet flowers, harsh and solid stone...

   Not necessarily all the 40+ pictures in this story will be about water. I better start with a few photos of the Japanese garden - the place highlighted already in May story here. But a Japanese garden is famous for its permanent changes, in the early June it looks so different from how it was doing a month ago.

The stream in the Japanese Garden

   However, even if water is not present on every my photo of the Japanese Garden, it inevitably plays a vital role there. Small mirrors of ponds and gentle frolicking of well tamed creeks are essential parts of the garden, and one feels the water all around - even when does not see it.

Quiet monastery yard

   But let us get back to the streets - to the views that make even a short walk through the city a small pleasure. (And if you want to get some rest in a quiet place, here is a monastery yard shown in the picture on the left.)

Below you can see different views. A monument to rebels of the first Russian revolution of 1905 looks absolutely gorgeous in front of glassy wall of a new US Embassy, spires and crosses overlap, exhibit of construction equipment near the Kremlin towers reminds of sci-fi movies, and the luxury hotels keep living their well ordered and quiet life...

Revolutionaries in the foreground, US Embassy in the background Old spires, new crosses... Trade show on the Red Square Interior or IRIS four star hotel in Moscow

   ...Water is good for plants. We all know the that, and this June we've got a nice chance to watch how it works. After several weeks of rains, Moscow foliage became emerald green - while usually it looks a little bit tired by this time.

Taking a nap with  a kid in Moscow Botanical Garden A lawn at Vorobievy Hills all for your personal use Steep banks of Moscow river near Krylatskoye

In the Botanical Garden Nice, fragile, and fresh...

    Beautiful flowers - as those shown in the photos on the left - decorate Moscow all the summer, but of course first flowers look nicer. Even more so under the sun after long weeks of permanently overcast skies.

   But back again to the streets, to Moscow buildings that keep changing the landscape of the city. New houses modify the image of the city, old churches are restored and add the flavor of history (but living history!) to unique Moscow mix that is the essence of Moscow style.

At WWII Memorial on Poklonnaya Gora Only a few hundred feet from busy Garden Ring Novodevichy (new Maiden) Monastery fresh after restoration On the banks of Moskva river

New bank attacking Moscow from St. Petersburg
Modern appartment block

   Marine style is quite popular in modern Moscow architecture. Office buildings, restaurants, and banks like this clear style of stainless steel, smooth curves and round shapes. In this particular case shown in the photo on the right, this style is more symbolic than anywhere else. The building belongs to a branch of St. Petersburg bank, and St. Petersburg is one of the main Russian sea harbors.

Reparing a house for one more McDonalds

   It also demonstrates one of important signs of the recent times - active penetration of St. Petersburg businesses and people into Moscow. Putin, our current President, came to Moscow from St. Petersburg, and slowly but surely moves trusted people and companies from there to the capital.

   The building below on the right is a typical example of modern Moscow apartment block for well-off people. A square meter in such houses costs $800-1000, and a decent flat usually has the area at least 100 square meters (approximately 1 000 sq. feet), often it is much larger. Still, Moscow realtors have no problems selling these apartments. Quite a few rich people live in Moscow...

Pouring rains, June showers keep coming to Moscow Small streets occasionally become small rivers

   On the left above you see preparations of an old house for a new McDonalds. This chain is getting increasingly popular in Moscow and all around it, and new fast-food restaurants open very frequently.

   But it's time to show a little bit more of June water... First look at the right - water this month can easily be observed from an office window, and the views may be impressive. But still the water looks more in place where it belongs, and the photos below prove it!

Aurora, a boat converted to a restaurant Canoe competition at Moscow Rowing Channel Reflections

Poplar down, another mark of the season

   A river boat converted into a fancy restaurant and named after famous navy ship Aurora that signaled the attack on Winter Palace in 1997, the culmination of October Revolution, would take you on a nice tour - and with a good menu... At the same time sportsmen make the water boil with their paddles at the Channel at Krylatskoye... And the ripples on a pond break old domes into wonderful abstractions...

   The picture on the right displays another mark of the season, the poplar down that covers all the city - and not only yards and sidewalks, but the carpet and everything else in your home - if you decide to let some air in and open the window.

Young artist at work Chinese cult gathering in the park Nice monument, a gift to Moscow

Well, and what do people do when they are not enjoying water? Some draw nice landscapes while listening to merry music, others gather in the parks with other members of Chinese cults (those are gaining more and more power in Russia - but click on the photo of their meeting and look at the faces... Honestly, I do not like their expressions, they somehow remind me of the gatherings of old hardcore communists.

And, finally, you can flirt! Even if you are made of bronze.

Now, as almost always in my stories, just a few glimpses of Moscow in no particular order - and not exactly reflecting the title.

Web penetration - even mobile toilets are marked with a URL Railroads are the most popular long distance transportation in Russia One of the quiet corners of Moscow

And more of a little bit strange views...

Biking by the channel - the most empty island in Moscow Backyards of a train station are a special world... Geting out of the city... Not every church is properly restored...

Chinese guests and dragons at Moscow festival of street theaters
Tverskaya street crowded with spectators
Clowns always attract crowds
Wonderful mix of Muscovites on the sidewalks in the downtown

   In one of my previous stories I have already mentioned Theater Olymics that occur in Moscow this summer. The event started almost a month ago, but so far all the interesting performances mostly were taking place indoors.

   In the beginning of June, they went out into the streets. On Sunday June 17 all traffic was closed in the afternoon on Tverskaya street and around. A huge carnival of clowns and performers from all over the world occupied the streets and squares. A few pictures on the left and right show these small fragments which were not completely blocked from sight by the crowds of spectators. Well, anyway it was a gorgeous event! Clowns on springed high-tech stilts jumping through the crowd are already a sight one should not miss! (Look at the top photo on the right.) More pictures of this carnival are available in the July story.

   ...Forty pictures are more than enough for one story. And I have already exceeded the limit - let us stop here - until the next story.

Andrey - asebrant@online.ru

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