Monday, October 19, 2009

A new vision of Moscow

My previous apartments were in "newer" areas of Moscow where the buildings were mostly stucco or cement. I am now living in an area that I understand exhibits one aspect of Stalin's Social Realist architecture - which could also be called Neoclassical Revival. This architecture is characterized by an older feel with roman arches, ornate brickwork, and pilasters.

My building is a little more Romanesque, with the heavy brickwork on the bottom, and lighter on the top. Above is the outside of my building on Козмонавта Волкова "Cosmonaut Volkova"

The view from my kitchen window. On the left you will see my lovely fire escape ladder, and while I have no idea how I will stretch from my window to the ladder, its still nice to have a fire escape. This is the first time!

View from my bathroom window

Fall outside of my new apartment at М. Войковская (Metro Voikovskaya)

I continue to be amazed by the different feeling a city is given just by the apartment you live in, the area that surrounds it, and your place of work. Being surrounded by "historic" Stalinist architecture and yet living in an ultra modern, Euro-style apartment provides an awesome and inspiring juxtaposition of eras. Nearly everyday, I walk through this Stalin era district then go underground and pop-up in the center of the city where the contrast between "old" and "new" is ever more evident in the historic buildings plastered with neon signs advertising Pepsi and other multinationals. While there are remnants of a city older than the 20th century with St. Basil's and other churches, during the 20th century much of the old was leveled to make way for the new. Hopefully as Moscow continues to fight its way to the front of modernization - the tallest building in Europe is in the new Moscow City district - history won't again be plowed over to make way for a newer, fancier, glass city.

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