Saturday, 3 September 2011

Moscow News

Teatralny Prospekt beside the Bolshoy theatre, right in the city centre, is an intimidating sight to behold. Its wider than the north bound M1 and M6 together and traffic moves faster, especially the many souped up cars that make it sound like Formula 1 track. Its so frantic that authorities have given up with pedestrian crossings and the only routes across are underground subways.

Instead of the usual rolling acres of Red Square, today it has all but disappeared under a forest of tents, awnings, temporary stadium seating, concert platforms and performers. Thousands were marching to military bands, orchestras playing Tchaikovsky, children's choirs, galloping cavalry and much more I couldnt see. All in preparation for tomorrow's celebration of Moscow Day - the founding of the city, held on the first Sunday in September.

There is a heafty police and military presence around the square and I've always wondered about the choice of official Russian headwear. Headgear is presumably meant to convey a message to onlookers - the SS = menacing and sinister, US Marines = brutish and thugish, British bobby = I'm shorter than I look. But the official Russian headgear, worn at a jaunty angle with those ridiculously oversized brims, look like they've been dressing up in their dad's wardrobe - its hard to take them seriously, except of course they've got guns - that certainly works and keeps me from smirking.

The GUM store in Red Square was still open and it seems a cross between Harrod's and Covent Garden - balconies, fountains, bridges, little trees with Dior, Cartier and Burberry, all under a huge glass roof. Generally Moscow seems a pretty expensive place - £260 for the cheapest room in a
reasonable hotel, £10 for a glass of beer - I'm not sure about anything else.

No comments:

Post a Comment