Sunday, 1 June 2008

Your Home Is Your Castle

We are content in our apartment in Moscow, except Sam misses having a comfortable chair to sit in; and he would gladly get rid of the two uncomfortable couches that must be from the Stalin Era (or Sam adds, maybe Peter the Great era!). Still, we’re grateful for our apartment in spite of the old furniture. Of all the senior couples in Moscow, our apartment is the cheapest rent at about $1100 a month. Most are paying double what we pay. Besides, we have a great view out our large windows, we have a good queen size bed with a comfortable mattress that actually has springs and not just filling, and we have the only electric clothes dryer of anyone we know here. So in spite of the fact that other places we have lived in our married life seemed nicer than this apartment, we are happy to have it as our “dom.”

As we leave our apartment, we encounter all kinds of construction going on this spring. The most recent that affects us is taking place near the Sokol metro stop where we now have to go up over the recently built overpass to use the entrance across the street. When the days started being warmer, all kinds of painting projects sprung up around outdoors. They either have a fondness for green or they have a special deal on green paint, as that seems to be the color of choice. You have to be aware so as to not get paint on your clothing, because they don’t put up any “Fresh Paint” signs to alert you to not touch. You can’t walk very far without seeing ditches dug here and there. The potholes in the streets have been filled in with rock and tar and spread over with asphalt without any attempt to blend the patches in with the surrounding road. There are no signs posted or cones to block off the patched areas to alert you to fresh tar; so instead of having to watch for icy spots, now you must watch for patches just finished hours ago and for the open holes. The patches and the paint will not be long term repairs; rather, they are quick fixes and will likely need to be redone next spring.

Most of the outdoor laborers in our neighborhood
appear to be Asian.

We have enjoyed all the flowers planted this spring in the parks and public areas. The tulips are now being replaced with begonias, marigolds, and other flowering plants. Dandelions are left to grow among the weeds and grass.

Rochelle & Shannon among the tulips.

Yesterday, Greg & Chris Shepard and Sam & were coming home from our visit to Gorky Park when we decided to check out why there were so many cars parked by a large building. It turned out to be some kind of an architecture trade show. As we passed along some outdoor displays, I read a sign written in English encouraging the architects to reach for a new vision embracing quality. Quality is needed, but unfortunately, the majority of the people won’t be able to afford it. Sadly, most in Moscow do not have as nice an apartment as Sam and I are lucky to have.

Entrance to Gorky Park.

To get to Gorky Park, we got off the metro at the Park Kultury stop and crossed over the Moskva River bridge, with the Peter the Great Monument to our left and the amusement park to the right. It covers an area of about 300 acres and is filled with children’s play areas and a huge Ferris wheel. The Masons were with the Shepards and us for most of the afternoon walking. We got a chocolate shake for 50 rubles and later the Shepards shared a Snickers bar with us as we sat and watched a small group do some simple dances. There was an art display at a street underpass and more outdoor booths near the bridge that we enjoyed seeing. On a warmer day, we might like to take a boat ride from here that goes through the center of Moscow past many famous city sights.

Gorky Park - Ferris Wheel by the lake.

Little girl riding a camel in Gorky Park.

Carousel at the Gorky Park entrance.
Have you ever seen one with two levels before?

The Masons rejoined us for a hamburger and fries at a cute “American diner” at the mall by the Central Building, where the Moscow Mission was having their district conference this weekend and had a meeting last night. Sam and I are in the Moscow West Mission, so we came home and enjoyed a relaxing evening.

1 comment:

Mike and Maradel said...

I was so happy to find your blog! We are trying to get into the blogging mode to prepare for China but it isn't easy for me.
We love your pictures. They bring back so many happy memories. it is wonderful that you have had family to come visit.
We miss you1