“…Moscow is extraordinarily lively.”

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Seeing beauties while perambulating around Moscow’s streets…

Here are some snaps I took around the city. We headed straight to Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral on the first day we got here, but ended up cranky because we felt exhausted by all the “other” tourists and tourist-trap shops—we felt like we were in Disneyland (which I love, but not when I’m not actually in Disneyland). But on the second day, we started exploring other parts of the town and since then, we’ve been staying away from the main city center. Now we love it here. I love all the cafes and all the buildings. I love the busy-ness of the city. I love how there are bookstores everywhere—even people just selling them on the streets. This city and its people are so interesting to observe.

What Bulgakov wrote in his diary on July 25th, 1923:

“Moscow is extraordinarily lively”

thumb_IMG_1092_1024Above: Moscow snaps.

thumb_P1010449_1024Above: That’s when you know you’re finally and really here. St. Basil’s Cathedral.

thumb_IMG_1076_1024Above: He was our taxi driver from the airport. He was wearing a shirt that says, “BAD BOY” and was wearing shades to hide the wounds on his face. There were many moments where I felt like he wanted to purposely crash into another car. At one point, after aggressively “threatening” another car, he turned around and said to me, “Moscow.”

thumb_P1010885_1024Above: The Moscow Times, Fall 2015

thumb_IMG_3015_1024Above: I think I’ve spent about 40% of my time in this trip on Google Maps

thumb_P1010549_1024Above: Such a memorable lunch at the elegant Cafe Pushkin. Definitely a place I’d want to eat at again if I get to come back.

thumb_P1010552_1024Above: Lovely window seat corner.

thumb_P1010557_1024Above: Lived in Japan for almost four years. Never thought to put “salmon roe” with blinis (pancakes) and sour cream. Turns out it’s also a perfect combination—not just with rice and seaweed. This was for brunch at Cafe Pushkin.

thumb_P1010572_1024Above: Brunching like a tsar.

thumb_P1010588_1024Above: I feel like I see them everywhere.

thumb_P1010601_1024Above: Why have unmovable benches when you can have swinging ones? Whoever created this is a genius.

thumb_P1010887_1024Above: A cafe in Arbat where we had a heavy lunch at—first we sat outdoors, but it was so cold so we moved inside. So beautiful though—I love fall.

thumb_P1010692_1024Above: Inside the Mayakovskaya metro station. We did a little “Tour of the Metro” to see all their designs and decorations.

thumb_P1010705_1024 3Above: Moscow metro vibes

thumb_P1010715_1024Above: Novoslobodskaya metro station. I get a very Salvador Dali feel from this.

thumb_P1010754_1024Above: Russia wins the chandelier game. This is the Komsomolskaya metro station.

thumb_P1010780_1024Above: Peonies are beautiful even when they’re wilted. Found a peony garden at the Hermitaga gardens—and I just wanted to touch and hold each and every bulb and flower.

thumb_P1010787_1024Above: This photo is just necessary.

thumb_P1010768_1024Above: Gloomy weather but we still had a beautiful day.

thumb_P1010583_1024Above: Modern lamps vs. 19th century lamps.

thumb_P1010876_1024Above: Morning coffee x Lipstick smudges. Inevitable.

thumb_P1010878_1024Above: If the Mario Brothers were cars…

thumb_P1010871_1024Above: Spotted at Arbat

thumb_P1010868_1024Above: It is Russia, after all. 😉 How fun.

thumb_P1010821_1024Above: There’s a lights festival going on during this week—we didn’t know about it until we kind of walked into it. Blew my mind.

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thumb_P1010898_1024Above: Cute.

thumb_P1011283_1024Above: Spotted in a cafe

thumb_P1011297_1024Above: I’ve seen these “book shops” everywhere—people just laying out books on benches and all to sell. It’s pretty interesting and lovely to see.

thumb_P1011293_1024Above: Golden during sunset

thumb_P1011333_1024Above: The roses are so elegant. If I was living here, I’d probably buy a huge bouquet of them everyday.

thumb_P1011313_1024Above: I was in a bookstore when I saw this woman came in with a “Magnolia’s Bakery” bag. I was obsessed with Magnolia’s cupcakes when I was living in Tokyo to the point that “diabetes” did not sound much like a threat to me. After I came out of the bookstore, I just subconsciously kept my eye out for the shop—and fortunately (or unfortunately), I found it! I got this strawberry cupcake.
Unlike the branch in Tokyo, I didn’t have to wait at all—in Tokyo, I always had to wait a
minimum of 10 minutes.

thumb_P1011340_1024Above: Love the glow on the buildings during sunset.

thumb_P1010486_1024Above: Inside St. Basil’s Cathedral

thumb_P1010506_1024Above: Inside St. Basil’s Cathedral

thumb_P1010479_1024Above: Inside St. Basil’s Cathedral

Definitely a memorable and enchanting city. We might have started off on the wrong foot on the first day, but the city grew on me. I will definitely be missing it. To end this note… Here’s a message i saw in one of the metro stations, by Puskin:

thumb_P1010377_1024“Moscow… how many strains are fusing in that one sound, for Russian hearts!
what store of riches it imparts!”

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