Friday, January 25, 2008

Whole Lotta Love

Temperature: 0C
Snow: I dunno. A couple inches?

The Zeppelin reference doesn't really mean anything other than I've been humming the song, including the guitar riffs, all day (Yeah, it truly dates me, but it's so much more my speed than Can You Feel the Love Tonight, no disrespect meant to Elton John). I got so many lovely emails in response to yesterday's entry, that I started out thinking, in an Early-SNL-Bill-Murray-Lounge-Lizard delivery, "There's a lotta love in the room." That devolved to "Whole. Lotta. Love." Cue Zeppelin II.

So your reward is a lot of photos, taken today, illustrating the Walk to School on a Very Snowy Afternoon and Why I Don't Drive Here. Special bonus for ER: Our Skunky Entryway. Just so you know that public areas in Russian apartment buildings are all disgusting. I will post photos of our apartment once we get the art hung. I promise. So here goes . . .

This is the heated entrance to Trubnaya Metro. See how it is clear of snow, even though it's snowing like crazy and the walkways are all covered in it? I also wondered if the soldier types were going to chastise me for taking photos of a Metro stop. But they didn't pay any attention.

This is Trubnaya Plaza (Place? It just says Pl on my map.). The area behind the yellow barricades is normally parking. The big, steaming machines melt the snow. Note the mountain of snow in the background (in front of the yellow building).

Steaming snow melter. In the background, on the left, with the onion dome tower, is a monastery.

Down the block from the French school. The red and white tape and the red barricade mean that things might fall on you. A story in The Moscow Times this week reported that

The removal of icicles longer than 10 centimeters from buildings is required by law and enforced by the city. Every day, local authorities check no fewer than 1,500 buildings, and fines await those who do not take the appropriate measures to deal with the buildup of ice and snow.

Creative Parking 101. Note the double-parked cars on the left. That's right: the left. The dirty white car is parked. There's no one in it.

More Fun With Parking. These cars are abandoned on the sidewalk.

Typically dirty car. It can't be helped.

Double parking in front of the school (the red, brick building). Often peoples' drivers sit in their cars here and wait to pick up the kids.

In front of school. This isn't particularly noteworthy in terms of traffic. Some of the buildings are cool.

The Garden Ring. Basically the corner in front of our place. One of the reasons I don't drive here.

If you see this you are practically to our place. The black text says Taras Bulba. Looks just like Yul Brynner, doesn't he?

In front of our building. On the door on the left is a series of dials. Turn them to our apartment number, and I will buzz you in!

Once inside, you have the mailboxes on the left, and the elevator/stairs in front of you. Welcoming, isn't it?

And the view of the front door from the elevator.

Lest you think I am in a totally Moscow Bashing Place, let me close with a story.

I was in the Sedmoy (our grocery store) this morning, at the deli/meat counter. The woman serving me was a Tough Russian Broad. Think about those old Wendy's ads: "Svimvear! Evening Vear!" I point at the stuffed peppers (they're good!) and say, in Russian, "This, please."

"NYET!" she barks at me. "We don't have any!"

"But they're . . . right . . . there . . ." I say in a pathetic tone, pointing.

"NYET!" she insists. "Stara!"

The light bulb goes off. Ahhh! They're old! She's not going to screw over the foreign broad. She knows me by now.

I lean over the counter and whisper in Russian, "Thanks!"

She does not smile.


Your Faithful Correspondant said...

Confidential to Jen:

Go to and leave a PM for MissAnnElk.

Luna said...

Love your Deli lady!

And geez... if you think your entryway is down-market. . . Yikes. You should see mine. But mine doesn't smell. :)

Very chic metro station too!!

I'm wondering though, if even here in the South Ghetto--hope I don't get in trouble for saying that--one side of the metro's stairs aren't heated. All the stray dogs sleep there, and there's never any snow/ice, like on the other side. I reckon I'll have to be gutsy, and actually place my hand on the stairs.

And you are right. Moscow parking is certainly creative!

VNW said...

And what's more, the drivers who sit in our yard some days for hours at a time, keep the cars running for hours to keep themselves warm!
Glad you're cheering up. Me too, just by reading...

Anonymous said...

Have done so Miss*cough*Elk :)
The pics are stunning though I just can't comprehend living with snow!

KAMDOU said...

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Honour for me if you include it in my "Multilingual" topliste Panorama
Best continuation!
Sincerrely Yours! Kamdou

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