People and cars have multiplied like viruses in Moscow, and there isn’t enough room for either. So parking tends toward the inventive. Sometimes drivers stop their cars on triangular spaces of pavement that would otherwise be known as the shoulder of the road. More often, they gun their way onto the sidewalks, where hurried pedestrians strive to get out of their way on one side and gleaming glass storefronts reflect impassively on the other. Recently I was walking near President Hotel, when a previously immobile hulk of black steel about 3m in front of me snorted and roared into life, exposing itself as a big, platinum-fendered Lexus, and then blazed down the asphalt like a rocket out of a bazooka. PedExs like me scampered to the side and scraped our noses against some concrete. There went Moses, and he sure was parting the Red Sea.

Roadwalks are as inconvenient as they sound. Even so, they have not prevented me from exploring the neighborhood near
near st. metro Belorusskaya, where I live.

I’ve found that the Soviets did childrens’ playgrounds right. In the midst of rotting, peeling Soviet apartment buildings, you’ll find plots of grass filled with colorful metal playstructures. There is a ship with a flag and an anchor on it; a sandbox and a swing; a set of monkeybars in the shape of a turtle. Now, if they would only apply these enlightened design principles to, say, the former KGB headquarters Lyubyanka.

P.S. If I am to write regularly, I must get into the blogging habit. And what do you call the blogging habit? BlabIt!

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