Happy Snap Recap

Inbetween Novgorod and Kaliningrad I took time off from the net, so here are some pictures I never got around to posting.

Maybe Novgorod is more for history fans than funsters, but surely worth at least one of the regular excursions from St. Petersburg.

Sunday is the perfect day to visit the Kremlin. […]


The Seven Wonders Of Novgorod #3

Andrei Rozen’s portfolio set me mind-traveling from Kaliningrad back to Novgorod, where I spent last Autumn. This portrait of Andre Leon Talley, for Russian Vogue, is shot in Novgorod’s Vitoslavitsa museum, an outdoor exhibition of Russia’s wooden building heritage.

A repro theme park it isn’t. The buildings were brought plank and nail from villages […]


Novgorod Theatre Presents . . . A Whodunnit

Some time ago I wrote a piece about Novgorod Theatre, a piece of Soviet era architecture you can only describe as mould-breaking. I’d learned it was a Russian collaboration with Scandinavian architects. Since the building is so alien to other 70’s Soviet forms, it seemed plausible at the time.

Meanwhile, Novgorod’s theatre also got […]


The Blogging Environment. #1 in a series

I think it was Little Miss Moi who started this game of blog tag.

I move around a lot, but many posts are emanating from the 15th floor of an apartment block on the Petrogradskaya in Novgorod Veliky.

On a clear day, you can see the Power Station.

This rear apartment view highlights the […]


The Seven Wonders of Novgorod. #2

There probably isn’t a bigger symbol of post-Soviet decay than Novgorod Veliky’s theatre. Though weedy, flaky, rusty and crumbly, it’s definitely one of the better Soviet era buildings and hardly deserves the neglect.

This isn’t just any old lump of concrete. (That’s the Intourist hotel next door.) This is concrete clad in off-white marble […]


Ghost Toytown

When you see pictures of the Dead Zone around Chernobyl, the most poignant pictures are those of the abandoned school and deserted fun-fair.

Novgorod is a bit like that. Amongst its huge housing estates, there isn’t a park, courtyard or corner plot that doesn’t have a children’s playground. Except that there’s not a kid to […]


Hitting The Malls

Unusually upbeat article on Russia from the Toronto Star

Critics may warn of the erosion of political rights in Russia – but consumers just want to hit the malls. Customers jostle and push, stuffing their carts with everything from Swedish furniture to Calvin Klein underwear. The stores – IKEA, Zara, Marks & Spencer – would […]


How High’s The Water Mama? Two Feet High And Risin’

Beautiful Mila writes to me from Kaliningrad. ‘John, there is no snow, no sun, no mood. Only rain.’

Seems like Kaliningrad is not the only city of gray skies and puddles. Carpetblogger has already recorded that ‘Kiev Gray‘ should be a Pantone TM color chart color. Meanwhile the ‘Internet pulse‘, Veronika at Global Voices, is […]


Spicy Fried Carrot Oblongs

No traveller’s tale of Novgorod would be complete without a run-down of the regional delicacies.

I always find the best way of collecting recipes in Russia is to find some inept Olga (not difficult) and then have her cook something while you write up the method.

As you know, all Olgas like attention and […]


Art Heist In Novgorod

Don’t think for a moment that London has the monopoly on covert operations. Or that Moscow is the capital of unsolved crime.

A campaign of terror has recently been unleashed against Novgorod’s street art.

I discovered it while walking into town the other day and stopping by this sculpture near the market.

My […]

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