Wednesday was a busy day for me as I was moving to a room rented in a private flat on Petrovka street. This is a very central street running from the 700 year old Petrovki monastery to the Bolshoi Theater. The street is lined on both sides with luxurious shops, restaurants (for all budgets) and coffee rooms. To add some cultural life to this place, the MOMA opened last December a museum to promote Russian contemporary/modern artists. My room was big but not so great, but I was not planning to lock myself inside!
First thing was meeting my friend Ludmilla at Turandot restaurant. She had a really great special offer, and for the unbelievable price of 1850 rubles we had a starter, a main course and a desert with a cocktail in a fantastic venue. Every thing being well presented and served by a charming girl.
We thought that we had made a wise choice by seating on the balcony, when a large group of Chinese tourists took possession of the ground floor…..
In the evening, I met friends for dinner in the restaurant Cutfish, only 4 minutes away from where I was now living. Interesting concept, nice taste but I thought that this would not be enough to keep me full. We finished at the Mendeleev bar, a cool underground bar hidden at the back of a noodles shop, but a secret venue which is not any more so secret and very much a standard of Russia’s nightlife scene.
During my stay, I visited the Petrovski Monastery, which founded in the 14th century although the buildings and churches standing now date from the 18th century and were built by an Italian architect. It is interesting to see the different periods of construction but the best of all is to listen to the bells in the late afternoon on Sunday.
Opposite the monastery, the other side of the road is occupied by the MOMA museum. I had fun exploring the exhibition even I am not sure I understand what the artist was trying to say. Outside in the garden stand some of Tsereteli’s monumental sculptures…. He is a very popular artist in Russia but not anywhere else!
During the next few days, I tried a few places for coffee and snacks. For example the Bordera for its eclairs (not too sure) and pain aux raisons (more tasty).
“Mandarin Goose”, a sort of selfservice in a traditional decor and really not bad at all,
Lepim and Varim with their pelmenis – a traditional Russian dish. The ones with beef were really good. Of course the best place for dinner was at my friend’s home, Olga, who lives in a street parallel to Petrovski, Dmitrovska.
Of course, I could not do without music and I also went to a concert at MosConcert with my friend Nadia, listening to violin and piano performance with Paganini and Sibelius on the programme.
But that was not all, my friend Rika and I went to see Vasily Polenov’s exhibition at the New Tretyakov Galleria. Vasily Polenov was not only a painter but also an architect and designer for theater performance. One of his most famous paintings is the Moscow Courtyard representing Arbat in 1878 (difficult to realise the transformation of this part of Moscow in a 150 years). He did not only paint pretty countryside scenes but also scenes of the Christ’s life which were displayed in number.
After our cultural activity, Rika invited me to a delicious Japanese restaurant. We really enjoyed our time together.