could be said to be like Paris by day (tree-lined boulevards,
18th century and art nouveau facades), New York by night
(bars, clubs and restaurants) plus a bit of Las Vegas
for luck. At the centre of all this is Red Square with
the spellbinding onion-domed St Basil’s Cathedral,
The Kremlin within whose red-brick walls what passes for
the government of Russia is administered, the elegant
spires of the Gum department store, and Lenin’s
Get a good panoramic view of the city from the observation
platform at the university on Sparrow Hill (you might
be lucky and be offered a glass of champagne from one
of the many wedding parties that take place there). Buy
a souvenir from Izmaylovsky Market to the northeast of
the city then have a traditional Russian bite to eat at
Café Pushkin on Puskin Square and then pop into
Tretykov gallery of modern art to get an eyeful of Chagall,
Malevich and Kandinsky.
life of an average Russian gay is much the same as in
the West. Gay Moscow has also a lot to offer visitors.
But, above all, Moscow is the city of genuine and sincere
souls. Of famous Russian gay charm.
Moscow, once the capital of the 'evil empire', has changed
more radically in the last half decade than over the previous
half century. Once-empty shops have become expensive restaurants,
designer boutiques and 24-hour convenience stores. The
nightlife, which used to be restricted to cheesy singers
at bad restaurants, has exploded into one of the most
vibrant and decadent party scenes in Europe.
politically ambitious mayor, Yury Luzhkov, has transformed
the centre of the city by rebuilding the magnificent Christ
the Savior Cathedral and constructing a huge, three-story-deep
shopping mall under Manezh Square, next to the Kremlin.
The crime wave of the early '90s has tapered off - the
notorious mafia have become more subtle in their dress
and business methods. The ruble has stabilized after the
runaway inflation of 1992-94. Moscow is acquiring all
the attributes of a Western European city at breakneck
speed - but all interpreted with an unmistakably Russian
panache. Young Muscovite women read the Russian-language
Cosmopolitan, dress in Benetton, rollerblade on weekends
and order goat-cheese-and-basil pizza by phone. The clientele
at the city's stylish restaurants wouldn't look out of
place at the Ivy or Spago, and mobile phones are commonplace.
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