In the Tvorog Test Kitchen

Many believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is firmly in the rearview mirror, but this is clearly madness.  I’m still in full lockdown and in deep danger of becoming something I never imagined: a homesteader. I spent much of the spring baking bread and early summer brewing kvas, and now in high summer it’s time to take…

Details

Beat Film Fest Kicks Off Aug. 1

Beat Film Festival, founded in 2010, is likely to become the headliner of this summer’s cultural events in Moscow. It launches on Aug. 1, when the city’s movie theaters are allowed to open after their long downtime during the coronavirus quarantine.  This year the films will be shown online and offline, sometimes with discussions including…

Details

By the Book: ‘The Soviet Diet Cookbook’

Behind many a successful food writer stands an inspirational grandparent. This is certainly true of Anna Kharzeeva, author of “The Soviet Diet Cookbook: Exploring Life, Culture and History — One Recipe at a Time.”  With the help of her grandmother, Yelena Moiseyevna, Kharzeeva, a thirty-something Muscovite, set out to explore the world of Soviet-era cuisine by…

Details

Russian Moviegoers ‘Not Ready for Dramas’ Amid Pandemic, Culture Ministry Says

Russian cinemas will delay premiering heavy dramas after reopening because viewers “aren’t ready” for heavy dramas amid the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said Wednesday. Russia closed down movie theaters, museums and other cultural establishments after the outbreak first hit the country in late March. Russia’s Culture Ministry lifted the nationwide ban last week, leaving it up…

Details

Cool Down with Slavic Ceviche

Somewhere in the early 2000s, it became okay to play with our food.  Not in the sense of rolling it up into balls and hurling it at one another, but to pair traditional ingredients with non-traditional methods of preparation or vice versa. Until then, everyone had dutifully stayed in his lane: sushi was sushi, but…

Details

Russian Public Figures to Join Online Talk on ‘War of Monuments’

Protests against racial and other discrimination have engulfed half of the globe. In their quest for justice, demonstrators have targetted monuments of people associated with slavery, racial and other forms of discrimination. Authorities across the world have put demonstrators on a par with ordinary vandals, imposing enormous fines and even criminal penalties for destroying or…

Details

A Long Weekend In Lipetsk

Sometimes the most interesting places in Russia are a bit off the beaten path. Case in point: Lipetsk region. Lipetsk is 465 km from Moscow — almost six hours by car. Although the region is associated with Peter the Great, the writer Ivan Bunin, and other famous historical figures, it is not on the standard…

Details

Moscow’s Best Swimming Holes

Moscow has a surprising number of beaches for swimming in lakes, canals and streams, which are just opening up after the long period of self-isolation and cool, rainy weather.  In Moscow city, the swimming zones are not officially open: the city is still on high alert mode in response to the coronavirus pandemic. So wait…

Details

Where Can I Travel in Russia This Summer?

Russia opened its domestic tourist season Wednesday as it continues to grapple with the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has seen it record the world’s third-highest number of infections. The country closed its borders and grounded most international flights in late March to slow the spread of the outbreak, allowing only special evacuations of its own…

Details

Serebrennikov Trial: Russia Gives Suspended Sentence to Prominent Director in Fraud Case

A Moscow court has handed a suspended sentence to prominent theater director Kirill Serebrennikov, a surprise legal victory in a fraud case his supporters say was politically motivated and a test of artistic freedom in Russia. Suspended sentences are widely seen as the lightest punishment in Russia’s legal system, which rarely issues not-guilty verdicts. The sentencing…

Details

Moscow Cultural Life Is Slowly Reawakening

Finally, summer cafes, libraries and museums are expected to reopen in Moscow. Starting from June 16, exhibition halls and museums are gradually opening all over Moscow. In almost every museum, visitors will only be able to buy electronic tickets, and everyone, including guests and exhibition staffers, are required to wear masks and practice social distancing.…

Details

Russia Takes on ALS With a Marathon

On Friday the non-governmental organization Zhivi Seichas (Live Now) is holding a 10-hour marathon to gather 2 million rubles for Russian patients with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). All day on their YouTube channel or VKontakte page some of Russia’s finest athletes, actors, singers, dancers and many others will be working hard to entertain, enlighten, and even hold some dance…

Details

Russian TV Channel Appears to Add Footage of US Unrest to Film

Channel One devoted Sunday evening to airing director Alexei Balabanov’s movies “Brat” and “Brat 2” (“Brother” and “Brother 2”) on the twentieth anniversary of the second film’s release. The home audience across the country was, however, puzzled by new footage showing unrest across the United States in place of the final film credits.  While the famous”Nautilus Pompilius” song…

Details

‘Soviet Signs and Street Relics’

Photographer Jason Guilbeau, who was born in Niort, France and now lives in Strasbourg, is known for his landscapes of Switzerland, Germany and Eastern Europe, in particular the relationship between form and landscape. In “Soviet Signs and Street Relics” he has taken Google Street View images of the sculptural signs so familiar to anyone who…

Details

Have a Taco Party This Weekend

This weekend you can pretend it’s summer by ordering in a Mexican meal from the Hyatt Regency Petrovsky Park. A big variety of meaty and meatless dishes for two (or many more) is 3,500 rubles, which includes free delivery within the Third Ring Road and Horchata Blanca (a traditional Mexican rice drink). For the “do-it-yourself”…

Details

Shashlyk in the City

In 2012 the Moscow City Government issued a rule, calcified into law in 2019, which caused a certain amount of buzz amongst the creative classes. The rule was a stern reminder to “respected Muscovites and guests of the capital” that roasting meat on the city’s residential balconies was neither allowed nor encouraged. That it came around the…

Details

Tours, Talks, and Theater Online

“Sacred Talisman” Online Theatrical Premiere The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center joined with Teatr Predmeta (Object Theater) to produce an online performance of “Sacred Talisman” in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. The play is about a little boy who survives the horror of war by hiding under his bed and…

Details

Order an Indian Feast in Moscow

This weekend, May 29-31, our friends and neighbors at the Hyatt Regency Petrovsky Park are offering an Indian feast for their delivery dinner. Prepared by their executive chef Ashwani Vyas, who knows something about Indian cuisine — he grew up on it! — the meal for two actually feeds at least a family of four!…

Details

Russia ‘Ready’ for New Comedy on Gay Activists’ 1970s Soviet Visit, Producer Says

Oscar-nominated Russian producer Alexander Rodnyansky has announced a new television series based on the real-life story of a group of LGBT activists who visited the Soviet Union on a mistaken invitation. The comedic series will portray the Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin (HAW) activists’ 1978 trip to Moscow after a high-ranking Soviet official mistook their gay liberation…

Details