The Enduring Glamour of Mushroom Julien

Mushroom season continues its stately autumnal progress.  Having stocked the freezer with mushroom soup, mushroom lasagna, and mushroom pâté, I suddenly remembered that most quintessentially mushroom-y dish of them all; one  I’m guessing none of us has enjoyed in quite some time: Mushroom Julien.  This fixture of glitzy Soviet-era restaurants and theater buffets is another…


Moscow Confronts Second Coronavirus Wave, in Photos

As a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hits Russia, Moscow is once again eyeing new restrictions to prevent the virus’ spread among the city’s 12.7 million people.

As of Tuesday, Moscow has confirmed 339,431 cases of Covid-19, with 264,500 patients recovered.

Here’s a look at life in Russia’s capital amid the second wave:

Celebrating Writer Ivan Bunin

Ivan Bunin was the first Russian writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Born on Oct. 22, 1870 [Oct. 10 O.S.] in a noble family in Voronezh, he studied at the Yelets men’s gymnasium in the Lipetsk region but left before finishing. He lived in Yefremov, Oryol, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and many other…


Muscovites and Their Dogs Race Cross-Country for Charity

More than 200 runners and their four-legged friends put their best feet — and paws — forward this weekend for the Fast Dog Cross Country charity run in Moscow’s Bitsevsky Forest Park.

The annual race raises money to help support animal shelter and rescue efforts.

Take a look at the fast-paced race in action:

The Moscow International Film Festival Begins Quietly But Packs a Cinematic Punch

Staggered seating, social distancing, masks and gloves – so begins the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF). The organizers couldn’t invite Hollywood and international celebrities to the opening ceremony, but this didn’t stop MIFF from coming up with a new and extremely rich movie program. Many of the films presented at the festival, unfortunately, will…


Moscow Film Fest Pulls Nagorno-Karabakh Drama Over Violence Worries

The Moscow International Film Festival will not screen an Armenian drama set in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in order to avoid provoking violence between ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the Russian capital, Interfax reported Wednesday. Organizers made the decision as clashes between arch-foes Armenia and Azerbaijan over Karabakh entered their fourth day and the number…


Food Fests From East and West

All throughout the quarantine period, our friends and neighbors at the Hyatt Regency Petrovsky Park kept us well-fed with weekend deliveries of delicious foreign cuisine. They are continuing the tradition of enticing international food and drink. Only now, we can get out of the house and go to them. Singaporean Cuisine Festival The first special…


‘The Girl From the Hermitage’

Tens of thousands of nameless older women inhabit St. Petersburg, picking their way amongst the pockmarked sidewalks and treacherous cobblestones, dressed in clean but shabby clothes, their shoulders stooped with decades of carrying heavy burdens.  They are as integral to the city as the elaborate facades and the noonday gun from Peter and Paul Fortress,…


A Tale of Two Charlottes

Apple season is officially open! One of the more colorful hybrid holidays in Russia is Yablochny Spas, or “Apple Savior,” celebrated each year in late August, traditionally the moment when apples are ripe for picking.  In a delightful tradition reminiscent of Holy Thursday in early spring, Orthodox faithful bring baskets of apples and other early…


Belarus Nobel-Winner Alexievich Urges Lukashenko to Go

Belarusian Nobel Prize-winning writer Svetlana Alexievich condemned police violence against protesters in her country and urged strongman Alexander Lukashenko to go peacefully in an interview published Wednesday. The 72-year-old author won the 2015 Nobel Literature Prize for her work chronicling the horrors of war and life under the repressive Soviet regime including the 1986 Chernobyl…


Russian Violinist and Conductor Spivakov Rejects Lukashenko Award Over Belarus Crackdown

Renowned Russian conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov will return an award from Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko due to police violence against protesters in the days since Belarus’ presidential election. Spivakov, 75, condemned the police crackdown in neighboring Belarus in an open letter published by the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper. More than 6,000 demonstrators have been…