What’s On in Moscow May 14-16

Night in the Museum Moscow began to celebrate a Night in the Museum not long ago, but the event quickly became a favorite of Muscovites of all ages. There is something delightfully transgressive about being in a public place after hours, when the lights are usually off and the doors shut tight. Last year it…

Open a Window to Films From the East

Every year audiences in Wiesbaden, Germany come together to watch films from their neighbors to the East. The GoEast Film Festival shows about 100 films from almost 40 countries in Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. This year the festival audiences on- and offline saw an enormous variety of films in every…

Building the Perfect Fish Solyanka

“Do you have a decent recipe for solyanka?” “Yikes,” I thought. The request came from a friend who is firmly in the “I need recipes to be precise” camp. Tell her to use a bell pepper, and a barrage of texts from the supermarket invariably ensues demanding to know how much the individual pepper should…

Film Award Season Comes to Moscow

The NIKA Awards The Russian film community holds their big awards ceremony every spring, except in 2020 when Moscow was on lockdown during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, this year’s ceremony gave out awards for two years: 2019 and 2020.  The best film of 2019 was “The Frenchman,” the story…

The ‘Other Worlds’ of Teffi

This Translation by Robert Chandler Teffi is difficult to translate. I have said a little in the foreword about her Pushkinian grace and deft use of repetition. She also makes the most of two freedoms—the freedom to omit words and an extreme freedom of word order—that are available only in a highly inflected language like…

Try Smetannik: Russia’s Sour Cream Cake

One of life’s great indulgences is a mid-afternoon tea break. At 4:00 each afternoon, my phone trills the high-pitched, reedy “Tea” melody from “The Nutcracker,” signaling that it is time for a cup of tea and perhaps a slice of something sweet. During lockdown, my family members have folded this habit into the rhythms of…

Discover Painter Ilya Repin Anew

Ilya Repin is best known as a realist painter, whose portraits of writer Leo Tolstoy and canvases such as “Barge Haulers on the Volga” and “Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks” represented Russia to the world. But the show “Ilya Repin: Known and Unknown” at the State Tretyakov Gallery invites you to forget all that —…

What’s On This Weekend

“The Cherry Orchard” at Mossoviet Film and theater director Andrei Konchalovsky has put on a trilogy of plays by Anton Chekhov at Mossoviet Theater, starting with “Uncle Vanya” in 2009, “Three Sisters” in 2012, and ending with “The Cherry Orchard” this year. “The Cherry Orchard” is something of a family affair, starring Konchalovsky’s wife, Yulia…

Let Pkhali Steal the Show

I am an inveterate hoarder of dark leafy greens. I consume baby spinach nearly every day, and the hardier winter spinach invariably finds itself in some cooking project or other, be it soup, smoothie, or spanakopita. I am helpless to resist the vibrant jewel tones of rainbow chard, kale, and my beloved beet greens. But…

In Photos: Long-Awaited Spring Arrives in Moscow

Following weeks of bitter winter weather that held its grip on Russia’s capital despite the start of calendar spring, Muscovites finally have a chance to enjoy some warmer temperatures and sunshine. This winter season was marked by record-setting snowfalls and some of the coldest temperatures Moscow has seen in recent years, making the springtime’s arrival…

‘Uncultured’ Muscovites’ Parkour Statue Stunts Spark Outrage in St. Petersburg

The centuries-old rivalry between Russia’s two largest cities took a new turn when St. Petersburg residents found photos of Muscovites climbing on top of their city’s many statues.  St. Petersburg tour guide Violetta Vitovskaya on Tuesday shared a photo that shows Moscow parkour athlete Akmal Shakurov standing atop a 100-year-old statue on the historic Rosenstein…

My Favorite Things: Chicken Schnitzel and Slaw

Years before I ever tasted it, I was pre-conditioned to adore schnitzel. Maria in “The Sound of Music” listed it along with “cream-colored ponies” and “crisp apfelstrudel” as one of her “Favorite Things” during the famous thunderstorm scene with the pajama-clad Von Trapp children. This inspired the first order of business on my first trip…

Sculptures Sing Opera at St. Petersburg’s Manege

An exhibition called “Stillness. Russian Classical Sculpture From Shubin To Matveev” opened at the Manege in St. Petersburg, throwing a virtual bridge across centuries, artists and art forms. The spacious halls of the Manege have been transformed into theater spaces, complete with a foyer, dressing rooms, an orchestra pit, audience seats and stages where different…

Start Lent with Miso Mushroom Farro Pilaf

There is no greater culinary contrast in Russia than the transition from Maslenitsa — the weeklong Shrovetide festival — to the somber beginning of Lent, the long fast which precedes Easter. From buttery pancakes with thick cottage cheese filling, fistfights, and a round-the-clock carnival atmosphere, the mood becomes far more contemplative and the diet positively…

Russian Artist Mixes Renaissance Beauty With Moscow’s Gritty Reality

Moscow-based artist Yevgeniy Naumuv aims to breathe new life into the city’s gloomy urban landscape by turning them into Renaissance-inspired artworks.  A resident of the Vykhino neighborhood located in Moscow’s outskirts, Naumov defines his art style as “Vykhino Renaissance,” saying it reveals the romantic side of life in gray residential apartment blocks.  The young artist…

Millennials on Exhibit at the Russian Museum

New materials meet new technology, street art and personal dreams at the new exhibition at the State Russian Museum devoted — for the first time in its history — exclusively to the works of Gen Y artists. Called “Millennials in Contemporary Russian Art” and hosted by the museum’s Marble Palace, the exhibition is an attempt to create…