If you happen to be in the city center, or if you happen to like the idea of high-class street food, head over to Tverskaya Ploshchad — by the statue of Yuri Dolgoruky on Tverskaya Ulitsa — and bring your appetite. As part of the Summer in the City festival, more than 50 restaurants have opened little take-away cafes selling all kinds of delicious treats with an emphasis on cold drinks and sweets, especially ice cream and other frozen delights. But you can start out with, say, grilled seafood from Perelman People or Japanese mochi (rice cakes) at Matryoshka. There is another food court on Ploshchad Revolyutsii and 16 other spots around the city. They are open all day and until the evening from Thursday through Sunday.
Flower fest at GUM
While you’re in the center of the city, pop into GUM and be prepared to ooh and ahh. The nineth annual flower festival is on, which means the entire arcade is filled with more than 600,000 flowers, from pretty little begonias to exotic kalanchoe (also called widow’s thrill). The outside of the building is also decorated with flowerboxes and flowerpots overflowing with cascades of blooms. In and among the flowers and greenery are sculptures by contemporary artists. Walking and looking is absolutely free of charge. But you may need to splurge on some GUM ice cream.
Music on the roof
This Saturday night the roof of the Red October building on Bolotny Island will be filled with the sounds of music. The Imperialis Orchestra is performing a concert of classical and contemporary neo-classical works, including pieces by Antonio Vivaldi, Max Richter and many other well-known composers. Imagine listening to music with all of twilight Moscow glittering around you. The concert is from 6 to 7:30 p.m., but the audience is advised to arrive by 5:30 p.m. Tickets range in price from 1,700 to 6,100 rubles, and children must be over 12 years old to attend. No QR code necessary. For tickets, see the site here.
Movies on the roof
Moscow is definitely moving outside and up this summer! Since mid-June and right up until the end of August, the film platform KION is presenting a festival of outdoor cinema — and this year “outdoors” means “up on the roof.” At 1,000 locations around Russia and a dozen or so in Moscow, you can see free of charge an evening of short films by young Russian directors. At each screening the audience votes for their favorite film by using flashlights — light intensity is measured by a special device — and the winning filmmaker gets 1.5 million rubles for his or her next production. Director Alexei Nuzhny won one year, and three years later his film about a young woman trying to lose weight was being shown on the big screen.
This Friday it’s a program for the whole family, including a film called “The Calf” and one about a young woman who wants to be a firefighter. Saturday night is hot topic films, such as Covid and what happens to dropped off packages. And on Sunday it’s a night of animated films for kids and their parents. To find the locations and register, see the site here. Everything is in Russian, but even if your language skills are lacking, sitting on the roof watching a movie needs no translator. The festival was launched in 2014 and has entertained more than 3 million people around the world.
Come for the electricity, stay for the flea market
The Museum of Moscow has just opened a terrific new show about one very important milestone in the life of the city: getting electricity. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Commission for the Electrification of Russia, the museum has put on a fascinating exhibit that shows not only how the city got lights and electricity, but also how this miracle of modern science and technology inspired such artists as Alexander Deineka and El Lisitsky. Kids will enjoy the audio and light installations; adults will be delighted by the art and architecture associated with it. For more information and tickets, see the site here. And while you’re there, if you haven’t walked around the museum’s permanent exhibit, we highly recommend it, especially for kids interested in how people lived a few centuries ago.
Afterwards — or during, if you split up family responsibilities — spend an hour or so wandering around the courtyard flea market. More than 100 vendors sell everything from old plates and glasses to hand-made jewelry, clothing, and other crafts. Pause from your shopping to listen to some of the live music and watch dancers trip the light fantastic. Admission is free; just bring an extra tote bag to take away your treasures.