A holiday since 1992, Russia Day marks the day in 1990 that Russia ratified the Declaration of State Sovereignty, which provided certain freedoms to Russia within the Soviet Union. In recent years it is usually celebrated most vibrantly at the city’s historical museums, where key moments in the country’s past are acted out in skits or highlighted in special tours. This year there will be live concerts in 18 city parks, including Zaryadye, Izmailovo, Gorky and VDNKh parks. VDNKh will have a variety of other activities, including a craft fair.
For some serious exercise, you can walk back through time along the boulevard ring. At 2 Tverskoi bulvar there will be a “theatrical tour” called “The Silk Route: From Rus to the Califate,” about the voyages of Ahmed ibn Faldan,who came to the land of the Rus from Baghdad.
On Nikitsky bulvar you can wander through the Crafts Settlement and try some of the delicacies of a princely feast circa 1400. On Yauzsky bulvar the drama of Tsar Maximilian will play out: a pagan tyrant and his son, who has converted to Christianity.
If the rain holds off and if the epidemiological situation doesn’t drastically worsen, fireworks will go off on Red Square at 10 p.m. For more information see the site here.
To market, to market
If you love all things Indian, this weekend head over to 24 Arbat for Delhi Bazaar. Teas, spices, rice and traditional foods; jewelry and clothing; incense and cosmetics — including Ayurveda products for pets — not to mention textiles and all those cashmere and silk scarves you need. In between purchases and eating lunch and sweet snacks, you can watch Indian films and take a cooking class. Open from noon to 8 p.m.
If you are into homemade ceramics, then plan on going to the Flacon Design Factory on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. where 4ceramics will be selling their gorgeous wares. More than 40 artists working in a wide range of styles will be showing and selling their wares, and best of all everything is food-safe, dishwasher-safe and sometimes even oven-safe. No guarantees for kid-safe, but everything else is a sure thing. Be sure to check out the other incredibly chic, cool, cutting-edge clothing, jewelry, footwear and even bicycles and guitars — and plan on a meal or drink, too.
For family fun, head to the city center on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. for the St. Andrew’s Church annual fair. Craft stalls, children’s games, tower tours, a bouncy castle, Flying Banana drama workshops and food, glorious food — BBQ and plenty of sweets to keep you going so you can climb up the tower and plenty more to take home with you. For more information see the site here.
Poolside at riverside
Last year the Northern River Terminal opened its gates after many years of reconstruction and repair, giving the northern part of Moscow along the Moscow canal — and Leningradsky Prospekt — a beautiful park filled with sculptures, fountains, and cafes. Even if you didn’t hop on a cruise ship, the breeze off the water on a hot day hinted at wide rivers and distant towns. This week a new section of the park has opened: the National Tennis Center with 15 courts and all the support facilities and a pool zone. Now there are three pools of various sizes and depths that are heated to a delightful 26 C degrees surrounded by lounges, cabanas, beds and beach umbrellas, all along the south part of the park by the canal. There are, of course, changing areas with showers, lockers and all the other post-pool necessities, along with cafes, restaurants and bars. There is also a playground for little ones, a workout zone for bigger ones, and volleyball courts for sports fans of all ages. Rental of towels, inflatable pool toys, and comfortable beds to lie in range in price from 350 to 20,000 rubles. But who cares on a hot sunny day? See more information here.
Portraits of Saints and Sinners
The private A-Z Museum is an oasis of color, humor and beauty in the center of Moscow. Dedicated to art of the non-conformist artists of the post-war period, especially Anatoly Zverev, it puts up several big exhibitions a year, each time completely reconstructing the space of this 3-story town house to best exhibit the works. Right now it has a show of portraits —”Saintly Images, Faces and Mugs” — that sometimes shock, sometimes make you laugh, and occasionally draw a tear. If the weather is fine, step out back to see their logo fashioned into a soaring sculpture by the artist Vadim Kosmatshcof, and then head up to the open roof-top café for a glass of something cool and bubbly or a warming cup of coffee. For more information and tickets, see the site.
If the weather stays cool and rainy, head inside to one of Moscow foreign-language-friendly theaters. At Pioner, if you have kids, you can see “Cruella”; if you like fashion (and speak French and English), you might enjoy the fashion designer “Martin Margiela in His Own Words”; and if you want to get all jack-happy, see “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The glorious Art Theater on Arbat has “Cruella” and “Soul” for the little ones and a very wide range of films for adults, from “Wrath of Man” to several documentaries from the Beat Festival, with plenty for the kids and teens in between, like “My Salinger Year.” For more films in the Best Festival, see the site. For a scary evening, check out “Flashback” at the cinema in DomJur (House of Journalists). Or for a very different kind of flashback, see “Erasehead.”
Save the Date
On Friday June 18 at VDNKh Park South African singer Belinda Davids will perform a night of Whitney Houston songs accompanied by the Russian Philharmonic conducted by Roberto Molinelli. The performance will be held on a stage suspended above water near the Vostok rocket. The organizers promise great sound and special effects, although if you’ve ever heard Davids sing you know people in Yugo-Zapadnaya will probably be able to hear her. Tickets are 1,000-10,000 rubles and can be purchased here.