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Bar-sur-Loup Provence France

More Moscow

Forget the horror stories. I'd come back in a heartbeat, if it wasn't for the the fact that Moscow is now officially the most expensive city in the world:

The city center -- which is all I saw, this being a business trip -- was beautiful and beautifully kept. The architecture was a wild mixture of 18th-19th century grandeur and Stalinist neo-classical buildings that looked like large chunks of granite lego. The buildings around Red Square have been renovated, including the mind-blowing spires of St. Basil's. A beautiful city for a walk, even in the rain.

Sadly, GUM -- the famous Soviet era department store, a.k.a. place to stand in line for hours -- has been completely redone as a fancy-shmancy upmarket shopping mall. International brands, coffee shops, and stylish displays would be right at home in Paris or Vienna (in fact I would challenge you to look at a picture of the interior and guess the city). However... it's way over the price range of the average Muscovite. They shop elsewhere. The place is relatively empty, though apparently packed in the evening when the expats and kleptocrats go out shopping. But the interior is gorgeous -- a three-story open arcade with a glass roof, arched walkways between the shops, 19th century decorative fixtures... I took too many photos. I shall try to upload some.


Bar-sur-Loup Provence France

December 2011

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