November 01, 2011

Travel Notes

Sergei Sobyanin, the new mayor of Moscow, wrapped up his first year on the job with an initiative to update and modernize the capital's parks.

This year's opening of a renovated Gorky Park received mainly positive reviews. Until recently, Muscovites rarely visited Gorky Park, not the least reason being because of the entrance fee charged during the summer.

The park, redeveloped by a group funded by the billionaire Roman Abramovich, aims to attract up to nine million visitors per year, having eliminated shabby kiosks and restoring the original pavilions from the 1920s. While the centrally located green zone on the Moscow River lost its amusement rides, the Soviet-inspired signs to not walk on the grass are gone. One can now lounge on the lawns with a laptop (although the free WiFi does not yet work smoothly).

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