June 29, 2017

Baller Ballerinas, Flying Taxis, & Gardens in the Sky


Baller Ballerinas, Flying Taxis, & Gardens in the Sky
Metro, Millenium Falcon, and Moss-cow

1. Ballet and soccer aren’t the most obvious combination. It gets even weirder when a subway station gets involved. But during the Confederations Cup, the Kremlin Ballet company performed scenes from several famous ballets in the Novoslobodskaya metro station. 200 football fans and metro riders crowded onto the platform for the event, which was meant to showcase the beauty of Russian culture. As a side event during a football tournament, the contrast seems stark, but it’s proof that sports fans and ballet fans can find common ground in people with powerful feet. Check out the performance photo gallery.



2. Yandex Taxi can pick you up when you’re in a tight spot. But can it make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? In the ride app’s latest marketing campaign, special ads are aired during the broadcast of certain films. Whether it’s Star Wars’ Rey and Finn running from imperial fire or minions nabbing a car in Despicable Me, the gist is that there’s no better means of escape than a Yandex taxi. Yandex may claim to be the best search engine out there, but whether their taxis can actually outrun a TIE fighter has yet to be tested.

3. Moscow’s next architectural coup: planting grass and trees on city rooftops. These “green roofs” and the process of “vertical gardening” are being touted as awesome environmental advances that will improve air quality, prevent rain damage, and look cool. But the announcement comes in the midst of the controversial decision to level thousands of Khrushchev-era apartment buildings, potentially displacing 1.6 million Muscovites – and destroying 3 hectares of greenery. Are the green roofs a solution, or a distraction?  

In Odder News
  • A new residential area in Tambov will have 29 streets named for Russian writers. If you read Platonov on Tsvetaeva Lane, will you be punished?
  • Comedian Stephen Colbert paid a visit to Russia, and it was full of pickles, vodka, presidential campaign announcements, and intelligence officers.
  • Real rockstars don’t play hooky. A new sculpture of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road, installed at Tomsk State University, makes it look like the Fab Four think freshmen year is the fabbest of all.

Quote of the Week

"I don’t know if you knew I was in Russia last week. You know who did know I was in Russia? Russian intelligence. Hardcore fans, evidently. Followed me everywhere."
—Stephen Colbert on his trip to Russia and the attention he got from Russian intelligence. Later, American intelligence joined the fun, too.  

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week

Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955