Tuesday, 11 January 2011


I am not a great fan of New Years’ resolutions but –following a long conversation with Russian colleagues about the many important sights/sites in Moscow I have NOT yet visited - have returned here determined to regain my inner tourist in 2011. 

I guess that after a while living in any country/city you get out of the habit of really looking at what’s there and just begin to live in that state of everyday distraction which constitutes normality. Which is nice in one way, but also feels like a blurring of the reasons for moving somewhere else in the first place.  As a method for reviving my initial enthusiasms I have begun making a list of things to see. This starts with the major museums (Tretyakov, Pushkin, MMOMA, all of which I can’t believe I have not yet been to); goes on to all those fabulous looking house museums and other architectural stuff (such as the Shchusev Museum of Architecture) for which Moscow ought to be more famous; and then moves towards a, as yet, rather rougher and shorter list of contemporary culture and events – restaurants, bars, shops etc, which I consider my answer to the Wallpaper City Guides. In fact, the whole project keeps threatening to segue into one of those 10 Best Things to See in Moscow if you are a Culture Vulture lists, an inclination I am trying to resist. And this is even before I get to all the potential sights near the city, let alone trips further afield.

Anyway, I decided to make my NYR public here, so that you all can keep me to these good intentions (which I always thought was the only way to keep to a New Year’s resolution). Oh, and any recommendations for good and unusual places to add to my ‘tourist’ visits are also welcome. 

There remains only one issue, and slight crisis, which is to do with photography. This will only be of interest to camera buffs, so everyone else can stop reading here. I set a rule when I first started this blog – not that I told anyone else – that each post would only have one photographic illustration and that I would only use my little ‘point and shot’ compact (a Ricoh GR since you asked). I liked the idea of a restriction, a kind of what -you-see is-what-you-get approach without the possibility of any fancy footwork. I still like this idea; the problem is that the Ricoh collapsed on me when I was in Sydney – cameras do like to pack up when you are on trip-of-a-lifetime type excursions – and is still behaving very eccentrically. I also have a Lumix GF1with a couple of lens, a relatively recent purchase after my original much-loved, elderly and very oversized Fuji S2Pro digital SLR finally died and Fuji stopped making high-end consumer cameras, damn them.

This, then, is the issue. Whether to just go over to using my Lumix (which breaks the initial rule) or to go out and buy another compact, which will take a lot of fluffing around in selection, cost, country of purchase etc. A difficult decision...

(....and sorted almost immediately by buying a the cheapest Fuji compact available at the airport, and using my Lumix just when I feel like it!)

Photo above is of a photograph I bought recently - just to show I do get out and about a bit - from the first student art fair being run at ArtPlay. Interesting to see what the next generation are doing; much still quite derivative, but lots of creativity.... this is by Alena Beljakova. For more go to http://perhydrol.deviantart.com/gallery/


  1. I've got exactely the same problems with my Lumix and then I bought a Fujy. I just have sent back the fujy cause it was blocked.

  2. Funny you should say that - because I thought I had solved my problem by buying a very cheap Fuji compact as a replacement; but the download cable doesn't seem to be working. So I will also have to take it back!