Even in the brief time I have been away, the Moscow art and design scene seems to have blossomed (it being the summer obviously helps). Finally made it to Bar Strelka, for an evening drink on the high-level outside terrace overlooking the river; definitely one of the coolest places to be right now. In fact the whole Red October factory island is buzzing. Read a brilliant piece by the author Gary Shteyngart ("Born in Leningrad, U.S.S.R., in 1972, I have been coming back almost every year since my late twenties to poke fun at my birthplace"). He calls Strelka the centre of 'the Snob universe', Russia's very own glossy for the cultural elite; but also hopes (hopelessly) that places like this can be part of making the country more 'normal' - for "If Russia can become a normal country, then maybe my past can be normalized, too" .
For more cool spots outdoor eating and drink spots, read this from moscow-in-your-pocket.
For more about Bar Strelka, and the Strelka Insitute, see this video.