The Heritage Trails and The Hidden Gem

Москва Day 1: The Most Walkable Sprawl

June 17, 2017.

Moscow is one of the coolest cities I have ever seen. My mom and I agreed to the following:

  1. Moscow would be a child’s favorite playground. There are zoning laws here that require a certain amount of playgrounds for every few blocks of residential and commercial buildings. The playgrounds are never too close to the streets and have plenty of green space surrounding them as a means to promoting more play areas and safety (e.g., preventing kids from going onto the street or into the back of an alleyway).
  2. The Moscow River takes you through the stories of Moscow. Old districts followed by new ones. Soviet architecture followed by Muscovy houses. Green spaces followed by factories. Statues of religious and political figures. The story never ends.
  3. The Stalin Towers. Also known as the Seven Sisters. Just wow. One of them is the tallest educational building in the world (Moscow State University). Again, there are seven of them. Let that sink in.
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There are two Stalin Towers in this photo.

 

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Me nearby a Stalin tower for scale.

4. The city sprawls like Los Angeles, yet it is one of the most walkable cities I have ever traversed. Greens, pedestrian-only zones, and plenty of views. And train stations everywhere when you need to end your walk with a train ride back home.

5. Every train station is a museum.

 

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Frames everywhere in every train station.

Moscow represents a dark image for many, including some of my family members. Here’s the catch: I’d like to come back again. It has only been one day, but I am already convinced.

Lots of Circassians here too, from what I have heard. Moscow was not the capital at the time of the Circassian genocide, so there are less historical blood stains in the city that are connected to that horrible event. Unfortunately, Moscow is still home to a lot of blood stains. Wars, famines, sieges, fires, and everything in between.

Moscow, upon seeing it for the first time, reminded me of the long peace. The city has experienced millions of deaths. Over 10 million Russians died from World War II. Today, we are at a time when all of the world’s biggest powers are not at war with each other. This has not happened since the fall of the Roman Empire. I am confident this peace will continue forever.

 

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A graphic representing the number of deaths over the past ~80 years. Note the downward trend. Note the long peace.

 

 

 

1 thought on “Москва Day 1: The Most Walkable Sprawl”

  1. This was such a nice read and definitely gave me a new perspective on things 🙂
    I notice you included that graphic from Vox — I don’t know if you got it from the article about Obama’s optimism and foreign policy strategy or not but it’s one of my favorite articles ever 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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