Багатство і престиж 15/11/2011Posted by brendan in Avions, Trains et Voitures, Leçons Culturelles.
Tags: Andriyivskyy Descent, Czarina Elizabeth, history, kiev, kyiv, Mikhail Bulgakov, montmartre, paris, Place du Tertre, podil, St. Andrew's, tourism, travel, ukraine, ussr, walks, wandering
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Come see The Montmartre of Kyiv! Whichever enterprising copywriter conceived that golden gem must have a monument raised in their honor. What else but brilliant advertising could convince the touring masses of the world to slip and stumble along cracked cobblestones down a street of dust and unsavory characters?
Politicians responded with a funicular to spare the overfed any exercise climbing Andriyivskyy Descent. Public works of yesterday which civilized this sharp slope with a winding road cannot keep up with the growing monied masses, and Kyiv would like more monied masses please. Buildings which have been sagging since the neighborhood began in the 17th century are swaddled in scaffolding. Plans have been made to install glistening concrete sidewalks. Soon the small cafes will expand and add neon to their windows, the boutiques will hire English-speaking students and death squads will cart dog carcasses to the incinerators. (more…)
Голодомор 04/07/2011Posted by brendan in Avions, Trains et Voitures, Leçons Culturelles.
Tags: agriculture, collectivization, communism, economics, famine, genocide, history, holodomor, kiev, kyiv, pechersk lavra, politics, stalin, tourism, travel, ukraine, ussr, vichnoyi slavy, walks, wandering
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Gilded domes swam in the pastel horizon, a suspended backdrop for obelisks and towers. Vichnoyi Slavy Park had been ransacked by Disney prospectors intent on contorting accepted standards of perspective. The cluster of monuments, basking in a rolling sea of lawns manicured by legions of Scottish groundskeepers welcomes you as an amusement park and leaves you reeling from the price of admission.
Walkways ran thick as people dared the approaching tempest to steal what sun pierced blackening clouds. Visitors were casual, staving off heat exhaustion with shorts and summer dresses, but none violated the carefully cultivated grass. Considering the gravity of our surroundings adherence to rules as submission to respect was sensible, yet no reverence was paid to any of the edifices and conversation wasn’t a somber affair. Abandon walkways and sculpted concrete benches at your own peril. Cops at Le Jardin du Luxembourg would agonize over disturbing a picnic before gently chastising offenders. It was anyone’s guess what cops in Kyiv would do.
Tourists come to gape at Pechersk Lavra, an enclave of Eastern-Orthodox churches complimenting the network of caves which have served as a monastery since the 11th century. St. Anthony accidentally founded an ascetic movement upon returning home from Greece. His teachings inspired disciples to invade his subterranean warren. His attempts at pious isolation drove him down river to build a new underground habitat, but the zealous adoration of acolytes led to architects being brought in from Constantinople who littered the land with temples. Today relics and the mummified remains of notables relent to the scrutiny of paying guests willing to adopt the appropriately misogynistic attire. (more…)