Moscow Never Sleeps

by photographer Gerd Ludwig (slideshow probably inappropriate for younger eyes)

“At midnight the city is a brilliant grid of light that includes the gilded dome of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Stalinist horror of the Ukraine Hotel, and a dark loop of the Moscow River. Downstream the lights of round-the-clock construction hang in the air while steel and concrete disappear. The clutter of the day is gone. The night brings clarity, and lights trace the future…”                                       –Martin Cruz Smith

A novelist and photographer team up for an National Geographic online narrative about racy New-Russian Moscow during the Luzhkov years. Brilliant writing, if a tarnished subject. The following are totally inappropriate for an underage audience, but it reminds me of the Moscow of 2007 that I moved to…



SOUNDTRACK HERE (the song you heard blaring from all the CD kiosks in 2008):

“THE MAYOR Not since Stalin has anyone left his stamp on Moscow as much as Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. A sawed-off colossus, he raises skyscrapers with one hand and flattens historic neighborhoods with the other. The floodlights that illuminate Moscow’s classical palaces at night are under his command. He garnishes the city with statues that infuriate the critics, whom he ignores. He is what Russians call a muzhik, a man of the earth, and, although he and Vladimir Putin have been rivals in the past, they seem to agree that gaudy casinos are out of step with Moscow’s new maturity and dignity, even if Putin reportedly complains that he never knows what the skyline of Moscow will look like when he gets out of bed in the morning.”                                         -Martin Cruz Smith

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