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Hi, my name is Anya Boiko and I've lived in Moscow for over 20 year

Hi, my name is Anya Boiko and I've lived in Moscow for over 20 year

I'm the PR and Marketing Director for Ilya Tutenkov's restaurant chain.

I moved closer to central Moscow, to my work because all the restaurants in our chain are situated primarily on Nikitskaya, near the Kremlin and the Patriarch Ponds.

The Patriarch Ponds are a very powerful centre of gravity in central Moscow; it's a very hip spot. There's always lots of local young hipsters milling about and people come to hang out here from all over Moscow; it's also a major tourist destination with tourists often spending an entire evening here: they'll often just drift from one restaurant or café to the next, ending the evening in a bar. It's a very beautiful place in winter as all the restaurants have lights and decorations. In summer, however, something special happens; the place has its own unique atmosphere. There are verandas, open windows, and wide windowsills you can sit on. Everybody's chilling and talking to each other as if everyone's on first-name terms; people are telling jokes, laughing. It's a very laid-back and easy-going atmosphere. In the summer, this place is like Italy: everyone loves drinking Aperol, sitting on the street, making plans, daydreaming, joking, or suddenly striking up a conversation with a total stranger at the next table.

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On graphics and stereotypes

I normally spend the first half of the day talking to our team. It's important to stay in touch with your staff, to know what they think about what's going on in the restaurant. I spend the second half of the day talking to our guests. And in the evening I meet with our partners and journalists. As a rule, I will have at least four to five meetings per day at different restaurants.

Incidentally, my job is actually directly related to my degree: I graduated from the Philosophy Department of Moscow State University with a degree in Political PR. I started working in my fifth year at university. I tried out a lot of options: from cosmetics companies to glossy magazines to the Ministry of Economic Development.

On awareness and scooters

I'm one of those people who need to move fast. And I found myself the ideal mode of transport: a scooter. It's really great that in Moscow you can now get about on a scooter or a bicycle. For me it's the ideal option: I can't drive a car because I need to have wine in many restaurants. In winter I get about by taxi. I really like it that taxis now have their own lanes in Moscow; this means you end up going places without even noticing the traffic jams.

And, starting sometime in May and all the way through to late October, my main mode of transport is the scooter. It looks great; it's also super convenient and healthy: I get to burn the calories I eat at the restaurants. As a rule, I get to places twice as fast on my scooter than by taxi. And I'm not the only one: in Moscow we're now seeing a whole scooter/bicycle movement developing. I really like it that more and more people are opting for environmentally friendly modes of transport. Three years ago I felt like a bit of a trailblazer. Last year the number of people riding scooters jumped by a factor of three or four.

On gastronomy and secret places

Moscow is a city of opportunities and a city of pleasure. But you need to know the right places here. A lot of these right places don't even have signs but people just know about them. I think Moscow is one of the most important gastronomical destinations in Europe. Copenhagen is generally regarded as the centre of all things gastronomical but that's a whole different story, really. Copenhagen is a very expensive place and not that many people can afford to splurge EUR 250-400 on a meal.

Moscow has far better options in this respect: in terms of prices, US or European studies will find our restaurants more than affordable. But both the service and the cuisine they offer are quite on the level: we've got great produce and brilliant chefs.

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On Moscow vs Paris

I have my favorite stomping grounds in Moscow. These are the Novodevichi Сonvent, where we often go with friends, and Museon Park.

I think Moscow is one of the cleanest cities in Europe. It has changed a great deal recently. I travel a lot, going on gastronomical tours to various cities in Europe and let me tell you: Moscow is a lot cleaner than, for example, Paris, even though I love Paris.

For the first time in a very long time, I've started noticing that many foreigners have Moscow on their must-visit lists. Recently, I met some girls in Greece who were deciding where to go in April-May. They were choosing between Moscow and Budapest. Never before had I heard of Europeans who had Moscow on their shortlist of cities to visit. It's so cool. When people ask me where I'm from I proudly reply that I'm from Moscow.


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The special Muscovites project is dedicated to the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow. You can meet them in a café, on the street, at the theatre or the supermarket. Perhaps, you sat across from their table, stood in the same queue or were on the same bus late to work just yesterday. Muscovites, let's get acquainted.

www.moskvichi.moscow

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