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My name is Masha, I was born in Moscow

I play football and believe it to be the best sport there is

About (Non-) Girly Things

Nowadays, few people are surprised that I play football. And this is a great thing: it means that the city not only frees houses from concrete fences, but also releases people from imposed stereotypes. In some areas, the boundaries between female and male have been erased, which is, of course, good to see.

I am generally a very active person: I love being on the move, doing sports and I like to feel my body. I like trying new things, keeping up, giving up, trying again. Snowboarding, wakeboarding, badminton, surfing, boxing, motocross and now football... For some it might seem like a frantic pace or a race. For some, but not for Moscow. The pace is set by the city itself—you simply either feel its rhythm or resist and swim away from the fast swimming lane to something calmer.

For me, sport is, first of all, about being able to turn off your head: get distracted and feel—everyone should have their own hobbies.

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On what is tasty and what is important

Moscow is quite a football city. Yes, we can't compete with London but at least there is something to discuss now.

The interest in football, including women's football, has clearly increased after the 2018 World Cup in Moscow. For many, this was the most memorable event of the last five years—some even forget their own wedding, and the first thing that comes to their mind is: "Well, of course, it's the World Cup; it's such an important milestone!" So Moscow has started seriously developing football. Should I even remind you that in the past all football clubs had to fit in the same Luzhniki Stadium, while now everyone has their own?

The cuisine of Moscow is from another planet. It is a city where you can eat a Vietnamese pho bo at any time, then come to a Serbian restaurant, then visit a Georgian one, eat a bunch of Hungarian waffles on the way, try square pizza, just like in Naples, and then quite unexpectedly find meatballs in a small café just like your grandma's. You could continue this list and discover new things without end. And yes, you do not need to be a multimillionaire or live in the centre of the city to have access to all of this.

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On horses at your window

I have been living in Strogino since I was five. It's a cool district, even though it's considered to be a dormitory residential area. My house is located in the famous Troitse-Lykovo: this is where Solzhenitsyn (Russian novelist) spent the last years of his life.

The surrounding water creates the impression that the area is a little cut off from Moscow. There are no shopping centres or cinemas, only a few cafés. Strogino is all about greenery, water and solitude. Here you can see horses from your window. And the air here is completely different. Tverskaya street (centre district) is practically a stone's throw from here. It is the perfect combination of city and nature.

About the right "I Want"

About a decade ago, I stopped at a car wash at one of the new houses that had just been built here, and thought to myself: "I want an apartment here!" There were no suitable options, but I had only one thought in my head: "I must live here". And after a while, I learned that they had started building two more huge houses in the same place. I said: "Well, that's it, it's a sign." I bought an apartment with a view of horses, a church and the Stroginskaya floodplain. Real beauty.I'd rather go for a walk in the park than wander the streets of Moscow. With age, nature starts growing on you. You just walk out to the park, sit down on a bench and gaze at the water... And if you open a window in the summer, you can hear the noise of a boat on the Moscow River. And you are like, "Oh, someone must be going somewhere." You look out the window for a while and watch. Incidentally, looking out the window has been a habit of mine since childhood. It's like a TV for me.

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On the monsters of Gorky and a place of power

Grandma always told me that I looked out the window too much, just like the old women in the village. Actually, my grandma and I were very active. We had a dog. In winter, we would walk outside, hitch our dog on the sledge, and I would ride it around the snow-covered avenue. And in the summer, we would go to the park and feed the ducks—30 years have passed since then, and they still swim there; I regularly check on them.

Another thing I remember from childhood is Gorky Park and its rides. I used to call them monsters: perhaps I found the way they towered above me too menacing. So, I'm very glad there are no monsters now. There is a lot of greenery and running paths, just the way I like it.

I really like fountains. My favorite is the one on Academician Kurchatov Square. It may not seem particularly remarkable, but it helps me think when I'm near it. I often visit it in spring and summer to catch my breath from all the hustle and bustle.

On endless wonder

I've been to many places. London is cool, and so are Barcelona and New York. But in terms of the comfort of life, some sort of fulfilment, Moscow is better than any other city. It is arranged in such a way, that you can find anything you need. Almost any service is available to you 24 hours a day. As far as I know, you cannot find this anywhere else.

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Today, it is difficult to tell, whether Moscow is more of a male or a female city. It is very, very diverse. I've been living here for 33 years, but some areas of the city still make me wonder: "Wow, this exists here too?"

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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.

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