menu menu RU logotype

'A stroll around Moscow is much like
a journey through time'

Facebook
Twitter
Vkontakte
Odnoklassniki

My name is Anastasia. I have lived in Moscow for 13 years. I am a lawyer. My hobby is genealogy

About a red overcoat and the sounds of the city

I remember the Paveletsky Station and its big clock. This was in winter, it was bitterly cold. I was pacing up and down the platform in my red overcoat, waiting to be picked up and taken to my new home at Yugo-Zapadnaya. Thus began my Moscow story back in 2008. After the move, it took me a long time to get accustomed to the street noise and huge crowds. Eventually, I just stopped paying attention to those things. Not that I got used to it — I just fell into sync with the rhythm of the city.

Анастасия.jpg

Getting to know the city

My first residence was on Ozernaya Street, close to Yugo-Zapadnaya Metro station. I instantly fell in love with my neighbourhood: there is something very honest and natural about it that I felt an affinity for.

Five years later, my husband and I moved to our new place in the vicinity of the Varshavskoe Highway. It was a nice neighbourhood and a nice house. Our windows overlooked an incredibly long building. I thought I had never seen a building like that before. It was the kind of building that makes you feel small. This 'smallness' can feel oppressive sometimes, but I felt a mix of awe and surprise instead. I loved to take walks around the neighbourhood. I would take the grey line to Polyanka and spend hours selecting books at Molodaya Gvardiya bookshop.

Анастасия_2.jpg

About books and Lenin's telephone operator

I have loved reading books since I was a small child. We had a vast family library. Once my dad showed me a rare book that Lenin's former telephone switchboard operator had given him.

I still prefer printed books, by the way. It is not true that people do not buy books anymore. I visit bookshops in Moscow very often, and they are always crowded. Once I was in a bookstore, making my way around the shelves and showcases until I stumbled on this book about the Metro. My affair with the Moscow Metro is its own story: I have been to almost every station! Leafing through that book, I found a photograph with me in it. What a fortuitous coincidence that I was captured in that photo, snapped at Tretyakovskaya Metro station! Needless to say, that book is now part of my personal library.

Анастасия_3.jpg

The hobby of my life

Moscow has given me something that has grown to be my passion and avocation, something I could no longer imagine myself without, namely, genealogy. Once I went to the State Museum of the Defence of Moscow to learn more about the defensive battles around the city. We started chatting with a museum watchwoman about history, our ancestors and human memory in general... That conversation gave me the impetus to research my family history in order to reconstruct my family tree. Genealogy is much like detective work: you spend long hours in the archives poring over old microfilm and documents. It would be fair to describe me as a lawyer by day and an amateur detective in my spare time. Tracing out the story thread by thread, I gradually learn more details and meet new people. Once, a thread led me to a distant relation who handed me a note written in the 1980s, from which I learned the address of my uncle twice removed, who was living in a community called Arkhangelskoe. Later it turned out that his grandfather (and my great-grandfather once removed) was a distinguished teacher of Russian language and literature.

Genealogy is not a popular pastime in Russia. Most people seem to believe that it is prohibitively difficult or impossible to dig up the history of their ancestry because, supposedly, all the archives were destroyed and no documents have survived. In reality, a large number of websites exist where you can at least find mention of your ancestors. Some of your ancestors could have been recipients of St. George Cross and you'd never even know it.

Анастасия

Moscow time travel

History is everywhere you look in Moscow. A single walk can take you to places with a completely different atmosphere, much like a journey through time. If you feel like admiring a palace, head to Tsaritsino to immerse yourself in the era of Catherine the Great. Then you can take the Metro to VDNH to soak up the vibes of the Soviet era. And if you simply want to take a breather and spend some time in nature, make for Kolomenskoe Park. Moscow even has a Russian version of Disneyland! When my husband, our kid and I go out for a walk, we try to find a new route every time to discover some new part of Moscow that was previously unknown to us. Moscow is full of surprises.

HK8A3879.jpg

About changes and favourite places

My favourite place to take a walk is the area around Vorobyovy Hills, particularly the Neskuchny Garden. It's nice to walk by the studio where Russia's favourite, iconic TV show What? Where? When? was filmed, or to let yourself lose your way amid the footpaths of a sprawling park (except you would have to ignore the signposts to achieve this).

Everything is plain and simple in Moscow: you will never go astray and you will always find any help you need. The city I was initially a little afraid of in 2008 is now truly my home.

Анастасия_5.jpg
Москвичи_black.png

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.

You might also enjoy this!


About the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow

#moskvichi

Hi, my name is Sasha and I've lived in Moscow for 13 years

Hi, my name is Sasha and I've lived in Moscow for 13 years

About the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow

#moskvichi

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 am a psychologist and librarian at the Dostoevsky Library

#moskvichi2.0

Hi, my name is Sasha

Hi, my name is Sasha

About the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow

#moskvichi

My name is Masha, I was born in Moscow

My name is Masha, I was born in Moscow

About the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow

#moskvichi

My name is Sabina and I was born in Moscow

My name is Sabina and I was born in Moscow

About the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow

#moskvichi

My name is Lisa, I moved to Moscow six years ago

My name is Lisa, I moved to Moscow six years ago
X