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'Moscow is a city filled with cultural experiences'

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My name is Valeria. I was born and raised in Moscow. I work at the Moskvarium Oceanography and Marine Biology Centre

About walking

I live in the south of Moscow, in the district known as Biryulevo West. It's my home neighbourhood. My favourite parks are nearby: Tsaritsino, Kolomenskoe and the Biryulevo Arboretum. I often go there to take walks.

I really enjoy walking. VDNH is another place where I love to take walks. I enjoy taking photographs of the architecture there. VDNH has uniquely beautiful pavilions, which are well-worth appreciating in detail. VDNH covers a vast swath of land. It has a gorgeous central vista, and a sprawling skating rink in the winter. In the summer, it's ideal for cycling and, if you are brave enough to try it, you can ride an electric scooter. Ostankino Park is great, too. I have grown very attached to these places. No wonder — I have always spent most of my time here before and after work.

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About the underwater world

I am an observant person by nature: I pay close attention to the things around me. The nature, the sublime architecture and aesthetics are evident in everything. VDNH has had a special appeal for me ever since the complex was transformed. I really wanted to work here. It is common knowledge that our thoughts and wishes have a tendency to materialise.

I took up snorkelling and then scuba diving in Thailand. I was fascinated by the underwater world with its fish and corals... And now I work as a visiting relations manager at the Moskvarium Oceanography and Marine Biology Centre, a part of VDNH. I love my job. I enjoy working with people, enhancing their visitor experience, helping them. It is true that what you think of a place will depend on the people you meet there.

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My favourite marine creatures

I do have my favourites among the marine residents of the Moskvarium. My favourites are the axolotl, horseshoe crab and long-spined porcupine fish. The porcupine fish are so cute: they have bright turquoise eyes with minuscule insertions that play like turquoise opals in the light.

The porcupine is pretty shy. You always have to wait a while for one to emerge. Their favourite place is in the corner of the aquarium. My other favourites are the charming Baikal seals with their bottomless eyes.

I see those every day. At first, I used to come to check on them to see how they were doing. I don't go as often as before, but frankly, I do miss these creatures when I go on holiday. I am always delighted to see them again when I return to work.

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About theatrical events

Moscow is all about motion and culture. Things happen here all the time, there are always events for any taste: art exhibitions, films, concerts, immersive plays and the performing arts. Moscow is a city filled with cultural experiences.

I love musical theatre. The Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre is the one I visit most frequently. I quite like New Opera in the Hermitage Garden and certainly the Bolshoi Theatre.

I like to walk the route from Chistye Ponds to Zaryadye Park, or walk along the Moskva River embankment in the centre. I am a big fan of the Kuskovo Estate, it reminds me of St. Petersburg. But the parks I have the strongest emotional attachment to are Kolomenskoe and Tsaritsino. I have so many memories tied to those places. My parents used to take me there when I was a child, and the parks were different then, not so trim. There were some 'noble ruins' in Tsaritsino, for example, which had a charm all their own. Nowadays these parks often host major festivals of various types and Tsaritsino is one of Moscow's premier palaces. It gets pretty crowded on weekends, especially in the summer.

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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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