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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

All I know about Moscow, I learned from a book

April 30, 2008

Sadly, the title of this note, is mostly true.

The World’s Cities: Moscow.

To help quench my perpetual thirst for knowledge about things I know nothing about (the very definition of learning, I’d guess) I read a book (pictured) about Moscow.

This book is not very long, is filled with illustrations, and was written prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, but I still found the book incredibly informative. I learned a few subtle things about Moscow that, I feel, even a trip to the city wouldn’t have awarded.

If you’re following me on Twitter, you may have already read some of these little tidbits, but here are some of the more interesting things I picked up from the book:

  • There are no commercial advertisements, billboards, in Moscow.
  • Ice cream stalls are as busy in winter as they are in the summer.
  • To make streets wider, they literally moved historic buildings backwards 15 yards
  • On their very first day of school, children bring flowers for their teachers while those in the final grade, tenth, bring useful gifts for each of the children starting their first day.
  • “Red Square” is actually a mistranslation of Beautiful Square.
  • The Lenin Central Stadium can seat over 113,000 people.
  • Dining out usually consists of eating leisurely, dancing between courses, and occupying a table for the entire night. ┬áSo go out early, or book reservations by phone.

Please note this book was published in 1978.  Some of the above notes are to have most likely changed slightly over the last 30 years.

This book is part of a series of books called “The World’s Cities” and I’m keen on picking up another edition, about a different city, in the near future.