Thursday, October 11, 2012

Столик на двух

I was all set to fail my Russian quiz this morning.  Memorization is not my forte.  Even though my host mom drilled me on my words and helped me with my homework, I still forgot almost everything by the time I arrived at the Academy.  Thankfully, our teacher agreed to allow us to take the quiz home.  Now I have more time to study!

After our excellent, quiz-free language class, Stephanie and I went into the city for lunch. My Moscow guidebook recommended a restaurant called MikaKafe near Тверская улица. When we arrived at the address, however, we discovered that the cafe had been changed to Bookafe. We still decided to give it a try.
Bookafe
I took it as a sign of improvement that we were able to walk into the restaurant and confirm the we wanted a table for two without giving away our language incompetence. My Russian masquerade lasted for about two seconds because, of course, the waiter then asked us another question which I did not understand. Regretfully, I told him that we speak English (as if he couldn't have guessed from my lost expression).
The cafe had an urban, comfortable, coffee shop atmosphere and offered delicious dining options including both Russian and Italian cuisines. I loved my shrimp salad!
Shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, and avocado!
Following lunch, Stephanie went to her internship and I took the opportunity to wander around the Тверская area.  
I saw Pushkin Square.
Pushkin Square
Then, I went to the Upper Monastery of St. Peter.


The monastery was founded during Ivan I's reign. It was rebuilt in the late 17th century by relatives of Peter the Great and includes six churches.

On my way back to the Metro, I walked along Tverskaya Street, which was once Moscow's grandest thoroughfare, boasting famous restaurants, theaters, and hotels. Stalin widened the street during his reconstruction of Moscow in the 1930s and tore down many of the old buildings in order to construct apartment blocks for bureaucrats. Today, it remains a popular shopping area, though many of the main attractions are, once again, under construction. I stopped Yeliseev's Food Hall at No. 14, for a bottle of water and a bar of Russian chocolate.
Yeliseev's Food Hall
In the 1820s, Princess Zinaida Volkonskaya lived in this building and hosted soirees that were often attended by great figures of the day, such as Alexander Pushkin. In Soviet times, this building was known as Gastronom No.1. Now, it offers an array of Russian and imported foods. Though, for any of my fellow BOSP Moscow participants who were wondering, I did not see any peanut butter.    

Note: I only had my point and shoot camera today.

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