News / Europe

Moscow's Famed Gorky Park Gets Makeover

Moscow's Gorky Park, Once Dreary, Goes for Volleyballi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
James Brooke
August 22, 2012 9:29 PM
During the Cold War, the image of Moscow’s Gorky Park got tangled up with the book and movie thriller of the same name. Then, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it suffered two decades of decay. James Brooke checks in on Moscow’s new Gorky Park.
Moscow's Gorky Park, Once Dreary, Goes for Volleyball
James Brooke
MOSCOW — During the Cold War, the movie thriller "Gorky Park" gave the real park a scary reputation.  Then, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the park suffered from two decades of decay.

Fast forward to today, and the largest downtown park in Europe’s largest city has a totally new look.

Irina Datsiuk now comes to the park to play beach volley ball, in the heart of Moscow.  Dressed in a bright bikini, Irina talks to VOA, “I really like that you can play sports and then go relax, and visit the little shops.  They made everything so comfortable.”

The new Gorky Park offers yoga lessons, tango lessons, salsa lessons, an open air movie theater, and space to play African drums outdoors by the Moscow River.

Stefano moved from Italy to here in June to work as a pizza chef.  Unable to speak Russian, he says in Italian that Moscow is a beautiful city and the customers are happy to find his pizzas are made with Italian ingredients.

During the next five years, Moscow is spending $100 million a year to rebuild its parks.  The goal is to inject some green into the gray cityscape, and to take the rough edges off a city often called "kameni gorod" or stone city.

Assistants put the finishing touches on artwork project in Russia's Gorky Park, June 26, 2012.
Assistants put the finishing touches on artwork project in Russia's Gorky Park, June 26, 2012.

Gorky Park director Olga Zakharova says before the total remake started 18 months ago, only 2,000 people a day ventured into the 120-hectare park.  She says, “This year, we have from 40,000 people on weekdays, and from 100,000 on the weekends.”

“Gorky Park has a huge amount of programs,” she answers when asked if there are now traffic jams near the park seven days a week.  “We do not miss any holidays.  For us, Gorky Park is a place where we spend a great deal of time.  And we want to make it so that everyone comes here and feels happy. Like every day is a holiday.”

Opening in a few months is a modern art center, designed by Rem Koolhaas, the Dutch architect.  Guaranteed to provide more buzz, and more visitors, the project is bankrolled by Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire.

And all this may good politics too.  Young people who are outdoors, having fun, may have less interest in political protest.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid