Social Movers – Winter 2015

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Maria Ushakova

The autumn proved to be full of rewards, in terms of accomplishments. We managed to produce two plays with Moscow Amateur Theatre, one with children, and one with adults.

My main focus is charity work. I helped set up an Inner Peace Course, sourced from Prem Rawat foundation, facilitated by Marie Giral for International Women’s Club in Moscow. We are now experiencing its deep impact on our beings. Together with another wonderful French woman, Catherine Joubert, I run a charity event, called ‘Cheer with an Artist’, where we bring a crowd of international people to an artist’s studio for a social evening, with music and food to help him sell his artworks, and a portion of sales goes to charity organizations.

A lot of my energy is spent on producing public talks and charity plays for raising awareness against violence. Inspiring others to do more and give back to the community! If you want to join our volunteer programs, join us, we need you!

Highlight of the next season, is an exclusive and very expensive millinery workshop by talented Iva Ksenevich, which I proudly organize first in Moscow and, then, in New York. I, also, experiment with culinary workshops at Live Kitchen CHAIHONA N1, Tverskaya 24. I see private clients in the medical Centre at the Finnish Embassy. I manage a music band too, called ‘Green Dolphines,’ jazz, Soviet folk and other often nostalgic music. If you want to help, hire our band for your event, they sing in English too. I have been offered a job in Paris, at a university, but I am still very hesitant whether to accept it, Russia won’t let me go for some reason. French pressed coffee and croissants in the morning at Marie Brasserie in the 16eme Arrondisement or a Hot Russian Americano on the streets of Arbat? Tough choice. We have a Russian proverb, ‘Gde rodilsya tam i prigodilsya’ (you need to apply yourself and be useful at a place where you were born). I will stick around for a little longer. Have a great Christmas vacation, everybody! Keep your hearts and souls warm. Reach me on my email: maushakova@gmail.com

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Chris Helmbrecht

We are going into the final countdown of 2015 and as usual this is the busiest time of the year. So what’s hot and cooking these days?

Some of you may have seen, that ‘Coyote Ugly’ has moved to a more fancy location at Stolechnikov Pereulok. At its former location, a new, more fancy, bar emerged: ‘Dirty Blonde.’ After ‘Hudson Bar’ closed, which was a popular expat drinking hole, many of ‘Hudsons’’ guests have moved on to ‘Dirty Blonde,’ which seems to have become a new expat after-work favourite. ‘Dirty Blonde’ is a 1920s styled bar with great cocktails and many live music performances, even during the week. The barkeepers are from Alexander Kan, the cities most known mixologist and owner of ‘Time Out Bar.’ And by the way, ‘Dirty Blonde’ will hold an Expat Christmas Night on Dec 25th with glint wine and Christmas songs, so no one has to be alone, even though he or she needs to stay and work during the holidays.

The ‘Time Out Bar’ is also worth a visit during the winter. They run the fancy 13th floor as a lounge, but have underground DJs playing downstairs in the 12th floor every weekend. You can find us there as well sometimes. Alex re-created some post-soviet cocktails, which not only have cool names and taste well, but are accompanied by a good story. Ask the bar keepers and they will tell you. While there, try my favourite ‘Moscow Mule,’ the best in town, along with the one at ‘Duran Bar’. ‘Time Out Bar’ is also my tip for the Moscow New Years Eve. They’ll have a nice show and it’s a good place to see the fireworks.

‘Duran Bar’ is still the Number 1 venue in town. Period. It is a high-class hang out with good Ibiza styled music and cool people. Facecontrol is hard, but it’s not impossible to enter some of Moscow’s best known and influential expat hang out there frequently (right Regina?). ‘Artel Bessonnitsa’ (aka ‘Sleepless’) follows ‘Duran’ with a nice crowd, a great show and some of Ibiza’s and Germany’s best DJs performing there frequently. If you like it more Russian styled, then get a VIP bracelet for the pool terrace at ‘SOHO Rooms’ and hang out with the old Russian money guys. They have their own stage and performances, typically by some 1990s Russian pop bands. The good news is that you can buy yourself access for about 5,000 roubles per person. Just ask the hostess or join one of our WE! Events (monthly at ‘SOHO’) and get in for free).

Just next to ‘SOHO’, the owners of the 911 strip club chain (penthouse, loft, angels, etc.) have opened a new venue: ‘The Hunters Club.’ The name is the program. They have strip performances and you can hunt for girls. This is another premium club. I don’t go to strip clubs much, but if… then it’s one of these clubs, since they are the best in town.

Speaking of Russian styled venues. Emin Agalarovs, the pop star and billionaire, ‘Rose Bar’ on Bol. Dmitrovka and Stoleshnikov Per., is always worth a pre-party visit. Expect Russian pop music, beautiful girls and a few rich guys on the tables. Emin made this bar look like a yacht and it’s a nice place, especially for dinner or a proper high-class pre-party warm-up.

‘Mendeleev Bar’ is further growing on me. Its hipsteresque art director Artyom is bringing some of Moscow’s best underground DJs and they perform for a pretty fancy high-class crowd. Cool and nice people. Its always easy to get into a conversation at the bar, also in English, the barkeepers are specialized on Absinth cocktails, but will recommend you something, if you ask them. My favourite drink there: Whiskey Sour.

Looking for a semi-private party? Visit ‘Oleg Ilin’s Cake Shop’ on Barrikadnaya at the backside bottom (yes, yes… I know what you are thinking now) of the Stalin high rise. He is throwing parties for his friends each Friday, inside his cake shop.

Not far from that is ‘Mulata Bar,’ which is a new party bar, by the guys who brought you places like ‘Secret Bar’ or ‘Rock’n Roll Bar.’ Its pretty much the same, like what ‘Rock’n Roll’ used to be. Similar crowd as well.

My restaurant tip these days: Try Victor’s (Mr. Slow Food): ‘Ah! Beatrice’ on Blagoveshensky Per, just near Mayakovskaya. It’s cozy and different to the usual expat hangouts. They have large menu and it’s not too expensive. Worth a try, but don’t expect bloody steaks. It’s more the French eclectic kitchen kinda of thing…

Well, that’s it. The usual suspects, I know. We are in a crisis. I’m still waiting for the $33 Mio club to open soon. Along with that there will be a few new bars opening, such as Simon Connolly’s new bar ‘Mojo.’ The former manager of the Swiss Hotels rooftop bar and all-time ‘Noor Bar’ regular will create something nice, for sure. But we’ll have to wait a bit for the openings and I’ll write about it next time.

I wish you Happy Holidays with your families or friends and a very good, successful, New Year 2016!!

Don-CraigDon Craig

With the world spinning at a constant speed of close to 1600 km/hour, time seems to stand still here on the surface as we watch the events of our planet unfold. In Moscow we are lucky to have many positive distractions and that, with the never give up soul of the Russian Spirit, helps put a smile on our face even in these most difficult times.

As promoters we seek out the best venues, deals, and entertainment to help get your mind off of the problems of the day and to take you on a mini getaway in the city that never sleeps. There are the standard favourite bars and restaurants that seem to live unfazed by the world outside such as Papa’s Bar & Grill, Bar BQ Café (s), Chicago Prime, and Katie O’Shea’s Irish Bar.

The new hotspot for the younger crowd is ‘Jim n Jacks’ though it may be a bit small it has the heart of a lion and a favourite for Expat Students and young Expat Entrepreneurs. Now for the crowd that wants an upscale but yet unpretentious evening of fun, ‘Dirty Blonde’ promises a good time with some of Moscow’s best DJs & and Music acts performing in a relaxed atmosphere.

There are still many cool spots in Moscow and though some businesses have met their fate, the future of Moscow’s nightlife seems to be intact.