Editor’s Pick – Winter 2013

John Harrison Editor

John Harrison
Editor

 

It has been a memorable late summer and Autumn. Two huge new expat eating and drinking venues have opened up: The StandarD and the re-branded Papa’s. Both opening parties were spectacular, and both were attended by old timers and the new, younger generation of expats who have recently crossed the border into this vast, multi-cultured, difficult-to-define continental experience that we call Russia.

Generations met again at the Night Flight party organised by the BBC in September. There was an age gap of 30 years, all united by common interests. For the newly arrived, Brian Johnson’s article: The Truth About IFAs’ on pages 36 & 37 will perhaps
be of interest. Marauding finance companies that cruise in expat waters are just one of the potential threats. So are parenting issues, as discussed by regular contributor Jay May, himself a stay-at-home dad, who offers a survival guide for young parents in Moscow on pages 20 & 21. There are a host of other such topics which we are only too well aware of, and which we will cover, issue by issue, in this periodical.

The Moscow Good Food Club is going from strength to strength. Meetings are now monthly, and we feature two such gatherings in this issue, at the MUZEY restaurant and the OSTERIA della piazza BIANCA.

Moscow continues to transform before our eyes. Suddenly we have pedestrian zones opening up, making it possible to traverse large sections
of the metropolis without confronting any cars. Check out our report on newly pedestrianized Bolshaya Dmitovka and Nikolaiskaya Ulitsa on pages 66  67.

We wish you all seasonal greetings, and share the perennial John Roche’s charitable message (pages 60 & 61).  Even we busy-ultra expats have time to relax with a nice Riesling or Beaujolais. OK, perhaps vodka and orange? And a copy of Moscow expat Life to while away those long winter nights with nothing to do except enjoy. Oh life is so hard!

Seasonal Greetings!

 

Kingston Alumni Light Up Moscow

Selection_044Selection_045The British Ambassador to Russia enthusiastically welcomed 200 alumni from Kingston University London to the residency this month to celebrate the successes of Kingston graduates based in Russia. Guests enjoyed an evening meeting fellow alumni and reminiscing about shared experiences in the surroundings of the beautiful residence overlooking views of the Moscow Kremlin.

Now an annual event, it attracted alumni who had studied
at Kingston University itself, and also at partner institutions in Russia, such as the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration and Russian State University of Aviation Technology.

Selection_046Kingston University boasts one of the top MBAs in Russia, and more recently an MSc in International HRM has been introduced which is already proving a great success.

Many of the alumni who attended have reached the top of their chosen professions, and are employed by high-profile, multi-national companies such as Sberbank, TNK-BP, Yukos, Yandex and Nycomed.

Selection_047www.kingston.ac.uk

 

‘A Small World’ Montana Radisson Riverboat Cruise

‘Arms & Hunting’ Exhibition – Gostiny Dvor, Moscow

Selection_028Russia, thankfully, has yet to show any outward sign of the political correctness (PC) that seems to blight Britain nowadays when it comes to public attitudes towards the sports of hunting, shooting and fishing. Fieldsports are considered to be perfectly worthy pastimes in Russia almost to the point of being de rigueur. One only has to witness President Putin’s annual summer pilgrimage to the great Russian outdoors, with its associated photos splashed all over the domestic and international press, to realise that fieldsports are viewed in a very positive light by most Russians.

Selection_029PC in Britain dictates that shooting is inevitably portrayed as the exclusive preserve of the landed gentry, which does a great disservice to a sport with nearly 1 million adherents that crosses all class divides and which generates over £1.6 billion for the UK economy annually. In rural Wales, where I grew up, shooting is a sport enjoyed by everyone, from the farmhand to the estate owner. Shooting is an important part of the Welsh economy too, generating over £80m a year. I’m delighted that both the Welsh and the Russians share the same refreshingly straightforward attitudes towards their shooting sports and I always feel very much at home in the company of Russian hunters.

During the many years I spent living in Russia, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Russian friends on some fabulously memorable hunting trips (despite the sometimes copious amounts of vodka consumed!), with either shotgun or rifle in hand, to some amazing destination, with quarry as varied as mink, duck, goose, capercaillie, woodcock, black grouse, brown hare, wild boar and elk on the menu. Even in European Russia, I was forever amazed as to how one can find oneself in thoroughly wild and remote areas, with no FM radio let alone a mobile telephone signal, surrounded by miles and miles of truly wild forest and lakes with only bears, wolves, elk and wild boar as next door neighbours.

In such a vast country, blessed with some of the largest wilderness areas on the planet and wildlife and shootable game found in such abundance in comparison to the overcrowded countries of western Europe, it comes as no surprise that Russian hunters take great pride in their rich hunting heritage. During my hunting trips in Russia, it was absolutely fascinating for me, having grown up with shooting and fishing in my blood, to see and take part in these traditions at first hand and often to pursue game species that occur in Britain, such as duck and woodcock, using completely different, but nevertheless traditional methods.

Selection_031The popularity of shooting sports in Russia is nowhere reflected better than the annual ‘Arms & Hunting’ exhibition, which takes place for four days each October in Gostiny Dvor, a mere clay pigeon’s flight from Red Square, and which in 2013 celebrated its 10th anniversary. This is by far and away the leading, and most prestigious, of Russia’s many exhibitions and trade fairs which cover the burgeoning Russian hunting, fishing and outdoor sector.

I’ve visited this exhibition for the past five years and have seen it grow tremendously during that time, with more and more foreign companies taking part each year, which is a good indicator of the growing importance of the Russian market for both sporting arms, equipment and accessories, as well as the economic importance of the growing numbers of Russian hunters who can now afford to buy foreign-made hunting kit and travel in increasing numbers around the world to enjoy their shooting sports.

This year 23,000 visitors came to see what was on offer from the 283 companies which took part in the exhibition, which covered a total display area of around 2,500 sq metres. 115 overseas companies, representing 27 countries, with Germany, Italy and Belgium being the best represented, participated in the show.

The German pavillion, by far the biggest national pavillion in the exhibition, had 12 German companies exhibiting their wares, from manufacturers of sporting arms (rifles and shotguns), optics (telescopic sights and binoculars) to ammunition and accessory makers, all actively supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

Many more German and Austrian companies involved in the sporting arms sector, ranging from a number of bespoke rifle makers to outdoor clothing and accessories retailers, were dotted around the remainder of the large exhibition hall. One German bespoke riflemaker told me that Russia had become, by far and away, his largest single market.

Selection_030The Italians also had a significant presence at the exhibition. Beretta, the world’s oldest gunmaker, had their guns displayed prominently on the stands of the two largest retailers of sporting arms in Russia; Kolchuga and Okhotnik. Other leading Italian gunmakers, such as Fausti

(www.faustiarms.com), a manufacturer of sporting shotguns and notable for the fact that the company is managed, very appropriately for Russia(!), by 3 sisters; Barbara, Elena and Giovanna, have long participated in the exhibition and count Russia as one of their most important markets worldwide, so much so that Barbara Fausti, whom I know well thanks to her regular attendance at the show, has learnt to speak excellent Russian.

Surprisingly for a country with such a rich sporting heritage, only two British companies took part. These were Holland & Holland, the famous London-based gunmaker which manufactures hand-made, bespoke shotguns and rifles (www.hollandandholland.com) and my own company, Britannia Sporting (www.britanniasporting.com); a sporting agency which specialises in organising shooting trips throughout the British Isles for British and European as well as a growing number of Russian clients, as well as taking more intrepid British and European shooters, who yearn for something a little more exotic than shooting reared pheasants, on hunting trips to the wilds of Russia.

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I would like to think that more British companies from the shooting sector, of which there are very many; ranging from gunmakers such as Purdey, William Powell, Boxall & Edmiston and Longhthorne through to clothing and accessory manufacturers such as Barbour, Hunter and Musto, will look at Russia as an important growth market for their business. Perhaps we could learn something from the leading example of the German and Italian companies who have already established a considerable presence and a committed following in the Russian market. It would also be good to have some proactive support from UKTI, as the Germans do from their ministry, to help British companies assess the overall potential of the Russian market in a sector where British companies flourish in other countries.

As for myself, I must say that I had a wonderful time taking part in the exhibition as an exhibitor for the first time and I will most certainly be back next year (my tweed shooting gear certainly seemed to create the desired impression!). I made many new friends, as well as meeting several old ones, and am very much looking forward to hosting some new Russian clients on their shooting trips to Britain this season as well as planning trips for my British clients to Russia next year.

The Moscow Lacrosse Club

Selection_071This is a team sport. The American Indians played it hundreds years ago. The men’s version is a non-contact sport, which requires padding such as shoulder pads, winter gloves, helmets, elbow pads and sometimes rib guards.

As with football, rugby or hockey, whilst on the attack, the objective of the game is to score by shooting the ball into the opponent team’s goal. But Lacrosse players can use their sticks to catch, carry, and pass the ball, not just hit it. Defensively, the aim is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to gain the ball using the stick and body contact.

It was Texas-born David Diamonon, who founded ‘The Moscow Rebels’ (now renamed ‘The Moscow Lacrosse Club’). David’s secondary school was the only one in Texas which had a Lacrosse team and it was there that his love for the sport was kindled.

“When you are a part of establishing a new sport like this, it becomes a part of your life forever. At the time I was moving to the city, to Moscow, for work. I thought that creating a Lacrosse team where there was no team before and come back to the sport after a seven year break was something I’d like to do. It was a great way of sharing my new home with Russians and of meeting athletes. The idea was exciting because 2006 was the year of the first World Lacrosse Championship. I understood that in four year’s time, in 2010, would be the second games in which I wanted to take part in together with Moscow athletes. After starting the team in 2007 it took a long time to prepare a stable group of people who are ready to compete formally in an organized way. We didn’t manage to succeed. Now, however, the guys are skillful enough to participate in the next championship.” Said David.

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Eugene Arkhipov, the club’s present captain and coach emigrated to America in the early 1990s but returned to Moscow in 2010, is continuing to develop Lacrosse in Russia.

Eugene explained: “In the USA I tried basketball, soccer, American football but Lacrosse is the best for me. I played it professionally six days a week at school and university. When I joined the Moscow team I tried to adapt it for Russia. We changed the name into ‘The Moscow Lacrosse Club’ and started acting not only as a team but also as a non-profit organization developing this sport in Russia. Instead of being a hobby, I wanted it to be something we can hold tournaments in. I felt that it is not enough to have games twice a year with the St. Petersburg Lacrosse team; when the guys come to practice a month before the match, play and then they disappear for 5 months. There should always be something leading us on, further. I decided that we should be going abroad and playing tournaments in Europe.

Selection_073“Our first international trip was a year ago to Brussels. There were many teams from Finland, France, Sweden and other countries. We played in Belgium, then with the St. Petersburg guys. In St. Petersburg we met a team from Helsinki and also had a match together. In two weeks we are going to Turkey for another international tournament.

“All the sportsmen are happy to represent and play for Russia in tournaments. In the beginning the team had more foreigners than Russians. Now it is vice verse. For most foreigners Lacrosse is like ‘oxygen’ in an international environment.”

One of the players, Peter Zwack came from America and joined the team a year ago. He has been playing this sport since 1964 during its growth period in the United Stated in the 1960s and 1970s. Peter is very happy to see Lacrosse growing in Russia. Despite his lack of time on the field, he has some experience which he gives to other team members. Another player, Hidenori Morii is from Japan. He has been playing for 5 years.

Selection_075“When I started to play Lacrosse at the university in Japan, the sport helped me make friends.” Sais Hidenori. “This proved true once again in Russia. In May I was playing a match in St. Petersburg and my arm was injured. I fell down but managed to get up again, and everyone warmly applauded. I will never forget it. It was too long to wait for the ambulance so my team mates took me to the hospital. Through Lacrosse, I really felt how kind the Russians are!”

“If you play regularly and work hard, you will succeed,” Arkhipov said. A lot of people, after playing a few times, understand that this is maybe not for them. We let them play as long as they are eager. We never turn anybody down.”

Playing Lacrosse in Moscow is expensive. Charges for hiring a field start at 5,000 roubles an hour. That’s a lot when the club isn’t making any money. For most of the guys, Lacrosse is still a hobby. Nevertheless, the team doesn’t have fees. New members don’t have to buy special sport equipment; it’s for free.

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Eugene commented: “I was always for free sport. Whenever you start charging you turn off a lot of people. A lot of young people have incredible athletic abilities and no money to go to sport schools. For sure we have realized we need some capital to grow. Now we are looking for ways to find sponsorship. What we decided to do is to arrange a fund. After a practice session, each player gives fifty rubles, this helps to pay for new equipment and other necessary things for the team.”

Most expat players hope that Russia will be one of the countries to join the World Lacrosse Association, and would like to see Lacrosse; one of the oldest sports in the world, an Olympic sport again.

Lacrosse is very interesting; it combines elements of many different sports. “There is basketball in terms of strategy, movements, pick, roll and defense. There are the dynamics of football pitch, when you run very fast from one side to another. There is the atmosphere of a hockey ring because you wear a helmet with use a stick,” explained Arkhipov. Lacrosse is the sport of the future which always brings you back.

For more information, please contact Eugene Arkhipov +7 963 688 2884, madered24@hotmail.com

Pictures taken at a recent game in Turkey in which The Moscow Lacrosse Club took part.

How to survive Moscow, as a stay-at-home-parent

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English Dad in Moscow

Your plane flies over Moscow, you and your family jump out and parachute into the landing drop zone. You unpack your possessions and set up camp. You settle in to your new home and adventure out to meet with and mix with the local population. This is where the fun begins and where you will meet new challenges. You may or may not speak Russian and you will be in a new city and in a country that you have probably never been to before. This may be your first stint of living abroad with your family. It takes guts and planning to survive in Moscow but it can be done, using positive mental attitude (PMA) and pro-active planning. The following advice is aimed at expatriate families moving to Moscow who are stay at home parents.

You may be a stay-at-home-mother or a stay-at-home-father. The first type of full time parent, is more likely here than the second type in Moscow. There are some stay-at-home-fathers here but we are as rare as the red bottomed baboon of Madagascar. If you are a stay-at-home-mother here, you will not be alone, the city is full of expatriate mothers and there is a large network of women here who are members of women’s clubs such as the International Women’s Club and the British Women’s Club. These clubs arrange baby group social events at other expatriates’ homes. They organise events and coffee mornings and are a very good way to make new friends. As with any large city, especially one like Moscow, people don’t generally come to you or call you up and say come and see us, the mountain does not go to Muhammad, he goes to the mountain. You will need to be pro active and make new friends. You can do this by joining clubs as above and by looking at on-line portals such as Internations. You can also join forums such as expats.ru . I would recommend some caution with on-line forums but they can be a good starting place to gain information about social events and places where expatriates meet such as bars and clubs in Moscow.

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If you move here with kids, you will meet other parents at their school or kindergarten (pre school) who will be in the same situation as you. Many expatriate-stay-at-home-parents join gyms, clubs and try to learn Russian. These are all good places to make new friends and will allow you to get out of your Moscow flat. It is very important that you get out and keep busy. If you stay at home in your Moscow flat, with only a baby and four walls for company you will feel very lonely and you will soon go nuts. Moscow is full of expatriates, from other countries such as the USA, UK, France, New Zealand, Germany, who move to Moscow on contracts ranging from a year or two to five years or more. Moscow will be your new home and you must adapt and fit in. The city is hard, big and will not care about you. Get out, be positive and keep busy.

Selection_027Your flat location is important in maintaining good mental health and will have a big influence as to how you cope with living here. You will need to be in the right location to be able to take your kids to kindergarten or school. Most expatriates live in central areas, they have to, because the schools are usually in central areas and the Moscow traffic can be very bad. If your school is outside of the centre, you should consider living near the school. Don’t rent a flat on a huge, dirty traffic filled road, try to find one in a pocket of clean air, where the bedrooms back off the main road and if possible, have some view of trees or a park. Location is vital logistically for the school run and mentally for your happiness in Moscow. Have a sense of humour and try not to compare Moscow to your own country. This applies to prices and to the culture. Russia and Moscow are not like any other city and are unique for positive and negative reasons. A lot of your survival will depend on your expectations, on the reason for moving to Moscow and where you moved from. If you move from one large city to another one such as Moscow, you will find adapting a lot easier than if you move from a small city or town. If you like green hills and mountains, Moscow will not be for you. If you like a busy environment, that never sleeps and adventure, you may adapt to and enjoy your stay in Moscow. It’s important to remember that no situation is forever, good or bad and try to think long term and don’t get sucked into being here. Try to enjoy Moscow and make it a positive experience. Winters can be long and cold here and during this time, it is more important than ever to keep busy and to not get depressed. You can take up a sport, hobby or other activity to remain positive and happy during the winter months. Take your kids to afternoon activities, as they to will need to make new friends and keep busy.

Embrace the new culture, enjoy new foods, new languages and new experiences. Laugh at the bad ones and remember the good ones. Take regular breaks out of Moscow and out of Russia, if you have time and can afford it. I personally cannot stay in Moscow for more than three or four months without getting cabin fever. The urge to run to the hills and see green, is all consuming for me. Take a flight out of Russia to a European destination for a weekend or leave Moscow and visit the Russian countryside. As they say “a change is as good as rest” and this is very true, when living in a city like Moscow. Positive mental attitude and planning, will ensure your stay in Moscow as full time parents is a good one. Good luck.

Parenting as an Expat

Selection_023Parenting has never been easy, but parenting as an expat has problems which sometimes only become apparent a few months after the removal van has left. British expat Gail Mowat, who has lived with her family in Russia for two and half years, tells Moscow expat Life about some of the pitfalls.

How many years have you been an expat for?

For 14 years now. We started in Sao Paulo, Brazil without any children but had our first there, then we moved to Hong Kong for two years where we had our second daughter. Then we moved to Bangkok, Thailand for another two years when the girls were very small. Then we were in Seoul, South Korea for two years (third baby arrived), and then Almaty, Kazakhstan when our youngest daughter was born and where we lived for nearly three years. We have been in Moscow since March 2011.

Selection_024How old are your children?

They are 12,10, five and three. Children are very adaptable, and you can take them anywhere, but thinking that it is easy to do is one of the biggest fallacies that people tritely roll out. When we moved our daughter at age two and a half from Hong Kong to Thailand, we thought that she was so young that it wouldn’t make any difference to her, and that she would share our excitement to have a new home with a garden full of trees and flowers. But she was absolutely traumatized, she lost her beloved nanny, everything was new, she developed a very naughty imaginary friend for a year and a half, and these problems were really hard to handle.

What is the easiest age group to move children?

I think it’s easiest to move babies, up to about one and a half years of age. From then until around three and half, I think you just have to be very caring and nurturing throughout the whole process, and talk to them about what’s happening. Then you have the happy period of five to about eight years old when they are at school and are quite happy to stay in groups. They may have a notional best friend but there is a lot of milling around in the playgrounds at that age, one day they are talking to one group and the next another.

After eight or nine, it becomes more complicated to move children because by that time they may have developed really strong friendships, and the school work load leaves less time for playing and meeting new people.

From the age of 12 onwards, you really don’t want to be moving your children unless there is a really strong reason to do so. It interferes with their school work, and they are gutted to leave their friends and peer group. I think that most parents try very hard to avoid moving children older than this.

There is a danger for people who are considering moving abroad to think that Moscow is not far from home, that it will not be a problem for the children to adapt. They see the set up here on their look-see and think that because the schools offer standard curriculums and recognizable after-school activities, that life here will be much the same as at home, but with some foreign cultural interest at weekends. They do not realize that the out of school set up can be so different.

I do not think that moving children is a bad thing, but I think that on so many levels, you need to support your children through every move to help them manage their emotional response to such a big life change. People can embrace change but must use sensitivity with their children.

Are there any good things about being an expat with children?

Yes, of course, there are many fantastic upsides. Children are phenomenally adaptable, and they get used to change which is quite a useful skill in life. They are quickly able to deal with new situations and they don’t let something being different or new interrupt their stride. Ideally, children who grow up as expats should develop into real citizens of the world, but this requires quite a lot of patient explanation!

I think the rich, diverse experiences they have as expats are also highly educational. As my children grow and their academic studies get more detailed, I find we have many real life examples that they can use in their studies, and which help them to understand their school work, and the world in general.

If you are in a situation like you are, when you have to keep on moving, when you don’t have any choice, what advice would you give other people who are in a similar situation? What have you learnt?

I would always recommend that people use their social network to find the good people in new places, so that they don’t waste time meeting lots of people who aren’t on their wavelength. Listen to what these contacts have to tell you about a new place. Of course, you will have a different approach to some things, but there are always a few absolute gems of local knowledge that they will pass on if you listen. There is a huge amount to be said for local experience.

It is important to keep your joy of living alive, and not allow the challenges to overwhelm you. There are always ways to make life fun, but you need tremendous patience to work out what they are in new places. You also have to be very resilient to set backs and not allow things to put you off your goal of having a happy, fulfilled, balanced family life. After all these years abroad, and so many half-learnt languages, I still get a real buzz from working something out, or getting something done in a foreign country. Variety is certainly the spice of life, and life is good!

 

Robert Knights

Selection_047How did you come to be in Moscow?

I originally came out here with Mars Confectionary, to set up a service operation here. Of course Russia was a very different place from the UK at the time, but I soon started to like the Russian people, and see the potential here.

It was great fun in the early days, for example, I was amazed to find out that the company that we had hired to make specially modified refrigerated trucks for us had painted our logos on the side of the trucks by hand, because they didn’t have any other method. Amazing ingenuity! That kind of ‘do anything mentality’ was inspiring.

My family joined me and we lived near the Fedorov eye hospital. After the crisis later that year I moved back to the UK for a short period, and then I returned with Pepsi International Bottlers, to help rebuild their business. Mission accomplished, I went to work for Unilever for four years, a period which encompassed the 1998 crisis. That was a traumatic time, when we had to face the mammoth task of dramatically reducing our warehouse stocks, and then bring our operational costs down by a significant amount. The next year we started bringing Unilever’s manufacturing onshore, to alleviate the effects of another such crisis in the future.

After a spell in London and Paris with Newell Rubbermaid’s division Sanford Europe, working as their European Supply Chain Director, I returned in January 2004 and joined an independent company called ProLogics. It wasn’t until 2008 that we merged our outsourcing business with Work Service. Which quickly became a major market player in Eastern, and Western Europe.

What exactly does Work Service Do in Russia?

Our main activities in Russia are: providing outsourced merchandising and sales support solutions, recruitment, field audits and temporary staff. Some clients are very large where we employ several hundred people for them, with operations all over the country, others just need two or three people to promote their product in Moscow. As the Russian retail universe has grown, we’ve grown with it. We work directly with the brand owners or with the retailers.

The other side of our business in outsourcing is industrial. For example we have a very large business with Avtoframos, which is Renault, where we are supplying line workers for their production lines. We provide welders, painters, assembly people, a whole range of industrial positions. We help them with probation periods and all that kind of thing. We also have a very extensive forklift truck driver training programme.

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We have one client now who we are providing 700 people for, and actually this means that we have to find about 10,000 people to find those 700. It’s that kind of scale, because not everybody is suitable, not everybody passes the test, we have a very large data base of candidates. For our clients to set this up themselves would be a major job. Rotation of people is a big issue here. Medical issues are complex, especially if you are going to be working with fresh food. We operate in over 150 cities for the same client on one project for example.

The other thing we do here is classical recruitment; technical positions, finance positions, sales positions, general management positions.

I suppose what really cuts us off from the crowd is our ability to come up with solutions for some quite complex servicing problems, sometimes involving very diverse geographical locations and logistics. We enjoy and thrive on helping clients to take their businesses to the next stage and we are equally at home when downsizing and restructuring is required.

How long do you think you are going to be in Russia for?

Well I’ve been here now for about 20 years now, I have another 5 years in mind, but I have had that in my mind two or three times. I’ve got some great Russian friends here, this place is a challenging, enjoyable place. It’s certainly a lot cleaner than it used to be from an environmental point of view. You add it all up, and yes, it’s still comfortable being here, I’m happy to be in Moscow, I’m still happy to be part of the community which is full of expat friends, and still happy to spend another 5 years before having to make a decision.

Social Movers – Winter Season

Selection_075The winter season is coming and until the end of the year, it is one of the busiest and energetic times in Moscow’s nightlife. Starting from the beginning of December one corporate event follows the other, in addition to thriving parties in clubs and bars. After this period things usually slow down a bit for the month of January. During the next 3 months, we are doing selected events at Mendeleev Bar with Jazz, Thursdays and Fridays at SOHO Rooms. Also there will be (as long as the Moskva is not frozen) our new monthly boat trip on a Radisson Yacht.

From January we will have regular Friday night parties with disco music at a bar with one of Moscow’s most stunning views on the city. The location is still secret, but you contact us and find out about any of our parties on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WeMoscow or our website: www.weparties.com

 

Selection_076As last year, during this period I am very busy with Corporate Christmas and New Year parties, nevertheless I am thinking about all the new interesting projects I will work on in the coming months in nightlife too.

I will continue to support Ginza Project and all their recently opened locations like PPL, a high-end restaurant club on Yakimanskaya Naberezhnaya, where there are always internationally famous bands and DJs playing. This week for example we have the incredible band Kraak & Smaak. I can’t wait to see them live. Christian, is a cosy Italian restaurant on two floors in the Ukraine Hotel building; DoubleDutch with Artem Korolev on Tverskaya Yamskaya, a great place for a business lunch or to have a good burger in the evening. Last but not least, there is the Montana Radisson boat, floating on the Moskva river every weekend accompanied by excellent live music by the resident band Via Montana.

In December I will work with Ginza Project on the launch of a new cafè in Kitay Gorod, where the old Prado Cafè was, the name of which is still top secret but success is already sure, and on the opening of “Пряности и радости” on Tsvetnoi Boulevard, which you enjoyed in Park Gorky during the summer.

 

Selection_077Well I must say that this fall had it’s ups and downs in the nightlife arena, at least in my neighborhood. The Buffalo Bar became a repetition of lies, greed, and failure because of it, sorry to say I didn’t see that one coming. Lesson learned let’s move forward.

The Standard Bar owned and operated by Doug Steele & Co, has taken on a life of it’s own and now is another great local hangout for expats. You can find Dr. Nick playing there every Thursday with his band and inviting anyone interested to come up on stage and jam along. The Bar has great food, a daily happy hour, and the infamous radio personality Pete Cato behind the bar serving up cold ones and his brand of humor.
The doors to the new Papa’s opened up with a roaring success and is operating from 6pm until 6am, hopefully going to 24hours in December. The place is fantastic with seating for over 350 people and standing room for up 1,500. The menu is the same great food as before with one of the best Pizzas in Russia. Daily events to keep you from getting bored and great specials to make everyone smile. 
I had a chance to explore around a bit recently and came along a couple of nice restaurants. The first one being the new ‘Double Dutch’ serving up probably the best lasagna I have ever had in Moscow. The second place I understand has been around for a while located in a small alleyway near Pushkin Square called Venezia, which has great service and food. This winter look for the opening of a new ‘Roadhouse’ in the center of Moscow and a very famous and well-known franchise coming your way from the USA.