The New and Old Moscows
The T-shirt symbolizes what this page is all
about. Change has come to Russia, especially
Moscow, and ironies can be found everywhere.
The arrival of McDonald's in Moscow to me symbolized the
end of the Cold War.  In 1989 I stumbled upon a large banner
proclaiming the site for the first Moscow McDonald's.  To see
that picture click
here .  On my return in 1996 that pioneering
McDonald's was open and extremely crowded.  I have no idea
what type of burger from the menu appears above.   
American companies usually move in packs as they
conquer new territory.  Pizza hut is also firmly
established.  I had a pizza at their St Petersburg outlet;
anything for an English menu.  I don't read Cyrillic.
Baskin Robbins is here too, exposing Russians to more
ice cream flavors than they probably ever imagined.  
So Russia is now one more part of the world market
for U.S. products.  It was advertising by American
cigarette companies that really bothered me.    
Stalin and his gems of Soviet architecture still dominate
large parts of the Moscow skyline.  This is Moscow
University, one of the ugly "Seven Sisters".  You can't
miss them.  Among the other six is a hotel.        
Stalin did not care for rival landmarks, especially
churches, blowing up the original Cathedral of Christ the
Savior.  A swimming pool replaced it.  Now the Cathedral
is rising again, on its original site, to soon become one of
Moscow's newest Russian Orthodox churches.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the Intrepid
Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip by clicking on:
Tsar Trek