Incredible tour of Russia in progress. Has been a very fast two days here in Moscow, so I didn’t have much chance to get on the Internet. The first day was a marathon of walking. I actually got up at 5am the first morning and went to the gym. I got on the treadmill and ran 9 km. It is easier to run on that machine than outside on the sidewalks that’s for sure. Then worked out on the Kinetic gym machine for awhile before hitting the pool and sauna. Yes that’s right living the VIP lifestyle. Grand Hyatt is a very very nice hotel for anyone who can drop a thousand dollars a night! So after that workout we must have walked at least 10 to 15 km during the day. Everybody was really feeling it at the end of the day. I had an extra 9 km of running and a 10 kilogram backpack to lug around all day so I think I really got my workout. We got back to the hotel at like 1am and I crashed. Didn’t wake up until the maid came into the room 15 minutes before check out time.
The touring of Moscow was fantastic, really enjoying this trip. We are being guided around by Andrey a local shop owner here, and without him it would be much much harder. Nothing is in English, subways and signs are impossible to read. The city is clean and people are polite and respectful. The Red Square was amazing both in daylight and at night. The signs of globalization are certainly creeping into Moscow, but this is still a great time to visit if you can. There is still an innocence and purity here that I have not felt for a long time. Probably since I went to Peru three years ago. Ten more years and Moscow will probably just be another city like London, Tokyo and LA. Heck there are still lots of people rollerblading here, so that gives you an idea of how far behind they are culturally, perhaps ten to 15 years out.
Paul Mittleman from Stussy getting a shot of the Cosmonaut gear in the mall by Red Square.
I love the fact that you can actually buy fresh fruit, bread and vegetables at the little local stands that are everywhere in the city. Pizza, beer, juice and those kinds of stuff are sold in the stands. No crappy cold packaged fake burritos, or cardboard tasting calorie mate bars, but real food.
The underground passageways are filled with these little tiny shops that sell everything from underwear to shoes laces, magazines, keys and watches.
Street scene. The locals drive fast, very fast. The roads are huge, six lanes wide in one direction for some roads and they take advantage of it.
Super model types everywhere.
The was a was a very beautiful girl on the subway yesterday and she had a boyfriend with an incredible mullet hairstyle kissing on her neck. It was a sad thing to watch. The mullet hairstyle seems to still be very much in fashion here.
OK check out the poster below. We all thought this was for a gay bar, but turns out it is for a strip club for ladies.
Interesting side note, I have not seen what look like tourists throughout much of the city. I am sure there are a lot of Russian tourists, and there were some tourist types in Red Square but that is about it. We seem to be the only people taking pictures where ever we go. And let me tell you we are all taking a lot of pictures. I have shot at least 3-4 thousand pictures already. The rest of our group is also shooting a lot. It is hard to get anywhere as we all keep stopping and shooting constantly. There are a lot of Kodak moments here. Have to be careful where and what you shoot though. Shooting inside buildings of any kind is pretty much not allowed. Restaurants, cafes, clubs and bars all told us not to shoot. Don’t try to shoot a photo of anyone in police or military uniform as they will shut you down straight away. So we have been trying to sneak shots of places and people without being too obvious.
Red Square last night. On the way to the train station we had to stop for a few minutes to shoot what may become the cover of the next Honeymag. A night shot of Hiroshi with the Red Square in the background. It was a super rushed set up and shoot as always. I had my flash all set up and ready while we drove there in the taxi. Detz-san was my assistant holding the flash and Hiroshi posed nicely in three different set ups. Shot this most famous church as we rushed back to the taxi that was waiting. We made it to the train with about 2 minutes to spare!
Overnight train took us all the way to St. Petersburg arriving 7:40 this morning. Great train ride, slept good and woke to an amazing sunrise over forest and fields with low lying fog in the fields. Super! We checked into our new thousand dollar a night hotel and are resting a few minutes before heading out to check out the city and culture!