Friday, July 1, 2011

Canada Day

July 1 is Canada Day, so over on my side of the dorm (dubbed Canada for the 5 Canadian students living here) it was a pretty big deal.  Plus, it was one of the Canadians’ birthday, so there was just all kinds of merriment starting first thing in the morning.  I branched off on my own for most of the day, doing some last minute touristing.  I went to the Kremlin around noon, and it was so damn hot I could hardly see straight by the time I got into the fortress.  But I managed to find an overpriced water bottle and I was back in business.  I visited all the cathedrals in the main part of the Kremlin, saw a giant bell and a giant cannon… it was all a pretty good time.  Then I headed over to this contemporary art gallery we had heard about on the other side of town.  I hopped the metro, walked and found the place.  It used to be a wine bottling factory, and it has been turned into what seems like sort of an artists’ collective.  There are still a bunch of buildings and they all seem to house different galleries and such.  Unfortunately, the signs are almost all in Russian, and there’s almost nothing directional, so I couldn’t quite figure out how things worked.  After walking into about 4-5 wrong doors (offices, closed exhibits, weird basements), I finally lost my nerve and just left.  It’s too bad that little excursion didn’t work out, but the place itself seemed pretty cool and dynamic – for Greenville folks: maybe kinda like Artbomb on steroids. Having had enough of wandering around in the sweltering heat, I hopped the metro back to the dorm, took a shower, made dinner and generally vegged out for a little bit.  In the evening we headed out to a bar for a little birthday/Canada Day celebration.  I stayed long enough for one large beer and a little conversation before again returning to the dorm where I made the extreme sacrifice of helping some friends polish off their vodka.  It was a sweaty, though perfectly lovely day.

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