Friday, May 18, 2012

Prospekt Gagarina

You're probably familiar with Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. Here's an artistic representation of him at the Prospekt Gagarina metro stop:
The metro ladies practically threw D in jail for taking this picture. So appreciate his hard work!
Entrance to the metro.
After about 10 minutes of walking we reached a park along the river. The benches were filled with families posing for pictures and the elderly at rest. Couples strolled by, the girls often shyly carrying a rose in hand.

That circular rim in the third picture is the circus. I'd like to check it out someday. Meanwhile, we found an awesome outdoor gym along the river. There were actually two identical gyms, separated by a massive (and populated!) playground. The idea of free workout equipment like this is really appealing. The machines are designed so that you work against your body weight.
Most of the equipment was in good condition.
As we walked we drew closer to downtown.
Somewhere near here we passed a McDonalds. After McDonalds we saw a cluster of pigeons going crazy on a windowsill. Someone must have left food out because about 50 of them were hovering near the window, fighting to land. We sped up.

Just after the scary pigeon mob I noticed a girl posing in a short fluffy white dress and super-high wedge heels. A photographer was directing her, posing her for his camera. Another wedding picture!, I thought, until I saw that they were taking pictures in front of a strip club. Maybe not a wedding then...

On an unrelated note: if any pirates land in Kharkov, may I suggest the locale below?
The Jolly Roger
And Kathi, are you paying attention? We went by your old place : ) Remember this? Those big statues on both sides of the bridges?
This was kind of freaky, one of those images you're supposed to capture with your phone. It's in a totally random spot. I have no idea what kind of information it would pull up.
Leftovers of the USSR are everywhere. Check out the bridge railing:
The letters on this building look quite old. They read "Glory to Our Motherland!"
We walked a loop and ended up in the same park we began in. Our ears picked up the strains of an accordion being played (fifth bench in the photo), so we sat and listened- such beautiful music. It all seems so sad and nostalgic and is usually played by adorable tiny old people. Occasionally a visibly intoxicated guy will pick up an accordion and try to awkwardly squeak out a melody for money, but most people who play do it very well.

Okay, pop quiz- is there anything cooler than an accordion?
Answer: Yes. But only one thing. An accordion AND a cell phone.

If you disagree, shame on you. You should pick another part of the world to be interested in.
Here's proof, watch this. According to D, this show is about "these guys who have a boomer (BMW) and they drive around and get into trouble." The show is called, of course, Boomer. I think it's from 2003? Anyways, D's brother-in-law loves this song and has played it for us many, many times.

And what tune should I suddenly hear, sitting in this park, listening to mournful accordion music? That's right- this song. Well, the accordion part, at least. So we walked over to get a look at the musician... and the musicians turn out to be two teenage guys. I love that! In the US teenagers maybe pick up a guitar for money but in Ukraine? In Ukraine, it's the accordion.

In conclusion, this is a fun area to explore if you have a free afternoon in town.

Continuing to walk along the river, we heard these exact words shouted joyfully from a group of kids across the street:"It's your 14th birthday and let's go drinking! I'm paying!"

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