Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Площа Повстання 2: Winter Fashion, the Yeast Factory, and more

Welcome to Yakira Street

It's -6 C at the moment (21 F) and the weather forecast is predicting snow for the rest of this week. The small children of Kharkov have been parading around in snowsuits for almost two months and now the rest of us are beginning to follow suit. Tall heeled boots and шубы (fur coats) are everywhere, as are fur hats the actual size of beavers!
Waiting for the tram
Probably the slowest but cheapest form of transportation in town

Undaunted (but bundled up), we recently went on a lengthy exploration of Yakira steet. Perhaps it's just the time of year, but this part of town seems almost untouched by 2012. It feels more like the 1970s. Take a look-

The air here is filled with the sickly wheat smell of fermenting yeast. Or rather, as D puts it- "Mmmmm! Smells like beer!!" {sniff, sniff}
The Харківські дріжджі factory (website)
Near the yeast factory is a little shop stocked with yeast (of course), pastas, margarine, and spices. It's where I picked up that totally non politically-correct pepper that's posted over on Facebook. The woman who works there was kind. We caught her as she was walking off to talk to someone in the neighboring pastry shop, but immediately she turned around and ushered us in with "Come in, come in! What would you like?" I tried to find out if they do tours of the factory; she advised asking at main reception on a work day.

Left: grapes still on the vine on the factory wall
Right: Beer-Mead Factory

A yeast factory alone makes any neighborhood unusual, but look what else there is-
This sign reads buttons
We saw small wooden homes, old apartment buildings, and crumbling brick facades.

In fact, reminders of the old days were everywhere...
Plaque reads: In this place in March 1943, German fascist-invaders shot 86 residents of the region. May the memory of those residents be eternal!
This is Ploshcha Povstannia, or The Square of the Uprising. The stone slab reads In December 1905, under the leadership of the Bolshevik "Artem" (F. A. Seergeiv) a fight took place between the uprising workers of the city and the tsar's soldiers.
Also, not far from the metro stop Ploshcha Povstannia is this giant stone head. You can find its location on Google Maps.
Meet the head from Pushkin's tale Ruslan and Ludmila. Tricked by his brother Chernomor, he was once a mighty warrior, but is now just a human head sleeping atop a sword.
In real-life 1980s Kharkov, his shield housed video games.

Seems like this fairy tale is a popular theme for parks:
This kind of creepy postcard depicts a scene from a 1970s (or so) Crimean park. I found it in an old photo album belonging to D's family.
And last but not least, some local splashes of color:

Left: (literally) We have everything (all groceries)

Right, below: You can eat and drink

Of course, it's much cuter in Russian because it rhymes... something more along the lines of "we've got everything but the kitchen sink, here you can eat and drink".

Next time I'll show you one more cool place near Ploshcha Povstannia- the Metalist Stadium!- and some pictures of a local rose garden in bloom. Ah, summertime : )

And in case you missed it, the entry that started it all: Площа Повстання 1: The Horse Market

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