Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Surprising places

Yuri Gagarin mural near the Prospect Gagarina metro stop
A good friend came into town to visit last week. He came all the way from the village of Sinne for the promise of an afternoon of bowling, but our plans fell through. Instead, we made a valiant and brief attempt to play badminton on a windy afternoon, hung out in the kids' playground (never too old for the seesaw!), and grabbed lunch at a nearby supermarket café. I hope to return the favor and visit him in Sinne this month. Doesn't it look like a great place?

Anyways, because he's got one of those fancy new iPhones, we were able to take some fantastic photos along Prospect Gagarina after lunch. All these works of art are located on the side of the Gagarin Shopping Center (торговий центр "на гагарина") in an alley by the name of "Street Art".

From left to right:
This is Papa Gueye, an athlete who came from Senegal to play for the city's Metalist team
A creative presentation of the Derzhprom buildings in Freedom Square. I've added a picture of the real thing for comparison.

Next up: a tin soldier? a famous general? And on the wall opposite, these army green silhouettes.
Looks like a Monday...
Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space
This says "Money is paper". You can see for yourself what kind of paper they're referencing! :p
Glory to honest labor which mines heavenly ore! Huh? (If you know Russian, can you please check my translation? I think the end is not quite right. Thanks!)
This is one of my favorites. Remember how as kids we were fascinated by "space food", astronauts eating out of tubes and packets and all that? Here are tubes of food, including borsch, mashed potatoes, and cutlets!
yum, yum

The middle of the wall looks like a drug-induced dream: a gorilla tapping a man's head, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's little prince sitting in an apocalyptic junkyard, and a giant German-speaking panda welcoming passerby.

Finally, everything from a Beatles tribute to a traditional Ukrainian kobzar parachuting through the sky!
Aw, is he riding atop a little tank? Cute! And check out the kid driving and eating a hamburger!
"heaven on earth"
I'm always amazed to see so much art and color here. Just when you think you're surrounded by only drab old buildings, a surprise appears around the corner or, in this case, in an unassuming alley next to a shopping center.


  1. This is a seriously cool place! (The Russian translation sounds about right, but I can't say that it makes any sense to me, either.)

    1. Artist of most of that (and numerous other street-arts in Kharkiv) is Roman Minin, he grew up in Donbas, so he knows a lot about miners. You can read/view pictures in one of his big interviews. Originally he translates it as "sky ore". And that is word-to-word translation of IRON, which comes from Ancient Egypt (iron were harvested that times from meteorites - so sky metal or sky ore were it's names). I'd translate that as "Glory to honest labor, which helps to mine sky ore".
      And about tubes: one of the tastiest ones is with compote :)

    2. Holy cow, his Facebook page? That's awesome, Pavlo, thanks!! :) And now that translation make a lot more sense :)

  2. Here is a G+ link: https://plus.google.com/100146646232137568790/posts/QX4PhpsM96u

    1. Thank you, Rupert! I really appreciate your support : )

  3. Did you forget that Lance Bass was actually the first man in space?

    1. Hahaha, how did I know you were going to say that?!