Monday, February 17, 2014

Mystery Park

11 days until the first day of spring, I told myself today as fat snowflakes plummeted past the window. The streets had just managed to clear themselves of crusty piles of leftover snow, the kind that melt away to reveal about 20,000 cigarette butts. But there was a time- and will be a time- without snow, a time of year where cigarette stubs are immediately swept up, where one doesn't have to always dodge ice slicks and mud puddles.

Remember that?
They say it does actually exist... once a year ; )

Last summer we discovered a cool plaza near the Palace of Sports. It just so happened to be across the street from our favorite movie theater and eventually a day came when we were early (!!) to the showing, meaning a chance to walk across the street and check this place out.

On the other side of those trees, men laboured to build a new arena that will host the 2015 European Basketball Championship. It looks like it'll be a rather fancy place, seating around 6,000 people (making it one of the smallest of the EuroBasket arenas). Speaking of hosting events, it seems like Ukraine is eager to continue attracting this kind of attention. A whopping 1.6 billion is slated for Ukrainian EuroBasket development, 44 million for the Kharkiv arena. If you're thinking- what's next? The freaking World Olympics?- you may be right. Lviv has put in a bid for the 2022 Winter Olmpics : )

In the back of the park- a memorial to the Soviet singer Vladimir Vysotsky. This video from August 2013 shows the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the memorial, so we must have taken the picture above a few days/weeks before the official opening of the memorial.
For anyone out there who's studying to be a spy, you definitely must learn everything you can about this guy or your cover will be blown in less than 5 minutes. He's a character that everyone here knows. There's even an asteroid named after him- the 2374 Vladvysotskij! For all non-spy people, I think you'll enjoy his music. Try this song; it sounds like something that would go well with whiskey and a cigar.

So what should we call this place?
Vysotsky Park?
Future-Basketball-Arena-Neighbor Park?
The Park-Across-the-Street-From-the-Movie-Theater Park?
Sports Palace Plaza?
Rock Climbing Park? (Did you catch the climbing wall behind the memorial?)
My vote is for Floor-Lamp-Fountain Park.
Don't you agree?

I guess Mystery Park will do for now.

In the meantime, I'll be waiting for the park's real name... and summer.

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