Friday, June 13, 2014

Cable cars in color + street art

Yesterday we had the chance to ride the newly painted-and-windowed cable cars that Brandon Price wrote about in May. He was right on all accounts. While the updated version is bright and eye-catching...

how they look now
how they looked before
... the windows are a big disappointment, slashing chances of getting a great photo. But on the upside, like Brandon mentioned, a lot of the windows are missing. Certain cars have 3 windows, some only 2, others just 1. Maybe windows were randomly removed for summer? Or, based on the gaps in the frames of the remaining windows, perhaps the others fell out? 

The whole experience of riding the cable cars feels different. Ticket takers have actual box offices now, not sun umbrellas. There's an electronic turnstile to go through before getting onto the platform and longer lines to wait in. The casual days of drinking beer in open carts seem to be long gone.

On the other hand, Gorky Park itself is AMAZING. Amazing-er, actually, since it was always pretty cool. The construction has finished on the far side of the park and our cable car passed over beautiful children's playgrounds, soccer courts, and half a dozen volleyball courts with sand!

"Now we finally have a park like you have in America!", my friend Lena said as we passed over all these sights. "Are you kidding?!", I told her, "This is way nicer than any park I've ever seen there!"

It was an ideal evening for park walking. Clover was blooming en masse in the green spaces and the walkways were filled with strollers, bicycles, and roller blades.

As the last of the day's sunlight began to slide away, the rides gleamed like something out of a magazine. I tried to convince the others in our group to buy a ticket for Mega Disco "Egypt" or Crazy Bench "England" (actual ride names) but no one else was tempted enough by the whirlings and twirlings of these machines, so those rides are still on the to-do list.

I wanted to share one other sight with you, the memories of this triggered by the bright colors of Gorky Park.

When Odin stopped into town last summer we came across a completely ordinary neighborhood with a completely unexpected color scheme.

All of these photos were taken near the intersection of Otakara Yarosha and Serhiya Yesenina St, just a few minutes from where the cable cars start.

"Flowers of the Veterans"

It's always such a pleasant surprise to find beauty where none is expected.

A few nearby garages were also decked out in style (including even a Ray Charles garage).

"Kharkiv mentalist"
My favorite: "If rain fell on the moon, the lunar rover would rust and grow flowers."

And something you can't miss if you're walking from the Botanical Garden metro stop to the entrance of the cable cars- this apartment building wall with a few lines from one of Yesenin's poems.

"I am a good friend to beasts, my poems will cure the soul of a beast"

Wherever you are now, hopefully there's beauty and color around you too.

PS: Not sure if this is new or not, but Gorky Park has a great website up, available in Ukrainian, Russian, and English!


  1. Keep them coming Katherine, try to capture all your memories, as my experience over the decades has taught me our eyes miss so much when recalling our past lives :-)

    1. Definitely will do, Rupert! There will be a lot of posts coming over the next few weeks : )

  2. Lovely post! I remember them being in the colours of the Beeline phone operator when I was in Kharkiv in 2008. The cars looked like giant wasps hovering over the city.
    Great blog and I hope before you leave you will experience many more pleasant and memorable moments.

    1. Thank you!
      It sure would have been cool to see the cars painted up that way... any chance you have a photo?

  3. Sure, here's the pic. I made a link. Good memories.

    1. Oh, wow!!!!! That made my day : ) It's definitely going in the next Facebook link round-up. Thanks for sharing!

  4. My only experience riding a cable car would be in Kiev it took us form the top of the river bank where the Churches and monasteries are located to the river. It was so long ago that I almost forgot that I had ever enjoyed a cable car ride.

    But what this piece did for me was bring to mind the unique qualities of the regions of Ukraine. I especially enjoyed the graffiti. Zak

    1. Glad you enjoyed, Zak! That ride in Kyiv is pretty neat . Like you, I have vague memories of a ride in it : )

  5. this looks like so much fun! i'm loving all the great colors!!

    1. Thank you! It's sure a very fun and colorful city to explore!