Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
For Christmas Santa gave Sophia her first digital camera, a Fisher Price version that looks like a view finder (for those of us from a previous generation). She has taken over 400 photos in the last 3 days - she definately takes after her parents! These are just a few examples of Annie Lebowitz in training...
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Every year we kick off the holiday season on Christmas Eve with the Kivimaki family, just north of Seattle. It's a very special Scandinavian celebration, with traditional dress and singing around the Christmas tree. We started the day with friends Meri & Henrik, went to evening mass, and by the evening - Sophia was ready to play. Photos here are with Vivian, Alex and Sean.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The statue of Pavel Tretyakov, in front of the gallery with the largest collection of Russian art in the world - painting, sculpgure, and rooms & rooms filled with Russian icons.
Looking at the Kremlin from across the Moskva river. A scene from inside the GUM Mall (who says capitalism has not reached Russia).
Scenes from the Moscow Metro, with each station looking like a mini gallery - with sculptures, art deco lighting, and remnants of the Soviet Union. First and foremost, the metro is a defensive tool against nuculear attack. Each station contains large steel doors and the network has the capacity to support 1 million people for a month. Trains can take Moscovites up to 100 KM outside of the city.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1552, St. Basil is one of the best known icons of Moscow. Legend has it, Ivan was so amazed the beauty, that he had the architect blinded so that he could never design anything as exquisite again. It was closed for renovation, but the outside is stunning enough.
Red Square and the lights of Christmas. In the center is a tree and a large ice skating complex. In the distance, you see the Russian Historical Museum, and one of Moscow's largest and poshest malls - GUM all lit up. There are also pictures of the reconstructed Kazan Cathedral, and the Resurrection Gate.
A surprising winter sunset over Moscow, and a look at some of the 27 towers that surround and protect the Kremlin. Red Square was first and foremost a market square, and the Kremlin was where the village went when invaders came. Also above is the "Yellow House" - Moscow's version of the White House - where Putin works, and I believe resides.
I am told that Moscow often has no more than 10 days of blue sky during the long Winter months, so I consider myself very luck that on my first visit I find a sunny yet bitter cold day. -3 below is -30 in other places. My face was so numb at times I couldn't talk. But the Kremlin provided some shelter in the form of amazing churches and the famous armory, where there was an endless display of royal outfits, weapons, and one of the largest collections of carriages in the world.
In the center of the Kremlin there are at least 6 churches, all form different centuries, showing off the amazingly different architectures and design. Included in the photos are the Cathederal of the Annunciation, and The Great Bell Tower of Ivan the Terrible