26 April 2009

Kiev...then and now (Part 2)

After the smiling concierge of Premier Palace Hotel told me about it a year ago, I have quickly became an avid visitor to Andriivsky Vspusk (Andreevskiy Descent...or The Tourist Hill, as I call it) in Kiev. I was perfectly sure that the concierge, who could immediately start modeling on any European runway, would have preferred her share in my probable purchase of overpriced antiques in the hotel souvernir shop, she eventually gave in and told me that I could find some "rubbish" there, especially at the lower end of the hill.

Although uncomparable to Moscow's Izmaylovsky, Andriivsky offers a mediocre selection to the Soviet-relic hunters like me. From all those stalls selling worthless souvenirs and petty artwork, I can only recommend the stall manned by two brothers who can both be over-interested and marblefaced depending on their vodka consumption or mood at that time of day. They have countless soviet and german medals and other already rusting relics on their stall and I cannot say that it is cheap and don't ever bargain i,f they have their beercans on the stall. 

Another good bargain can be made with an old man at the end of the hill who speacializes in old newspapers and communist journals. I am sure that nobody was interested in those yellow journals than me, since he was so happy to see me dwelling between his archives on the floor. I bought a Pravda (meaning Truth, the newspaper of the Soviet Union) and an Ogonyok (meaning Little Flame, an illustrated soviet journal abouty everything and nothing) and he gave me a lot of things as a gift, including the old photo below. 

I did not hesitate to walk up the hill (equal to a day in the gym in cardiovascular means) and walked back through the Volodymirska Street to Sofiyska Ploschad where this photo was taken roughly 50 years ago. Here is what it seems like now...a bit different?

No comments: