Moscow 1909

In 1909 Murray Howe traveled to Moscow and St. Petersburg with a top of the line camera and some of his pictures have recently been made available by his great-grandson, who refurbished the negatives and posted 77 (of about 400, I think) on flickr. There are many beautiful pictures of Moscow’s architectural sites, as well as a variety of scenes from everyday life, such as a peasant market, traveling priests, barefoot boys and girls working in the streets. The original descriptions of the photos have been included. One striking one is of a young half barefoot nurse, holding a toddler and standing up against a riverside railing. The description reads: “The camera man’s guide forces a terrified nurse to pose against her will.” One that has gotten quite a lot of attention is of Khitrovka. The author wrote: “A prize snap shot on a sunday morning in the famous Thieves Market, Moscow. I was mobbed by this crowd after taking this picture and had to be rescued by the Soldier-Police.” There are some interesting comments on the exhibit with responses from the author here.  Edit: These pictures were also discussed in a recent post by historian Alison Smith, a contributor to the new and collectively maintained Russian History Blog.


May 14, 2011. Exhibits, Images, Late Imperial, Moscow. Leave a comment.

Internet in Moscow, 2007-2008

My wife and I arrived to Moscow in the fall of 2007, unsure about whether we would have high speed internet in Moscow.  We were very pleasantly surprised.  We signed up with a company called STRIM, one of the biggest players in Moscow’s very large market.  We found a local office near our metro station (Shchukinskaia) where we signed up and received the basic equipment.  For about $25 / month, we got unlimited high speed DSL and basic interactive cable TV, all through the phone jack in our small Khrushchevka.  We rented the equipment for a few dollars a month, though its also possible to purchase it.  We did not need to involve our landlord at all in setting up the contract with STRIM, and did not need to provide any proof of registration or any other formal documentation.  Customer service was fine, at least on par with what I’ve gotten from Bell Canada.  Otherwise I had no problems with the service.  So in sum, if you’re in Moscow for an extended period of time and can speak Russian, you should be able to get a high speed internet without a problem.

Another option is to sign up for an extensive wireless network, Golden Telecom (  This was not available in our neighborhood.  Many cafes offer wireless in town, but most are quite costly.  My favorite free email spot was an all-you-can-eat restaurant/cafe on the corner of Chistoprudnaia and Pokrovka, not far–by the way–from another favorite, Thai Thai.

And finally, a fairly detailed story only for really dedicated seekers of inexpensive internet access: One night back in March, 2008, I was forced to camp out at Domodedovo airport, and, recalling that Golden Telecom offered 24 hours of internet service for a meager $5, I was determined to take full advantage.  But unfortunately I didn’t have a Golden Telecom card and they’re no longer sold at the airport (I’m sure this is because another phone giant, MTS, has introduced its own wireless network at the airport.  It’s easy to register for and use, but very expensive).  The solution: I used MTS to register an account number with Golden Telecom and then very fortunately found one of those computerized payment devices where one can put money on cell phone accounts that also accepted money for Golden Telecom.  So with the account number I could make the payment, and presto! All night internet.

September 16, 2008. Living in Russia, Moscow. Leave a comment.