Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vladivostok Happenings: Jazz, The Olympic Torch and Winter Weather

20.11.13
Kristen says...

I feel like it's been forever since I've done a real "Vladivostok post", so I'm very happy to be able to write this one today!

It has been an eventful couple weeks here in the city. First of all, the city hosted another International event: The Vladivostok International Jazz Festival!
A gigantor billboard near the center of town...seriously the thing is probably somewhere between 1 and 2 storeys (yep, that is grammatically correct, believe it or not) tall!!
 Chris attended one of the concerts while I was in Europe, and we attended another together after I got back:
It's not a great picture, but the pianist is Eldar Djangirov. I can't say jazz is my favorite style of music, and especially the style of jazz these three preformed, but Chris (and the rest of the audience) really enjoyed it. :)
Then, this past weekend the Olympic Torch came to Vladivostok! (We're at less than 100 days, people!!!)

We went downtown early Saturday and watched the setup around the main square and along Svetlanskaya St...
It looks like early morning, but it was probably 11 am or so...it's staying darker, longer in the mornings now...unlike most of the world, Russia doesn't "fall back" (or "spring forward", for that matter...)
I'm assuming this tape was an attempt to keep people from mobbing the runners in the streets? From some of the photos I've seen, I'm not sure it worked...
These billboards lined the roads the torches were being run on...notice that the graffiti was also covered for the occasion! :)
VERY unfortunately, Chris and I didn't actually see any of the torches (we were downtown too early and back home by the time the events occurred) but we did have Cinnabon (the only Western chain open in Vladivostok! Sooo good!), so that helped a little :)
Um, amazing.
Notice anything different about Chris? He's participating in Movember (or just lazy, I'm not sure which...I guess we'll see on Dec. 1!) :)
Sorry about the lack of torch pictures taken by me, but if you're interested, you can check out some (probably much better quality) pictures here, and find out more information about the torch in Vlad here and here.

 I also heard that one of our locally employed staff saw someone swimming with the torch, which is kind of interesting...and I was also told that the torch is now on it's way toward Sochi on the Trans-Siberian Railway, which is apparently the first time an Olympic torch has traveled by train...fun trivia to store up for later! :)

 Finally, (and amazingly late in the year, apparently), we had our first round of SNOW this week! :)
The view from the back of our apartment.
This was quite distressing to some people...but I kind of like it (when I'm not outside walking the dog, that is!) Thanksgiving is next Thursday, which I use as my own personal marker of when I can start decorating for Christmas...it will feel much more authentic now that there is snow on the ground! :)

KF

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