Hidden cities

Have you ever thought what you need to do in order to feel the real spirit of a city? Should you visit its central square? Take a quick walk around the most popular park? Or maybe dine at the local restaurant?

For example, I think you will agree that St. Basil’s Cathedral (a tourist magnet on Red Square) doesn’t reflect the soul of Moscow.

I’ve been pondering this question for a while and that brought me to the conclusion. The true spirit of a city is in its old nooks which have escaped a modern reconstruction. It’s in the corners which have some weird stories that only locals know about. I decided to explore my city and reflect its soul through the architecture. So I took some photos of the city’s hidden gems.



Pillars. Why are we so attached to pillars? Exploring a new city we always stop to take a photo of a building with pillars. Waiting for other tourists to get out of our camera’s sight, we admire its stability, trustworthiness, and solidity. I guess if some deceptive advertising included the pictures of buildings with pillars, a lot more consumers would prefer to be persuaded to purchase that product.


Arches. Why do we like arches? In terms of architecture I would rank arches as something that is between windows and gates. It symbolizes a new beginning, change, novelty, a small door to the unknown. I was always intrigued by these elements of buildings and their ability to divide two different and at the same time connected worlds. When I was a kid, I saw a movie about portals to another dimension. I was convinced there is one in our city too (in one of the arches, of course).


Graffiti. Contrary to popular belief, the presence of beautiful graffiti on the walls of a city is a good omen. Why is it so? It’s a sure sign that the system of education is pretty good in the city and there are some decent colleges and universities there. In Russia, there is no graffiti in some rural towns. Youth from these areas have to move to another city to continue their education.

P.S. I will publish my city’s name in the 859th post (this one is 61st). Stay tuned.


29 thoughts on “Hidden cities

  1. Now I know that my suspicion that you were a very smart woman was correct. Appreciation of architecture and the arts is two of the cornerstones to higher intellect. You have literature because you have a blog. You have a high level of education in math because you are Russian. Now if you have a musical talent it will make you a genius. Some people will tell you if you were really smart, you would ignore my comments but that isn’t true. It just means you have compassion for the less fortunate. This is also an admirable quality. Besides all that, I enjoyed this post. Your pictures and commentary are very entertaining and I will wait patiently for your 859th post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • “for the less fortunate” is the phrase that is really entertaining 🙂 Now I see it was worth it to start blogging at least to learn I’m a genius. I could only guess, today you confirmed my diagnosis.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Marta. I feel in comparison to your intellect, I am very much less fortunate. But, the old saying, “ignorance is bliss” means I’m a very happy person, regardless. I suspect the vodka has something to do with that. And last, my father always told me if I couldn’t be smart to make friends with smart people. I am glad to be your blogfriend because that makes my father happy that I listened to him. 🙂


      • When you find it difficult to choose between two options, add ten more. Often, this will help you decide not to change. Now, I will suggest some ways to have a bit more confusion. Smart Marta, MartaSmarty, SmartyMarta, Marta’s Smart Art from the Heart, Smart Art Carte by Marta. If your head hurts now, it’s probably time for me to quit making suggestions. I’ve learned that if I’m too helpful, I can get injured. Usually by blunt force trauma. 🙂


      • Ah, then I am safe to say it can only get better from here. You have good stats, a new catchy name, and hopefully you still have your ten rubles. It has been a very good day and no doubt, you are smarter now than 12 hours ago. Me, I think I will try harder tomorrow 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • I see the time difference can be very large in Russia depending on where you live so I am amazed that you are awake at the same time I am. It is now midnight here so I will try to get some smart sleep now. I gave up on beauty sleep so I’ll opt for smart sleep and hope for the best. Have a great day! 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

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