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29Sep/101

New monuments of Yekaterinburg

Like all post-Soviet cities, Yekaterinburg has many impressive Soviet monuments including ubiquitous Lenin on Lenin Avenue. Fortunately, the 21st century artists have paid their tribute. The new monuments and sculptures of Yekaterinburg are less grandeur, more true-to-life and attract many tourists. Thanks to them the city looks cosier warmer and unique.

Giant keyboard aka QWERTY monument or Klava in Russian

Well, this one is following the Soviet traditions being rather gigantic - QWERTY monument is relatively new but has already become one of the main city attractions along with Church on the Blood. It's interesting, that in a few days after the official opening of the monument somebody stole two concrete letters (each letter weighs 80 kg!) The letters were never found and were replaced by the new heavier ones. You can find it and jump from Enter to Delete on the eastern bank of the Iset River between Malysheva and Kuybysheva streets next to the Beatles monument.

Book the city tour here: http://yekaterinburg4u.ru/en/tours/city-tour

The monument to the Beatles was opened by the local fan club in Yekaterinburg. Reportedly, it's the only Beatles memorial in Russia

Sir Paul hasn't had time to visit it yet but John Lennon's band Quarrymen came to the opening ceremony and that was more than enough to make the post-Soviet fans happy.  Now the monument is also supported by the Wall of Love. The wall depicts the houses of the Beatles in Liverpool and everyone can leave a peaceful message on it.

The Russian music fans like to take pictures at the monument to Vladimir Vysotsky and Marina Vlady in front of Antey skyscraper

Vladimir Vysotsky was an iconic Soviet singer. His songs about common people in Moscow or Gulag were officially banned in the USSR. A French actress Marina Vlady was his long-term long-distance love.

Vainera walking street (a so-called Uralski Arbat) is full of bronze sculptures dedicated to the city dwellers of the past. For example, the sculpture of Artamonov - a local craftsman who invented a bicycle. Didn't you know that the bicycle was invented in the Urals? Every local child will tell you so. Okay, it wasn't the first bicycle ever but the first created in Yekaterinburg.

The legend says that Artamonov created and iron bicycle and rode all the way to St. Petersburg to see the coronation of the Russian Tsar. He then came back still on his iron friend.

If you go to the right from the Central Train Station you get to the old station which is now a Rail Museum. There are some interesting sculptures of the station workers in front of the museum:

A sculpture of provodnitsa carrying tea to her passengers. Provodnitsa (carriage attendant) is a well known word to anyone who went by Trans-Siberian trains.

Yekaterinburg has also the one and only monument to an Invisible Man. I intentionally didn't post the photo of it so that you can use your imagination and think how a monument to an Invisible Man may look like. To find the answer just visit Yekaterinburg. You will spot the monument near the main entrance to Belinski Library on Belinskogo st, 15.

Book the city tour here: http://yekaterinburg4u.ru/en/tours/city-tour

Here are some more photos of the new monuments and sculptures in Yekaterinburg:

25Sep/101

Where to meet English speakers in Yekaterinburg?

According to this year statistics, more than 420.000 foreigners have visited Yekaterinburg so far, twice as many than last year. Among them 43% come to work, 31% are private visitors, 19% come on business, 3% are tourists and 2% study here.

If you are tired of the Russian language and want to speak English for a change, to meet English speakers in Yekaterinburg is easy. Just look for a place that has loads of booze, Russian girls and music (not necessarily in this order)

Everjazz, Lunacharskogo 137, www.everjazz.ru A new jazz cafe has just opened in the building of Dom Kino cinema and promises to become a top place for jazz lovers from the Urals and abroad. Foreign and Russian live bands play here every night from 8p.m. Note that you will have to pay an entrance fee from 500 to 1.500 roubles depending on the act and it's a good idea to book a table beforehand if it's the like of All Foster Quartet playing.

Al Foster Quartet (USA) in Everjazz Cafe made the venue packed on Monday night

Alibi Bootlegger's Booze Bar, Malysheva 74. This bar is the newest fad in Yekaterinburg - fun atmosphere with booze (a large variety of whiskey), girls and dancing thus a foreign friendly place. I've personally hold a grudge against it though since last time the bouncer didn't let me in with my female friend. When I asked if he would let us in with male companions he genuinely said - Yes. I understand that there is a disproportionate number of men and women in Russia but it doesn't mean that being a woman I can't get to the bar in my city. Being a foreigner however you will be welcome in any bar, so don't worry about it.

Dr. Scotch pub, Malysheva 56a. A pub in Yekaterinburg means something between a disco bar and an expensive restaurant. Dr Scotch is not an exception. With two large areas for eating and for dancing it attracts a lot of party lovers both locals and foreigners. One Friday night (that was exactly the night when we were rejected in Alibi then fortunately hit Dr. Scotch) I spotted there a teacher of English from the UK, a guy from South Africa, an Italian tourist and two workers from Spain. So the statistics didn't lie about purposes of foreign visitors.

Rosy Jane pub, Lenina 32. Another English pub that isn't quite English but is popular with foreigners in Yekaterinburg. There is not enough space for dancing but there are many TV screens to watch football or hockey matches plus live music at weekends.

Rancho restaurant, Gogolya 36, www.theranch.ru The restaurant is located next to USA General Consulate, so you can often meet its employees there. Rancho holds Cinema Nights once a month when you can watch American movies with Russian subtitles.

Yellow Submarine bar, Lenin ave 46. The Beatles themed live music bar. Local bands play there every night. The bar is open from 6p.m. to 6a.m. however live music starts only after midnight which is OK for the Russians but is rather late for the foreigners who got used to the early parties.

in Yellow Submarine you can drink Hey Jude or eat a Hard Day's Night as every dish and cocktail there is named after the Beatles' song

You can also meet English speakers in the English Club in Keeer Restaurant-Brewery, Mamina Sibyarika 36, every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. Those who study English join the club on Wednsday nights for a drink and a chat in English only!