“Our job is to develop the most democratic and accessible cultural locations for Muscovites,” says Maria Rogachyova, who oversees Moscow’s libraries.
Moscow is always a surprising kind of place. I expected Putin’s us-against-them nationalism to be more strident than ever. But I find the city uncharacteristically subdued and anxious about the future.
The closest I came to becoming a socialist was when I was a teenager growing up in the U.S. Midwest in the 1980s. I first had to move to Russia to grasp the folly of socialism and reclaim my middle-class roots.
Even Russian men, whose clothing choice was once limited to polyester business suits or polyester jogging suits, have become fussy dressers. Local trends in men’s fashion have developed in mysterious directions: pointy elf shoes or the male purse.