Moscow is on a partial lockdown until Nov. 7, which means that the only cultural venues open are theaters and museums. Conditions vary, so be sure to check on the venue’s website before you register to attend an event. In most cases children under the age of 18 are freely admitted, but anyone older than 18 must have a QR code proving vaccinated status or a negative PCR test done within one to three days, depending on the site. Capacity will be limited.
Here are exhibitions for the vaccinated, parks for everyone in Moscow, and online events for everyone anywhere in the world.
Feed your soul with great art
The Tretyakov Galleries, both new and old, have several exhibitions that are must-sees. At the New Tretyakov Gallery, visit the retrospective of works by Yuri Pimenov, whose escapist and lyrical paintings of Moscow are symbols of the Thaw — and whose more avant-garde works before “socialist realism” have been rescued from his attempts to destroy them. It is a fascinating exhibition. At the old Tretyakov Gallery see the surprising show of works by Ilya Repin, enjoy the pastoral beauty of paintings by Alexei Venetsianov, Russia’s first romantic painter, and learn how 20 classics of Russian painting were once considered too scandalous to exhibit. Or visit the collection of the early Russian avant-garde at the New Tretyakov — unquestionably the best collection in the world — or wander through the halls of the old Tretyakov Gallery, enjoying centuries of glorious Russian art. For more information and tickets, see the site here.
Take a walk in the woods
One of the biggest — if not the biggest — woodlands in the city is Bitstevsky Forest. It is one of the oldest once-inhabited places in the city: tribes called krivichi and vyatichi settled here in the 12th century, and today people are still discovering their burial mounds or artifacts. In the center is a fresh-water spring, and nearby is the Paleontological Museum. But the joy of the forest is just tramping along its wide and well-maintained paths, catching site of some of the hundred animals and birds who live here, or just enjoying fresh air and silence. Entrance is by the Novoyasenevskaya metro station.
Get out of town
Of all the great estates in and around Moscow, the Yusupov family manor and park at Arkhangelskoye is the one that still seems like a door opening into the past. Set on the banks of the Moscow River with woods and parkland, it is a very pleasant place for wandering in any weather or time of year. Stop in the Colonnade to see part of the estate’s collection of Italian art and books, or follow the path up to the lovely 17th century Church of the Archangel Michael, or go into the palace itself to see the permanent collection or the exhibition of carriages. You can get there by car or bus; instructions for various routes can be found here. More information can be found on the site.
Celebrate Halloween poetically online
On October 31 the Voznesensky Center and its in-house bookshop Poryadok slov (Word Order) is holding an online poetry event: a devil’s dozen (that is, 13) poets will read scary, weird, or otherwise creepy poems and texts written by the other participants. They include Marianna Geide, Alla Gorbunova, Dmitry Goynko, Danila Davydov and many more.
The poetic evening begins at 11 p.m. For more information and registration, see the center site here.
Watch Soviet classics online
Moskino always comes to the rescue during a lockdown. The film giant is offering a wide variety of films for home viewing, including some documentary classics like “Ordinary Fascism”; war films such as Stanislav Govorukhin’s “Champagne Bubbles” about a soldier struggling on leave or “Difficult Hour” about the battle for Moscow; or films all about Moscow. There are dozens of old and new films to help you keep your mind off the latest coronavirus surge.
As an end-of-the-week treat, watch “Ten Minutes Older” (below). No words, just wonder.