Sunday June 6, 2010
Auction houses in London begin their summer Russian
art auctions on Monday. Christie's auction will feature works by Faberge
among its other
art pieces. Sotheby's will, most notably, auction off pieces
by Shishkin, Bakst,
Aivazovsky, and Roerich.
which specializes in Russian art, also presents two works by Roerich.
One, entitled The Black Gobi, shows the sun setting behind
hills blanketed in shadow, dark monoliths breaking up the foreground of
Other work up for sale at MacDougall's - including icons, works
on paper, and paintings - depict images more common to Russian culture. These include a series of drawings for
Chekhov's story, The Steppe, by George Pogedaieff; a view of
the Moscow Kremlin illuminated for the coronation of Nicholas II by
Isaak Levitan; and a vibrant view of a birch forest through an open
window by Stanislav Zhukovsky. Other paintings and drawings illustrate
the severity and beauty of the Russian winter, represent the mystery of
Russia's monasteries and fortresses, or capture people completing
ordinary tasks in their native environment.
Thursday June 3, 2010
, the Venice of the North, has its own
version of the original Venice's vaporettos
, or water taxis. The service, which began
, follows two routes, one which takes passengers past
some of St. Petersburg's must-see sights
. The water taxis are
cheaper than the tourist boats, so they may be a viable option for
budget-minded visitors who still want to see St. Petersburg by canal.
St. Petersburg Canal photo credit: CC BY-NC-ND gerry balding
Tuesday June 1, 2010
According to the 2010 Mercer Quality of Living
survey, the region of Eastern Europe has seen the highest increase in quality of living
Europe during the most recent period of data collection (2008-2009).
Prague comes in as the highest ranking East/East Central
European city at number 70. The Czech capital is closely followed by the
Hungarian capital, Budapest, at number 73 and the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, at 77. (Mercer)
The Baltic countries are slightly lower on the list with Vilnius at number 79, Tallinn at 89, and Riga at 91 (Kyiv Post). Warsaw ranks 84 in the survey.
Kiev, Ukraine's capital, has a lower quality of living
than the above cities at number 161, but ranks higher than Moscow, which comes in at 166.
The Quality of Living survey measures a variety of factors
including education, health, political environment, economic
environment, housing, and natural environment. A more complete list of
categories and factors that define quality of living can be found at the
Monday May 31, 2010
This weekend saw the return of the Go Blonde festival and parade in
. Organized by the Latvian
Association of Blondes
, with proceeds being donated to charity, the
now-annual event includes a parade, parties, and competitions, and
participants dress in pink and white. Baltic Reports has posted photos
of the festival, which show blondes and non-blondes enjoying themselves
in the country's capital.
BBC reports that the end-of-May festival will
be even bigger, so if you plan to be in Riga during this time, check
the Go Blonde website for information about the event.
Go Blonde in Riga photo credit: CC By larsms