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Tuesday 30 July 2013

The High Line in NYC and La Coulée Verte in Paris - Pieces of Peace in Crazy Cities

I love big cities. I love them to the point that I was even not afraid to go to New York City during current summer heat wave (oh god, I love living in the bay area where you can't beat the weather!). Although, in the cold of winter or in the heat of summer, I love big cities, busy looking people in suits hurry in and out of tall buildings, street noises, hustle and bustle. But in order to stay sane in these crazy urban swirls, you need a place to hide, a place "above and beyond" . The High Line in New York is definitely one of them.

High Line Park - another view of New York:






In Paris you do not feel like you get smashed by skyscrapers. But you still need to get away from crazy everydayness of a big city.

Coulée verte in Paris:

photo credit:


photo credit:

Friday 6 April 2012


Away from civilized without-history silicon valley, towards old-fashion and somehow history-breathing town of Truckee, CA. We walked to downtown and stopped in a small cafe. What was suprising is that instead of white-teeth smile we were welcomed by a severe look and something like "What do you want?". It reminded me Russia a little bit and I decided we should stay here for a while. After a cold welcome we received plenty of nice smiles (especially our 14-months daughter), hot coffe and nice pastries.



Friday 30 March 2012

Lake Tahoe - Not Just a Lake

Last weekend we went to Lake Tahoe: from sunny Sunnyvale to Lake Tahoe's snowy shore. 5 hours of driving and we jump from already-spring to almost-winter. Distances and climate changes is something that pull together the US and Russia. Though here in the US the climate changes are more rapid and thus spectacular: Sunnyvale-Tahoe is not Moscow-Novosibirsk in terms of distance but the weather difference is pretty notable (from + 15 C° to -3 C°)

What is also notable about Tahoe is that it is the largest and the second deepest lake in the US.

Tahoe made me think of Russian Lake Baikal (even if Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world while Tahoe is only on 17th place of the list). Unfortunately I had never seen Baikal but even without having seen it I am proud of the fact that there is Baikal in my native Russia. Just like Americans are proud of having the Lake Tahoe in their country.

We (Russians) often make fun of American patriotism. But look, we are actually proud of the same things. The difference if often about how differently we care about the things we are proud of....

When we were in Tahoe over the last weekend, we lived in a big apartment. Our large unit 2 bedroom/ 2 bathroom, 2,5 floors/ fireplace / fully equipped kitchen with all cooking utensils & facilities - everything for 2 adults and 1 child - made me think about our tiny/ your bed is in the wall/ please put me on a waiting list for toilets - apartment in French Alps.

If I would determine a size-comfort ratio for Americans, French and Russian I would have this:

Americans - sizable comfort

French - tiny comfort

Russians - uncomfortable size

North shore Tahoe houses and condos outside and inside:

We are proud of and we care about:

It is mine, do not touch:

Sunday 11 March 2012

Spring in San-Francisco (Golden Gate Park)

spring in SF

Sunset in California

Monday 6 February 2012

Winter in California

This is how winter in California looks like.

Monday 23 January 2012

What is Death for Californian is Paradise for Russian

Today it is raining a little bit (not all the time, just a few drops from time to time) and the temperature is about 13° C (55.8° F). We came for a walk with my daughter and my husband (nice to be able to go to the parc together on Sunday). We are in January and we have 13° C . «Wow ! » - a European would say. «Brrrr » - a Californian would say and would stay at home. So we were only three in the parc today. And no more people.

My daughter was born in Moscow in January 2011. We started to go for a walk with her when she was 10 days old. The temperature was about -10° C (14° F). So we are not afraid of +10° C !