Three Weeks of City Life in Brief
by Paul Miazga
Just in case you’ve not heard: Latin heartthrob Enrique Iglesias plays the Sports Palace on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Canadian rocker Bryan Adams will also play the Sports Palace, but on Thursday, Nov. 30. Both concerts start at 7pm. For tickets, check your local kiosk. Some likely can still be found kicking around, though at what price and in what quantity, I can’t say. The Avishai Cohen Group is playing at the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy (1-2/11 Horodetskoho) at 8pm. Not sure of ticket prices or availability for this event either, but word has it that if you can’t get tickets to the other two gigs but score for this one, you won’t feel like you’ve missed anything given the talent of this phenomenal jazz group.
Reconstruction work on the Golden Gate monument – which supposedly resembles one of the ancient city gates dating back more than 1,000 years – has finally finished. Work began more than one year ago and reopened to the public last week. It all looks rather nice from the outside, but one thing is for sure: the guys who laid the bright green sod are complete idiots. Naturally the stuff hasn’t taken root, nor will it over the winter, which will soon come. By spring the grass will be dead and need to be replaced. In some places, it’s already fallen out. Sheer genius to put it in now.
Work on the office and retail center at the confluence of Baseyna and Shovkovichna streets and Lesi Ukrainky Boulevard looks strangely overwrought. At least to me it does. Maybe that’s because I seem to recall the original design drawing once posted at the site. It called for a building of no more than 12 floors; the current building now more than doubles the height expressed in that design and is still going up. I’m not against building up in this city – not at all, in fact – but it should scare everyone just a bit that the very real possibility exists that a city building code or two have been circumvented with a well-placed envelope containing a few dozen Ben Franklins. Ever walked around that area and looked along the sidewalks? Notice the stress fractures in the asphalt and the separation between the sidewalks and the roadway. That means the new structures in the area (including Parus, the big sail-shaped building) are compressing the local soil and causing it to shift. Not good.
A few of the Kyiv football faithful are finally getting the message that the Surkis brothers have to go. Ihor Sukris runs Dynamo Kyiv; his brother Hryhoriy is president of the Ukrainian Football Federation. Both have done absolutely no good for Ukrainian football other than that they didn’t get in the way of the joint Polish-Ukrainian bid to host the Euro 2012 football championships. At least not yet. The “Wanted!” posters state unequivocally that Ukrainian football deserves better than to have two greedy oligarchs collecting an exaggerated share of the gate receipts from national team matches and have helped squander money on themselves that would be better spent on development of a nationwide youth program. These two are truly a disgrace to the league, hording quality Ukrainian players for their own side, preventing transfers of such players to international clubs where they could improve their level of play and, more generally, these two are simply incompetent at running a football club let alone a federation. Is a lynching too good a punishment for these two? I wonder what the majority of fans would say.
In brighter news, new Italian restaurant Soiree at 11 Artema has caught the attention of several friends for reasons ranging from great atmosphere, matching food and proper service all for decent prices. This might seem a con, but my friends hear, speak and see no evil, so I take their word as golden. Given Soiree’s location roughly adjacent to the city’s embassy district, this place could quickly become very popular among the local ex-pat crowd.
This Saturday, Dec. 1 once again marks the date of the International Women’s Club of Kyiv annual charity bazaar. This uber-popular event features kiosks from various Kyiv embassy communities plus a host of local businesses who sell seasonal wares for cash that will all go towards local IWCK charities ranging from orphanages to medical equipment for needy hospitals and much, much more. It’s the biggest charity event of the season in Kyiv and it’s a madhouse of Christmas shopping – the closest thing anyone will get to a Macy’s day after Christmas sale in this neck of the woods in terms of sheer numbers of people and things for sale. In the past I’ve managed to pick up hard-to-get items such as Dutch cheeses, Canadian maple syrup, wonderful hand-painted greeting cards from the Czech Republic and even a richly colored hand-woven throw rug from Pakistan. And then there’s all the food for sale: Indian samosas, German bratwurst and sauerkraut, Japanese sushi and Canadian moose milk (pregnant women, children and teetotalers steer clear). Get there early to grab the best items and make sure to buy raffle tickets for one of the many amazing prizes offered there. One last thing: if you see people trying to pass off counterfeit banknotes at the event, make sure to let someone from security know; these con artists are taking money from needy kids and families (in effect, they’re stealing from their own). Let’s put a stop to it! And have fun!
“The city’s Golden Gate monument, near the aptly named Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gate) metro station, has just reopened to the public.” (www.ukraine-arabia.ae)