Around HSE: Let’s Take a Walk

Around HSE: Let’s Take a Walk

© HSE University

The HSE Look columnist Ian Henderson, Editor at HSE Expert Translation Centre, invites the readers to explore more closely the city around HSE main buildings at Myasnitskaya and Pokrovsky Boulevard. 

As a long-term expat with over a decade in Russia’s capital city under my belt, I’ve witnessed a myriad of change and development in Moscow. In fact, the amount of change I’ve seen here in just 5 or 6 years would be equal to 20plus years in a North American city. In this time, I’ve seen the rise of Moscow City come to rival the Kremlin and Christ the Savior for the city’s skyline. I’ve seen the number of pubs and restaurants and cafes triple or maybe quadruple over this time. And it’s not just quantity; it’s quality as well.

So with these opening words, I am going to give you, dear readers, a short tour of some of the best places near to HSE University’s main buildings (Myasnitskaya and Pokrovsky Boulevard).

Exiting the HSE building at 20 Myasnitskaya and heading south, you find yourself at a wee fork in the road. In each direction, you can find something fun and interesting. Or facing the west, going up Myasnitskaya, you will encounter an array of restaurants, bars and cafes, all pertaining to different tastes. For a good experience, I would suggest Molly’s Pub at 13 Myasnitskaya. One of the longest running Irish pubs in Moscow, they offer a nice array of beverages at reasonable prices. Also, they have quizzes (in Russian) on Mondays. So, if you want to brush up on your comprehension of Russian, or show off years of trivial knowledge, this might be a good place.

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, and looking for something a bit out of the ordinary in Moscow, I would suggest then taking a stroll down Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky Pereulok, which runs south-east off Myasnitskaya. Perhaps the original nightlife street of Russia in the 90s and early 2000s, several of the classic venues (Bourbon Street and Propaganda both next to  each other at 7 Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky Per.) are still around, which is a rarity for this city! In recent years, the street has been augmented with new venues like Papa Vader (a Star Wars themed bar at 3/5 Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky Per. for all you nerds out there) and Kozolov Jazz Club (9/2 Maroseika Street), which is one of the best music venues in town in terms of sound and array of performers.

From there you can make your way down to Maroseyka Street, which has always been an interesting mix of shops and little eating venues. For instance, if you are longing for Mediterranean, one of Moscow’s best Greek restaurants can be found at 3 Maroseyka (Pita & Souvlaki) I highly recommend the gyros; even my Greek friends are impressed.

Moving further along, after stopping by at Respublika Book Store (17/6 Maroseyka St.) to stock up on the latest foreign translations of world literature, or acquiring a funny plush toy, you will meet the intersection of Pokrovka with Chistoprudnyi Boulevard. Here, at this little meeting of streets, offers much culinary delight to Muscovites. For lunch, on the southwest side, you will find Bratya Karavaevy (14/2 Pokrovka St.), a favorite of HSE staff and others who work in the area. This cafeteria style venue has quite a good range to choose from, from seafood lasagna to Finnish smoked salmon. It gets busy during the lunch and dinner hours but don’t worry, you’ll get a seat eventually. Across the street from there are even more culinary or entertainment options. Situated next to the Fragment of the Wall of White City site (which was under construction for what seemed a decade) is Imagine café (16/16 Pokrovka St., formerly Krizis Zhanra). A long-time staple of Moscow life, this café/bar operates as a comfy kinda hipsterish venue, offering a very good and cheap menu (one of the few places in this area to offer a high quality garden burger), while eves after 10pm, the tables get cleared away and bands take the stage. Or, perhaps you are in a rush, and heading northwards towards the Chistye Prudy area, you might even be brave enough to sample one of the several shawarma places running along at the start of Chistoprudnyi Boulevard, which have also started offering falafel wraps, which can be very tasty.

This is just a sample of the eats and entertainment one might find in just a 10 minute walk from HSE’s main complexes on Myasnitskaya and Pokrovsky Boulevard. And it’s really just scratching the surface. If you take a stroll throughout this fascinating area yourself, you are sure to come across a place to make your own while in Moscow!