kremlin.gifMuch of what we hear about Russia or Moscow today is depressing. But according to an on-air “postcard” from National Public Radio’s Anne Garrels, Moscow is now a place where even old guard Communists are laughing in the streets.

Where once there were dismal shops with bare shelves, there are now elegant hotels and chic boutiques. Shoppers stooped with packages find bargains in a vast underground shopping mall. The financial crash of ‘98 is a thing of the past.

There are now 34 McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow in addition to a huge range of eateries with good food, good prices, and fine service. In the past, the patrons enjoying cappucino looked like Mafia thugs, but today they are “simply families out for a pleasant day.”

Cultural activities abound. A freshly painted museum is the destination for throngs of Muscovites with its exhibit called, The Last Czar, full of items belonging to Nicholas II. World class performances of theatre and music are priced at $2-$5, which Garrels calls a bargain — even for Russians.

The Metro is clean, fast and efficient costing only about a cent. Moscow, an architecturally rich city, has joined the modern world.

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