Say Cheese

There’s one thing arts guru Ruth Ad­di­son can’t get enough of

The Moscow Times - - LIVING HERE - By Alas­tair Gill a.gill@ime­

Brought up in a work­ing-class fam­ily in north­east Eng­land, Ruth Ad­di­son spent five years work­ing for the Bri­tish Coun­cil in Cairo. She moved to Rus­sia to be­come deputy di­rec­tor of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Moscow branch in 2002. Af­ter com­plet­ing a part-time MA in Art His­tory, she ran a gallery. Since 2015 she has been Chief Ed­i­tor for Garage Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art.

I didn’t want to leave Cairo, so that was part of the is­sue, and I kind of knew some Rus­sian but not very much. It was strange be­cause I came from a de­vel­op­ing coun­try to a Euro­pean coun­try. In Egypt, peo­ple speak a lit­tle bit of English. I came here and was re­ally sur­prised that peo­ple don’t re­ally speak English, so it was a real strug­gle. I was here on my own and I felt quite iso­lated.

In the sum­mer there are lots of places with ter­races, so I can take the dog and have a cup of cof­fee. I used to go a lot to Cof­fee­ma­nia on Nik­it­skaya, but now I just get too tense about how ex­pen­sive it is. So across the road from there is a place called Prostiye Veshchi. It’s small, but it’s a nicer ter­race be­cause you’re in a gar­den. Prostiye Veshchi, 14 Bol­shaya Nik­it­skaya Ul­itsa, Metro Ar­batskaya

They have an amaz­ing ter­race: In the sum­mer you can go and sit there and have din­ner. It’s open 24 hours, so if you have a han­ker­ing for kebabs at 3 o’clock in the morn­ing, you can go there. The clien­tele is quite mixed, so from the peo­ple-watch­ing point of view it’s in­ter­est­ing. We quite of­ten go in a big­gish group, so you just or­der a load of [Turk­ish/Greek ap­pe­tiz­ers] meze and then kebabs, and it’s just a nice so­cial way of eat­ing, be­cause you’re all shar­ing food. Karetny Dvor, 52/55 Po­varskaya Ul­itsa, Bldg. 3, Metro Bar­rikad­naya

[Writer Maxim] Gorky lived there for a while, though it’s ac­tu­ally the Ryabushin­sky House. It was built by Fy­o­dor Shekhtel, the Rus­sian Art Nou­veau ar­chi­tect. When Gorky was per­suaded that he needed to re­turn to the USSR, he got this beau­ti­ful house that had be­longed to the mer­chant Ryabushin­sky. Plus I’m in­ter­ested in Gorky as a per­son­al­ity. He’s a very am­bigu­ous char­ac­ter. He’s one of those peo­ple that’s re­ally easy to think, ”If it was me I’d have done it dif­fer­ently” – but would you have done it dif­fer­ently? He’s a fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter for me. Ryabushin­sky House (Gorky Mu­seum), 6/2 Malaya Nik­it­skaya Ul­itsa, Metro Ar­batskaya

Ruth Ad­di­son says she has ac­cul­tur­ated in Moscow and has no plans to leave.

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