Moscow, Russia
Marianna, 29
Co Owner at Heart of Moscow
see her Moscow city guide

a bit about Marianna

What are you working on these days?

I’m working on a brand new collection of badges of St. Petersburg and writing an article about constructivism in architecture.

What drives you mad these days?

It’s impossible to get yourself out of the news feed but at the same time it could be so overwhelming to comprehend all the violence and terror.

What makes you happy?

Quietness, when it feels like it. An opportunity to work on something you really care about. That last step which separates you from finishing up something important. A good book, movie or good news. Friends and family when they come together to hang out and have a delicious dinner.

When was the last time you cried?

Just recently – I was witnessing the destruction/breakdown of a small but very significant constructivist building from 1929 – a telephone station at Pokrovsky boulevard. Its place is gonna be taken over by some expensive and featureless building. Helpless tears.

What’s your latest musical obsession?

For some reason – The Mamas and the Papas – California Dreaming.

When it’s time for a new wardrobe, where do you go?

I am a big fan of casual style, therefore I have no troubles with buying clothes anywhere. For more fancy stuff I go to Net-a-Porte and Tsvetnoy.

What’s your go-to café in Moscow?

Filial cafe. First and foremost there absolutely everything is delicious. Secondly, you will never run into a grumpy waitress, thirdly, they have really amazing moody playlists.

What’s your favorite street or neighborhood to wander through?

I was born at Chistoprudny boulevard, therefore, all the surrounding area is my neighborhood. I love side streets of Kitay Gorod, Staraya Basmannaya street, Pokrovsky and Yauzsky Boulevard and small streets around them.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in Moscow but never actually do?

It’s quite hard to relax in Moscow when so many things are going on. The level of multitasking on a square centimeter is insane! Would love to succeed in both.

Who’s your hero (dead or alive) and where would you take them to show them a good time?

It’s a complex question. I was always interested in personalities living here long before me. When I was a kid I was imagining how a time machine would bring back my favourite writers – Mayakovsky for instance – to present. And how I would take him to my friends and show my favourite city spots and ask how does he like it. It would be fun!

If it’s been raining outside for days and you’re sick of staying in – where would you go?

I’m never bored when I’m home. And rain doesn’t bother me either so I would probably do what I usually do at home. But somewhere deep inside I believe that rainy days were made for visiting museums.

What’s that place in Moscow you feel like only you know about?

I’m afraid that not many places of that kind left in Moscow. Sometimes you may catch this feeling at some big and quiet courtyards of Khitrovka – or maybe in the museum of Europe and America which is located at Volkhonka Street – when all of a sudden you find yourself sitting alone in a gallery hall for awhile.

If tomorrow was your last day in Moscow before you left for good, how and where would you spend it?

I would ride a bike by the river, then take a trolleybus along the Sadovoe ring, and visit all my friends. But what does it mean “forever”? Do you wanna make me cry?

Given the choice, mayor of which neighborhood would you be?

It will make sense to name the neighborhood which I know best – here we come again to my beloved area Lubianka – Chistye Prudy – Kitay Gorod. First of all, I will ban the destruction of anything there.

What’s the spot in Moscow you wouldn’t be caught dead in?

Apparently, I was supposed to call the most remote and maybe criminal areas but no – I was so exhausted by my everyday road from home to school that I still hate that area instead. It’s not far from the center – Kutuzovsky prospekt.

You’ve just received the best news ever. Where would you go to celebrate and with whom?

Wooho! Welcome to my home party, guys!

What’s the thing you love doing that isn’t work, relationship or family related?

I like to take portraits and interview the people who have experienced some kind of interesting or frightening historical events. Moreover, I like memoirs and diaries. Actually, I like drawing but results have never impressed me much. And of course I like biking especially when it’s warm and empty in Moscow.

When you feel like a night out, what’s your go-to place and why?

Strelka bar, for sure. Always friends, always mind-blowing cocktails and great music – a perfect recipe for a perfect party, don’t you think?

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