- My Town
Moscow: Opulent, Overwhelming, and Pulsing With Power
Living in Moscow can be terrifying and mesmerizing, says author.
MOSCOWIf Carl Sandburg’s Chicago was “stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders,” Moscow is “City of the Big Automobile”: tempestuous, loud-horned, insanely hurried, and engorged on wealth—only New York has more billionaires—highlighting Russia’s status as a hydrocarbon-endowed erstwhile empire of fantastical dimensions. (You can jet eastward from Moscow nine and a half hours nonstop without leaving Russia.)
In a land where many acquired their apartments from the state, cars billboard social rank like nothing else. There is nothing subtle about this. Rich Muscovites shove their opulent rolling stock in your face. Drivers lord it over lesser beings plodding about on foot. For a long time, cars would honk as they approached intersections, rarely slowing down, and scattering pedestrians