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Club Review May 1, 2008
 
Moscow Gets Its Own Wall St
Why this prosperity thing means zilch to gopniki By Dmitriy Babooshka Browse author
 
 

My birthday depression grows each year as I get older. This time I needed some real good entertainment that would put smile on my face and take away dreams of becoming Peter Pan.

By the end my 'very special day' I found myself in a very strange crowd of drunken yuppies with empty eyes. I never saw so many of them in one place. They were all dressed in the same expensive suites (same color, of course) and white shirts with their ties off. The TV sets around with talking heads from CNN or Bloomberg channels and conversations about falling Nasdaq or RTS put me even in greater depression as I never even pretended to be a part of this world and didn't understand what they were talking about.

The sweet part of the event was a big crowd of models who were invited to entertain the grown-up guests. In some other situation it would be the perfect beginning of a porn scene, but no. This was the opening night of WALL ST BAR. The fun—or depression—started coming while I was observing the models uncomfortably fidgeting. They didn't fit in with grown-up crowd and their a way too smart conversations.

I pay high respect to people who imagine their own world and make bars accordingly. From my personal observation Moscow doesn't have a culture of stock exchange yuppies hitting the bar after work. Still, the owners of WALL ST BAR imagined they are in New York, or something. The bar offers not only a large selection of drinks (menu in English only!), but also the opportunity to buy your own chair at the bar. It costs 2,000 euro and once you buy it they put a stamp it with your name. Also, if the bar is packed, they kick whoever happens to occupy your chair and hand it over to you anytime you show up. So far they sold two chairs.

Still, birthdays can bring surprises. Naturally I had nothing in common with the stock exchange types and I was the only man in the bar able to communicate with the models. After an hour of simple conversation and a few drinks of "something sweet" (I used killer mix of double Jack with Red Bull to for greater efficiency), I ended up with Tanya and Katya at my place testing the resistance of IKEA bed.

Next morning I thought of this catch as a nice birthday present but still it was nothing special or new. I was tired of the same old fancy bars and silicone dyevs and my writer's essence asked for more. The creative spirit in me felt the need to further explore the parallel world Moscow gopniki, which I decided to do by visiting a game of the two famous rival football clubs Spartak and Dynamo.

But it wasn't easy to get the cheapest tickets. They are not accessible to the public, as fan clubs buy all of them in advance and sell them to members only. So to get to the game I had to become a legitimate Spartak supporter and come to the secret place on a certain time to buy them.

On the day of the game I put on my Fred Perry sneakers, Lonsdale jacket and Umbro shirt to look like a real football supporter. I have never been to any football match but that was the way I pictured the typical dress of football supporter. Indeed, many of them were dressed in the same way but it didn't help me to mix with the crowd. I was not wild enough for that. For the first fifteen minutes of the game I was scared so much that I wanted to leave. At that moment I was so squeezed between people that I had no chance to leave. The stadium was packed with 25 thousand of finest gopniki singing their own songs and doing waves, lighting fireworks and dancing. I had the impression that they were not so much interested in the game as they were interested in shouting or beating the drums.

I didn't know any of their songs so I got very suspicious looks from the surrounding fans. So I had to move around the tribunes all the time pretending I'm looking for something and just waving my head in the overall support.


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