Strange Cocktails in Vladivostok

Strange Cocktails in Vladivostok

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

…and speaking of Russia and the Times, there’s an interesting article in the NYT Travel Section about Vladivostok, the former home of the Pacific Soviet fleet and therefore a city off limits to everyone including Russians for the bulk of the Cold War. The mid-sized city snuggles its way into the little crack of Russia’s Primorsky Krai that separates China from the Sea of Japan, just a few miles from North Korea. The city is reportedly thriving from resurgent fishing and shipping industries as well as Russia’s new international wealth, meaning that you can now chill in a disco there with a vodka-Red Bull to the soothing strains of “I Will Survive,” oh joy.

But despite the Times touting Vladivostok as the next Cleveland, all is surely not rosy in Vladtown. According to teh Wiki, though, two-thirds of Vladivostok’s suburbs are so polluted there’s no living in them.

This great picture by Kaspersy from Wikipedia, with all its cranes, actually makes Vladivostok look weirdly similar to a Eurasian take on my current digs on the Western side of Oakland, California, which is of similar size.

According to the Times, you can fly to Vladivostok from Anchorage on Vladivostok Air, which books through Red Stars Travel at — except Galileo, the system that does their online reservations, has been discontinued. Looks like Vladivostok is more like Oakland than I thought.

Yul Brynner is from Vladivostok, incidentally, though he claimed to the press to have been born on Sakhalin island and to be part Mongol… because apparently his being a Russian Jew born in Vladivostok and a quarter Gypsy wasn’t exotic enough for 1950s American audiences.

Photo by Kaspersy from Wikipedia.


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