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I like the things you love to hate

10 March 2014

Hulking Soviet monuments sit cheek by jowl with confident new high rises.

'The title of Siberia's capital introduced new challenges but Novosibirsk faced them fearlessly: innovating, doing business and developing fast under the silent supervision of Lenin, watching the city from its main square'. Pictures here and below: Kate Baklitskaya

Many things in Novosibirsk are not smooth and perfect, just like in any other big city in the world yet even though locals like to complain about them, I find them great. The city is choked in the traffic jams just like Brussels, with every third person having a car but I like this because  it shows the level of income. The locals complain about the city centre changing its image because of the new buildings, just like in Kuala Lumpur, but I like the weird mix of old and new. It shows the dynamic. 

Opera and Ballet Theatre in Novosibirsk

'I like the massive Communist-era buildings used as a background for beauties snapping a selfie.'

I love it that Soviet-style monuments overlook modern restaurants and business centres. Who said that you need to destroy the past to start building the future? I like the massive Communist-era buildings used as a background for beauties snapping a selfie. I think perhaps I like the things that the locals love to hate.

Сenter of Novosibirsk

'Modern Novosibirsk is like a compromise between the Communist and democrat dreams coming true in one place.' 

Overlooking Oktyabrskaya Street from the top floor of DoubleTree by Hilton hotel one can't help marvelling that not a single city in Russia has changed so dramatically since the Soviet collapse as Novosibirsk while, at the same time, preserving so much of its heritage. Novosibirsk, which deserves it's right to be called the (unofficial) capital of Siberia, is not trying to impress you. Just like any other capital, it actually couldn't care less what you think.

Marriott Hotel in Novosibirsk Skyscraper in Novosibirsk

'The locals complain about the city centre changing image because of the new buildings, like in Kuala Lumpur, but I like the weird mix of old and new'.

It lives its life, changing daily, with new restaurants and business centres popping up here and there, attracting investors and tourists. So wise and mature and yet so young. Called 'the Chicago of Siberia' during its fast industrial development in the middle of the 20th century, now it can be compared with nothing but New York, not yet so populated but already exerting a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, research, technology and education in the country. The title of Siberia's capital introduced new challenges but Novosibirsk faced them fearlessly: innovating, doing business and developing fast under the silent supervision of Lenin, watching the city from its main square.

Double Tree by Hilton in Novosibirsk

'Overlooking Oktyabrskaya Street from the top floor of DoubleTree by Hilton hotel one can't help marvelling that not a single city in Russia has changed so dramatically since the Soviet collapse'.

Modern Novosibirsk is like a compromise between the Communist and democrat dreams coming true in one place. It's like the Black Russian that I'm sipping at the Hilton bar: take three parts innovative approach, construction boom and business start-up and two parts of Soviet heritage, pour it over the ice cubes into an old-fashioned glass and enjoy the night.

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