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A day in Basmanny

Street art, art block and an old mansion

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Basmanny is one of Moscow's central districts, where historic buildings are juxtaposed with industrial structures, as shopping centers are with contemporary art galleries. We'll give you an idea of how to organize a walk between Kitay-gorod and the Yauza Embankments.

A picturesque courtyard with art studios that is easily recognized by its graffiti-painted walls. There are vintage shops and bijouterie shops, intellectual bookstores and designer showrooms, the prestigious Blanc Bar with a nearby summer veranda, and all this can be found in the courtyard between the historic buildings. The Morozovsky Garden across the street, a cozy green corner at the intersection of three lanes — Khokhlovsky, Podkopaevsky, and Bolshoi Tryokhsvyatitelsky — is also worth a look.

A modern three-level square on the outskirts of Kitay-gorod, erected at the site of a parking lot by the decision of the local residents. The main entrance with its luminous fountain is opposite the synagogue on Bolshoy Spasoglinischevsky Lane, and the ornate stairs lead to Pokrovka or to the Osip Mandelstam monument on Solyansky Cul-de-sac. Gorka is the quintessence of rich neighborhood life: people walk here with their children, play basketball, have picnics, and sunbathe.

A contemporary art center on the site of a former winery. The cluster has several private galleries with constantly updated exhibitions, several design studios, and two lecture halls, and to the right of the entrance, there is a branch of Falanster, Moscow's main independent bookstore. At the back of the courtyard, there is a mobile street art exhibition. Part of the wall has been torn down along with its drawings, but a new one is promised to be built soon.

Another creative cluster near Kursky Station with stores, studios, and small offices. However, there is also contemporary art here: the walls of the complex were painted by French stencil artist C215, Ukrainian duo Interesni Kazki, and Russian conceptualist Misha Most. The courtyards of the buildings often host music festivals, bookstores, and vintage markets.

A record store in one of the youngest parts of the district, the Aviator art quarter, where the clubs Success and Punk Fiction are located, with non-stop concerts every weekend. Musicians from Moscow's indie bands are responsible for building the selection, records are bought at vinyl flea markets in Europe, and accompanying the showcase is a bookshelf where you'll find nearly as much music literature as in the Central House of Books.

A few years ago, the shopping center near Kursky Station was turned into a street art gallery: street art stars from all over the world were invited to paint the facades of the mall. Now, on the walls of the building, you can see the work of Time magazine cover designer Shepard Fairey, and in the covered passage to the station you'll find calligraphy by Pokras Lampas. Inside, there are three floors of clothing stores and a food court with a panoramic view of the Garden Ring.

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