A Wish List for the New Mayor
Has anyone read the latest copy of Afisha? The editors decided, given their Apr. 1 publication date, to put together a wish-list of sorts for the new Kyiv mayor. While some of the wishes were clearly made with tongue in cheek (an embargo on Russian pop music, an annual gay pride parade, a hotel for animals), many are rather serious; any politician really looking to change this city would do well to heed some of these wishes or even adopt much of the platform as his or her own.
Among other ideas, the Afisha editors call for a massive increase in below-ground parking; neighborhood sports facilities accessible to the public; development of a large city music festival on Trukhaniv Island along the lines of Sziget in Budapest; more outdoor public swimming pools; a rapid transit line linking the Kyiv metro with Boryspil Airport, and many others – the list has 100 entries. “When you wish upon a star …”
Speaking of the mayoral race…
Now that the campaign for mayor of Kyiv has begun, the posters are starting to go up and it’s the same old faces and names. History continues to repeat itself here, and while the Communist Party of old no longer has sole control over the list of candidates, there’s that unmistakable sense that the same, shady cabal of figures from that time continues to govern daily life today. Why else would the only people running just happen to represent the same groups of business owners and wealthy industrialists? I don’t even see the candidacy of former champion boxer Vitaliy Klitschko as any different from the rest.
But there are other lame details that simply cannot escape mention: at a time when no party except perhaps the Communists actually has an established party platform or message, and with so many parts of the political spectrum completely devoid of any political representation on any level in this country (save again for the wealthy, property-owning class of industrialists), why on earth would someone like Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko be talking in the press about creating two distinct political parties of his own – one on the right and one on the left? Have we all become that cynical? That naïve? I thought Italians were in a bad state with the choices given in their upcoming election (the billionaire buffoon Silvio Berlusconi or the rather left wing Walter Veltroni), but the candidates in Kyiv’s mayoral race make that look like a solid field from which to choose.
More original language movies at Kyiv cinema
This almost seems like it’s a mistake, but so far it isn’t. Kyiv cinema now has 4 movies (Roman de gare, No Country For Old Men, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and 4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) showing in their original language with Ukrainian subtitles. Get there.
Buddha Bar in Kyiv?
Rumor has it that the legendary Buddha Bar lounge is soon to become a part of the Kyiv nightlife scene. The website of this incredibly successful French lounge music restaurant/bar franchise suggests a Kyiv version is coming soon, and my sources tell me that the people behind the Myrovaya Karta restaurant group are behind the plan to bring the Buddha Bar franchise here, supposedly to the Hotel Khreshchatyk (which would need a monumental makeover to make a proper go of such a venue). We’ll keep you posted.
One recent concert announcement in Kyiv: Ace of Base, the 1990s Swedish pop rock group of “All That She Wants” fame will play the Sports Palace Apr. 14 (tickets from Hr 100). I certainly wouldn’t call this a major concert announcement, but anyway. And as for rumors that aging 80s pop legends Duran Duran will play Kyiv in June? So far I’ve found no source to substantiate those rumors. They are touring, but no Kyiv date has yet been announced.