Friday, April 24, 2009
Of Moscow: Four Scenes from the Metro
The Moscow Metro is maybe the best in the world. It's certainly the best we've been on.
It's beautiful. Most of the central stations are spacious and gorgeously decorated. Some of the art seems a bit silly now; there's a lot of Lenin and a lot of happy workers and farmers being productive. But the craftsmanship is still amazing, and whole stations are cohesively designed. It makes one feel sad about the cruddy, lonely attempts at public art that are dropped into metro stations in the U.S.
It's fast. We took it everywhere and never had to wait more than a couple minutes for a train, any time of day or evening.
It's dangerously crowded at rush hour. One train every two minutes tops, more than 10 lines with stations everywhere, and they're still full. Which is fine, but then a train full of people have to squeeze onto two escalators every minute, which means the whole station fills with a shuffling line for the escalator. So, best in the world, but still not perfect. Did we mention that it's beautiful?