Dreamy Whimsical Sweet Moscow

By Magaly Vega-Lopez (MFA 2016)

Let’s start this entry with some Pushkin inspiration. I still remember back when I decided to move to NYC, the chills it gave me watching Anna Netrebko and Mariusz Kwiecien starring Eugene Onegin. Hopefully, we will be able to watch some Russian opera at St. Petersburg but for now, let’s embrace the Moscow atmosphere.

Novodevichiy Convent

Thoughts by Pushkin
If I walk the noisy streets,
Or enter a many thronged church,
Or sit among the wild young generation,
I give way to my thoughts.
I say to myself: the years are fleeting,
And however many there seem to be,
We must all go under the eternal vault,
And someone's hour is already at hand.

When I look at a solitary oak
I think: the patriarch of the woods.
It will outlive my forgotten age
As it outlived that of my grandfathers'.

If I dandle a young infant,
Immediately I think: farewell!
I will yield my place to you,
For I must fade while your flower blooms.
Each day, and every hour
I habitually follow in my thoughts,
Trying to guess from their number
The year which brings my death.

And where will fate send death to me?
In battle, in my travels, or on the seas?
Or will the neighbouring valley
Receive my chilled ashes?

And although to the senseless body
It is indifferent wherever it rots,
Yet close to my beloved countryside
I still would prefer to rest.

And let it be, beside the grave's vault
That young life forever will be playing,
And impartial, indifferent nature
Eternally be shining in beauty.

Study nature. graphite on paper. 2015 Magaly Vega-Lopez

Short stories inspired by this whimsical land.


Ms. V was remembering the first time she heard about Moscow. Meanwhile she was waiting for a nice lemon sorbet tea. She was old enough to remember her father telling her about the USSR and how most orthodox churches were closed or vanished away. It was a faraway land where everything would be closed by 17:00 just to watch some old Mexican soap opera. Ms. V remembers her 5 old year self looking carefully at old Kodak photos. Somehow there was a place really far away where candy shape churches exist and beautiful ballerinas would depict delightfully, the Stravinsky music or maybe Tchaikovsky. In the winter the snow would be sweet as caramel and the famous Anastasia would be hidden in some magical forest, where you can find lost magic of ancient times.

Gorkys House

Ms. V is slowly opening the window of her room, thinking how time passes on such strange matters. The world will change and collapse more than once, it barely feels like the old stories her father used to tell her. She looked through the window; a living fantasy. Thinking she feels something different inside a sort of happiness.

-A really weird emotion-

She grabs her purse full of dreams ready to explore the unknown.

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour


This is an ordinary story, or perhaps a sort of unordinary tale at least for those who like to explore the world or are some kind of forest dwellers. If you are not this kind of person, then maybe you would not be interested in continuing reading, and that is just fine. You don’t need to hear about little girls that have parent frogs as pets or drink birth cake tea every morning just to feel a rainbow explosion inside. Maybe you are the type person that drinks English breakfast without sugar, likes to eat plain potatoes each day and insists to be realistic about life. Well, I have bad news for you. This story requires you to look at sky and search for cotton candy clouds and strawberry stars.

There was a tiny little girl called mmm… lets keep it like V, she prefers to be called Y but that is our little secret. V has a quest going around the world, she is in pursuit of real magic. The magic that makes you ride unicorns and for that she needs to take really long walks, journeys that would take months. She is quite gifted to find those places with true magic. There is people skilled to find bars in middle of nowhere, others to find substances that would open doors to other worlds, others to find abandoned places where to create art, but if you are looking for fairy castles V is the one to call for.


Now, V is in search of a wooden palace belonging to Tsar Alexis and within this search she is not alone and she needs to convince the non-believers to trust her.

“I don’t think this palace exist at all, maybe was burned in the Great Fire,” said S.

V smiles. “It does, just keep walking.”

“But there is nothing here.”


V looks at the grass, the tiny flowers growing, some insects drinking water.

Kolomenskoye. Alexis I Wooden Palace

Far in the distance a strange palace appears.

V smiles; she was home.

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