Monday, October 15, 2012

Mommy Mondays: A Day at the Park

On Saturday, John, Jack, and I decided to venture forth to a large park we'd heard about from several different sources. We only had a few hours to spare, but the park is just a 30-minute walk from our apartment, and we wanted to take advantage of the decent weather while we could.

Mayakovskova Park on a chilly Saturday morning
You'd hardly think when you approach Mayakovskova Park that it's actually a fairly large amusement park. But beyond it's massive yellow entry gates and pathways flanked by bizarre statuary lies a strangely deserted Soviet-era version of Disneyland.

From the park's website:

Of course, the entry looks nothing like that drawing, but the park is pretty in its own weird way. John and I made our way toward the carousel, which on the park map actually looked like a real carousel (this would later turn out to be false advertising). As we walked, we encountered your typical teenage girls with neon-adorned ponies, waiting to give rides to children.

When not in use, small ponies make for lovely props.
And of course your standard horse-drawn carriage.

Sadly, the carousel itself was just a bunch of tiny creatures that didn't move up and down, but Jack seemed pleased enough with the whole operation. I should also note that every individual attraction at the park had to be paid for separately. And we had to pay for John to ride with Jack. Fortunately, it was about two dollars for both of them to go on each ride.

Jack later traded in his pony for a camel.
The highlight of the trip was the train, which clattered cheerfully around a circular track about four times. I couldn't figure out why all the children had their hands pressed over their ears until John reported that it was insanely loud, with the train shifting back and forth on the ancient rails. And to give the kids something to look at while riding this thrilling attraction, there were some lovely animal figures scattered around the lawn, everything from a bear to a hedgehog. Hell, there was even a giant parrot.

As we wandered through the park, taking in the broken-down tea cups and rusted roller coasters, John mentioned that it seemed like something out of a Stephen King novel. Kind of like a post-apocalyptic Disneyland, I added. There really was something very sad and abandoned feeling about it all, even though it grew increasingly crowded as the day wore on.

Back at the front of the park, we saw children riding around on motorized toys (this is apparently a thing here - you can also do it at the zoo). One lovely child was carrying a toy machine gun while he zipped around on his motorcycle, his paunchy middle-aged father and gorgeous stiletto-wearing mother strolling beside him.

Your stereotypical Russian family
We finally managed to coax Jack into the backpack with the promise of a balloon before heading home for lunch. All in all, it was a successful venture, and one that will likely be repeated in the coming months. It may not be the happiest place on earth, but hey, it's home.


Sarah said...

Love it - even the random middle-aged photobombing woman in the carousel pic :)

Anonymous said...

So fun seeing a newcomers perspective. I've forgotten how everything seemed when I first came here. My daughter and I were at M Park Sat. too. We did the zipline obstacle course. "Maugli Park" Not for Jack, but you and your hubby might like it, if you're the adventurous types. And nearby is a petting zoo that Jack would probably like. Hope the weather holds out so you can take advantage of it more. Dana

Janet Johnson said...

What a fun day! So cool you get to explore new places like this. :)