June 2011 – “Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon”

Moscow, Russia 

Здравствуйте! Or as we say in America Hello!

It’s crazy to think that just a couple decades ago Russia was known as the U.S.S.R. and ruled by the Communist Party. To be in this country now and not only permitted to travel, but holding the World Premiere for Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon is absolutely amazing. I did the red carpet, or should I say green carpet as the film opened the Moscow International Film Festival. Josh Duhamel, Shia LaBeouf, and John Malkovich was just of few of he famous faces talking about the film.

And it was followed by one of the most incredible concerts I’ve ever experienced… Linkin Park (who did the soundtrack) took stage in Red Square with St. Basil’s Cathedral as the backdrop. All of us journalist, the entire cast, Director Michael Bay, and thousands of Muscovites shared a night that will never be forgotten. Including Shia signing a few foreheads…

Why have the evening stop there… journalist, cast, publicists, and the rest of the studio took to the rooftop of the Ritz Carlton where we were staying for an after party surrounded with the light up skyline of Russia. Tyrese thought he could do a better job as DJ so he took over the turntable and went strong until the wee hours of the morning… wait, does 4am count as wee hours? Or should I say late hours of the morning?

While there was plenty of “work,” a few of my fellow junketeers were able to break away for the day and take in some of the best sights this city has to offer. We took a cruise on the Moscow River and saw all the ornate architecture.

We went to the State Tretyakov Gallery which is the foremost depository of Russian fine art in the world…and I couldn’t leave without poking a little fun at how sad all the Muscovites seem, and it even shows through in their art! Haha

I was completely smitten with St. Basil’s Cathedral and the story behind this colorful building. Apparently Russian tsar Ivan IV was such a merciless ruler that it’s rumored that he had Postnik Yakovlev (the artist that designed the cathedral) eyes gouged out so that he could never create anything as beautiful as St. Basil’s again. Thus earing the name, Ivan the Terrible. However, this is widely thought to be a myth because Yakovlev supposedly designed churches in Staritsa, Murom, Sviazhk, and maybe Vladmir after St. Basil’s was erected. Regardless, remind me never to work for that guy.

Other favorite sights…the Kremlin, GUM, and Lenin’s Tomb…oh and I bought a black rabbit fur ushanka hat. It will be amazing this winter. Russia is a fascinating playground…

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