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Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Toy Tourism Survey!

Hi Everybody,

Here's a survey about Toy Tourism! Please let me know what you think if you have time!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Michael TheMonkey

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lost in the (American) 50's in Moscow

Hi Everybody, I had breakfast yesterday at the awesome-looking 1950's Beverly Hills Diner! The interior is filled with neon lights, checkered tiles, jukeboxes, puffy vinyl bar-stools and even some booths shaped like old Cadillacs! The waitresses wear polka-dot dresses with white collars and tall stockings, the busboys have red and white striped shirts, bow-ties and neatly parted hair, and the speakers play wonderful doo-wop songs and other music from the past -- the atmosphere is very complete!

I ordered Eggs Benedict with hashbrowns, pancakes with strawberry syrup, and American drip coffee :-) The Eggs Benedict was great: the Hollandaise sauce was creamy and fresh, the egg was cooked perfectly to be just a little runny, and the toasted English muffin was very tasty. One complaint I had was that (unlike a real diner in the US) when you order Eggs Benedict, you only get one muffin and egg set on a tiny bed of hashbrowns in the middle of an otherwise large, empty plate. All sides are extra, even toast. The hashbrowns were not the best, either. They were a bit soggy and gray. They didn't really detract, but they didn't add anything, either. The pancakes, however, were fluffy and excellent, and they came with both strawberry and maple syrup, so I could try both. :-)

Compared to the "Starlite" Diner, another old-time-American themed joint here in Moscow, Beverly Hills is relatively unknown, but it shouldn't be! Beverly Hills is at least as good or better than Starlite.

And here are some facts:
The Website with cool music, menus and other info.

There are two Beverly Hills diners in Moscow:
м. Chistye prudy, Sretenka 1: +7(495) 625 42 21  
м. Lubyanka, Nikol'skaya 10: +7(495)221 78 01 (I visited this one!)

There is also a kid's room! With Spider Man and other famous American idols :-)

It is open 24h!

Breakfast prices:
~ Egg Sandwich 270 Rub/ $8.85
~ Steak and Eggs 420 Rub/ $13.70
~ Breakfast Burrito 390 Rub/ $12.80
~ Four Cheese Omelette 250 Rub/ $8.20
~ Pancakes (recommended by Michael) 240 Rub/ $7.80
~ Waffle with Vanila Ice Cream 150 Rub/ $4.90
~ Eggs Benedict 220 Rub/ $7.20
~ Tea 120 Rub/ $3.90
~ Coffee from 100 Rub/ $3.30

Michael's Rating: *****/5

Well, the breakfast was great and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Moscow. I'm looking forward to going back to try Beverly Hills' lunch and dinner menu!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Парк Искусств Музеон - Statues!

Hello Friends and Toys!

Yesterday I took a fantastic trip through Moscow's Парк Искусств Музеон ("Park Iskusstv Museon" - Fallen Monument Park).  The park is very large and stuffed with statues.  It extends along the Moscow river from the bridge near Park Kultury metro station to where the statue of Christopher Columbus stands on its island.

View Larger Map

The sculptures and statues are all unique and span a wide variety of styles, shapes and subjects: There is everything from Soviet and wartime sculptures to folk characters, realistic figures and abstract carvings.

You can view some of the park for free, and entrance to the rest is very cheap, 30-100 rubles ($1-$3) depending on your age, student status and whether or not you are a resident of Moscow.  You can also get in for 30 rubles if you speak some Russian and are extra nice to the lady who sells the tickets ;-)

The ticket makes a great souvenir!
I'll share some of my favorite parts of the park below.  I'd like to recommend the park to anyone with a free afternoon in Moscow!  Even if you are not an art or sculpture lover, the park itself is very quiet, simple and pleasant.  It's a great break from busy downtown Moscow.

Michael's Rating: *****/5

See you next time!

Michael TheMonkey

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What is Russia really like?

There are many stories and stereotypes about Russia.  When someone mentions Russia, certain images come to mind: winter, vodka, communism, bears in the streets, James Bond and the KGB, Cathedrals with bulbs on top, long-bearded Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, etc.

You can find some of those things here, but what is Russia really like?

Here's a glimpse!

Yesterday, I visited a mall called "Metropolis" in the northern part of Moscow. I had lunch at Burger King (Бургер Кинг)!  Malls and shopping are very popular in Moscow, and so is fast food!  (Of course, besides fast food, there are many other great places to eat.)

This week begins my exploration of Russia.  If you've ever been curious or are planning a trip here, I'll try to answer your questions and give you an overview of some great things to do and see in Moscow!

Michael TheMonkey

REVIEW: Burger King at Metropolis Mall

If you like Burger King, Moscow won't disappoint.  The burgers and fries are the same quality as they would be in the United States or anywhere else.  However, the prices are higher.  A regular meal for a single person might cost as much as $10, which seems a little high for fast food.  The choice of sauces is nice (there are six) but you pay extra for sauce.  The curry sauce (карри соус) is very good! :-)

Michael's Rating: ***/5

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A New Direction

Hi Everybody

I wanted to announce some exciting new changes that I'll be making to my blog in the next couple of weeks!

To this point in my young, toy-monkey life, I've spent most of my time traveling to new places and giving a glimpse of the things I found there. While I've had a great time on all of my adventures, I feel that there's one very interesting place I've often neglected, and now I'd like to spend more time sharing it in more detail: Moscow!

Next week, I'm going to begin posting my in-depth guide to Moscow for the benefit of tourists and Toy Tourists alike!

I'll also be updating my blog's navigation and appearance to reflect the new focus!

Michael TheMonkey

Friday, September 30, 2011

"I'm A Toy Tourist!" Award

Hello Fellow Toy Tourists!!!

Who's a Toy Tourist??  Any toy who travels around, takes photos and shares their adventures!

I've decided to give out a special "I'm a Toy Tourist" award to the five of my Toy Tourist followers who have commented most recently! The special thing about the award is that it can be given by whoever receives it -- so winners, please pass it on to (at least) 5 of your friends to help develop the Toy Tourism community!

The award goes to:

Hammie Hamster!
Buttons the Bear!
Jerry and Ben!

Here's a badge for you!

You can copy and paste this html to put it onto your sidebar:
<a href=""><img border="0" height="200" src="" width="200" /></a>

If you aren't mentioned here but you're proud of being a Toy Tourist, please take the badge and pass it on! Thanks for reading!

Michael TheMonkey

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I do New York

Whew, I've been settling back into life in Moscow.  Now I finally have time to share some more about my trip to New York!

Firstly, I'd like to say that New York is truly impressive!  From far away, it seems almost like all of the talk about it must be a legend, but it really IS a great city.  People from all over the world live there, and there are always things going on! Here are some of the cool things I saw.  I really liked the contrast between the tall buildings and the smaller neighborhoods :-)

Looking across the water toward the Statue of Liberty
The new World Trade Center - Building 1
The Empire State Building, seen from the Highline walkway
The Trump Tower, wheeee!!!
Central Park
I loved the lily pads!
Michael TheMonkey

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Michael Meets the Bull

Hi everybody, I met a new friend in New York! Here's what happened:

He let me go, though! :-)

I also jumped off the Trump tower!

Yours from New York,

Michael TheMonkey

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hello Irene!

Hi everybody, I just went through a hurricane in NYC!!! I didn't go outside and actually it wasn't as bad as everybody thought it was going to be, but it was still exciting and a little scary to have to hide inside without knowing how bad it would get.

Here are some pictures of me outside after the storm had passed, it was still a little windy up on the end of the bridge, I didn't cross it because I was a little worried.

A broken window!  I'm not sure it was from the storm, though.
Me on the street.
This pigeon looked a little worse for wear after the storm :-)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tanya's trip

Hello friends! This is Tanya! I'm in Russia while Michael is in the States! Let me tell you what i do here! Last weekend i took a trip to an old Russian town - Kostroma. It took me an overnight train ride to get there from Moscow. The weekend was sunny and just perfect for exploring the town. There is a huge river going through the town - Volga river - so you can find nice beaches not too far from the center. Also i ate some traditional food like pirogi which are little pies, blini -- flat pancakes; and drank kompot - Russian summer drink made with fruit and berries.

What i like about small Russian towns is that they don't have much traffic, glass and concrete... there are many trees, parks, wooden houses, little old churches, tiny unique museums everywhere around! I visited a folk open-air museum, a museum of flax and linen, famous Ipatiev Monastery on Kostroma river.

I really enjoyed my weekend but i do miss my cousin Michael and can't wait to him arriving back to Moscow so we could travel together!