Moscow’s Sidewalk Kiosks

“Since the end of Soviet era, the pervasive sight of kiosks selling everything under-the-sun has becomes a feature of the Russian landscape. In any city of Russia you will find rows of kiosks, often purveying strange mixes of products. Some may carry mostly liquor, others cigarettes and magazines, still others will have some items of clothing, a few candy bars, a bit of food, some cosmetics, a few cans of beer of soft drinks, and so on.”

Food on the Move: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, 1996 by Harlan Walker.

Many Muscovites find kiosks a convenient place to shop, while others hate them, claiming that kiosks don’t fit into the city architecture. Ex-Mayor of Moscow, Youri Luzhkov, was the strong opposer of kiosks and food stands. He organized a large-scale removal of kiosks. Movement particularly targeted areas around subway stations. However, Moscow residents had mixed feelings about this. Although, moving around the city became more comfortable, small business owners lost their income, and customers complained that grocery stores were not as convenient as kiosks.

So, kiosks are gradually making come back in Moscow.

While noting the changes in kiosk architecture, Russian photo blogger Varlamov published a collection of vintage photos of Moscow kiosks for others to see and compare how they used to look like during the Soviet era.

Modern Ice Cream Kiosk

Modern Ice Cream Kiosk

Modern Bread Kiosk

Modern Bread Kiosk

Fruits and toys kiosks at VDNKh, 1972

Fruits and toys kiosks at VDNKh, 1972

Belyaevo Subway Station Kiosks, 1990

Belyaevo Subway Station Kiosks, 1990

Yaroslavskaya railway station kiosks, 1959

Yaroslavskaya railway station kiosks, 1959

Tverskaya Street Kiosks, 1991

Tverskaya Street Kiosks, 1991

Kitay-gorod, 1930-1940

Kitay-gorod, 1930-1940

Yaroslavskaya railway station, 1959

Yaroslavskaya railway station, 1959

Cigarette kiosk at Rozhdestvenka, 1957

Cigarette kiosk at Rozhdestvenka, 1957

Borjomi Mineral water Kiosk, 1920s

Borjomi Mineral water Kiosk, 1920s

Lemonade Stand, Gorky Street, 1960

Lemonade Stand, Gorky Street, 1960

Fanta kiosk, VDNKh, 1989

Fanta kiosk, VDNKh, 1989

Beer kiosk, 1926

Beer kiosk, 1926

Soyuzpechat kiosk, Prospekt Mira, 1989

Soyuzpechat kiosk, Prospekt Mira, 1989

Ice cream and book kiosks, VDNKh, 1984

Ice cream and book kiosks, VDNKh, 1984

Beer kiosk, 1979

Beer kiosk, 1979

GOSIZDAT (newspaper) kiosk

GOSIZDAT (newspaper) kiosk

Book kiosk in the Kremlin, 1957

Book kiosk in the Kremlin, 1957

Beer kiosk, 1962

Beer kiosk, 1962

Cigarettes kiosk, Chekhova street, 1983

Cigarettes kiosk, Chekhova street, 1983

Sokolniki Park, 1947

Sokolniki Park, 1947

Inquiry office, 1970s

Inquiry office, 1970s

Newspaper stand, 1960s

Newspaper stand, 1960s

Bakery kiosk next to the Moscow Hotel, 1974

Bakery kiosk next to the Moscow Hotel, 1974

Beer kiosk, 1968

Beer kiosk, 1968

Newspaper kiosk, 1967

Newspaper kiosk, 1967

Add Comment