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Moscow’s Sidewalk Kiosks

Modern Ice Cream Kiosk

“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

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