Odessa Favorites

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    Transfiguration Street...

    by arturowan Updated Dec 9, 2013

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    Favorite thing: Deribasovskaya Street is always top of the list of places to visit, for first time visitors to 0dessa, but for me, the street that truly captures the spirit of the city, is my favourite - Preobrazhenskaya 0olitsa - meaning Transfiguration Street...
    It takes its name from the cathedral of the Transfiguration, which dominates the end of the street, between the 24/7 florist, which looks like a giant greenhouse, & Sabornaya Ploshchat (Cathedral Square; once renamed by the Bolsheviks - Red Army Square), where the 'marshroutka' interchange is located...
    Preobrazhenskaya cathedral is actually quite a modern structure - stunning any passerby with its white & ochre paint & golden domes & spire - & at night looks magical, being 1 of the few sites in 0dessa which is lit...
    During the day, the square around the church becomes a bustling craft market, where the tourist can buy some of the best souvenirs in the city, such as framed paintings...
    There is also a public garden here, in the Sabornaya Ploshchat area, with tables for playing chess & is a popular meeting place, & with dog walkers...
    Preobrazhenskaya is such a long street, it not only has the magnificent cathedral which gives it its name, but also another blue painted church with silver onion domes, at the opposite end...
    Uspensky cathedral, meaning the Assumption, is on the opposite side of the street from that dedicated to the Transfiguration, & is surrounded by more typical for a main high street, non-monastic architecture of apartments & offices...
    0utside, activity is often to be found of the 0rthodox faithful, & here too, the cripples & aged, congregate to beg, even when the sidewalk is frozen solid...
    Preobrazhenskaya is an arterial route of the city's transport system, having 2 main tramlines, as well as the 'marshroutka' parking area on the hectic, & rather dangerous corner, with Sabornaya square...
    Towards this far end of uptown 0dessa, Preobrazhenskaya veers downhill towards the port, & traffic & tramlines verge left into Sofievskaya, away from the great bust of General Malinovskiy, who liberated the city from the Nazi's in 1944
    I found his imposing bronze bust on red granite, to be an icon of Soviet era statuary & war memorial, & for me, it marks the true beginning of the thoroughfare that the Boilsheviks renamed Red Army Street...
    0ther main streets diverging from Preobrazhenskaya in this direction, are Shchepkina; Pastera; Sadovaya; & Koblevskaya, with Spiridonovskaya merging at a crossroads with Bunina 0olitsa...
    Approxiametely halfway along Preobrazhenskaya, is the roundabout with Tiraspolskaya & Frantsa Meringa, where you can still see a Soviet era red star - best observed after dark, when it's lit from within, marking Tiraspolskaya Ploshchat...
    0ther main streets merging on this side of Preobrazhenskaya, are Novoselskaya; Kuznechnaya; Bolshaya & Malaya Arnautskaya...
    This is downtown 0dessa, where Preobrazhenskaya terminates in a T-junction with Novoshchepnoy Ryad 0olitsa, in the Privoz area, not far from the railway station...
    Main streets merging from Preobrazhenskaya, in this direction, all do so at right angles on a grid layout, & all are notable names;
    Privonaya; Panteleymonovskaya, Kuibysheva; Malaya & Bolshaya Arnautskaya; Bazarnaya; Uspenskaya; Troitskaya; Yevreyskaya; Zhukovskogo; Bunina; Grecheskaya; Deribasovskaya; Mayakovskovo; Nekrasova...
    25 Preobrazhenskaya is the flower passage, known for its 24/7 availabilty of bouquets, such is the popular tradition of giving blooms here...
    There are so many buildings lined along this ever busy high street, I could never cover all of them, or list all their traders, from the brash casino area opposite Sadovaya, to the 'babooshky', selling goods from out of carrier bags, on street corners...
    0n Preobrazhenskaya can be found all the aspects that combine to make 0dessa the place of contrasts & contradictions, which conflict & confuse, but combine to make the metropolis irresistably interesting & unique...

    Fondest memory: I've stayed on Preobrazhenskaya 3 times now, either at 40 - Hotel Tsentralnaya, or several paces further up the road, just across the junction with Deribasovskaya, when I rented an apartment at 24
    My first experience felt more like imprisonment, as I caught a contagious virus afflicting most of Ukraine at the time, & felt too ill to leave the hotel for long, which did not make me popular with staff...
    My balcony bedroom at Hotel Tsentralnaya, overlooked Preobrazhenskaya, so at least I had a good view of the florist, & the big church which dominates this area...
    I was opposite the statue of Vera Kholodnaya, with her outstretched, which somebody placed a snowball into, though at the time I knew nothing about whom this monument represented, or that she died in her hotel room of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1919, while in exile, & was buried in the cathedral grounds, opposite...
    Memories of this time that I've never forgotten, are hearing horses hooves clicking on the street outside, after midnight, & seeing girls riding their horses down the city's main high street!
    I also remember seeing a dachshound, dressed in blue bodywarmer, running along the pavement - it looked so comical, with its head & tail, & short legs moving as fast as they could, inside this blue coat!
    If you're going to stay in a hotel in 0dessa, than being on Preobrazhenskaya will put you in the heart of the city, but I believe it's even better to rent an apartment in this area...
    Last time I stayed at this address, 24 - I did not want to return - I felt at home in 0dessa - something I never thought I'd ever even dream to find, after the culture shock of my first visit!
    But, living in a secluded courtyard was truly, 'the best of both worlds' - I had peace & quiet & seclusion in my room, but was living only a short walk from the central street in the entire city - an extraordinary experience...
    Maybe, 1 day my dream will come true, & I'll be living here like a local, loving courtyard life...

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    Pussycat City...

    by arturowan Updated Nov 22, 2013

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    Favorite thing: If you're feline-phobic, then 0dessa is not the city for you, unless you spend your vacation, nearly offshore in the Maritime Hotel!
    0dessa just would not be the same city, if not for its plethora of pussies...
    'Koshichka' = pussycat
    'Koshka' = cat
    'Kot' = tomcat
    'Kotyonak' = kitten
    Wherever you go about here, a cat can be seen sleeping on a windowsill, dozing on a balcony, snoozing in a flowerbed, or just sitting on a wall in a pair, passing the time & watching 0dessites pass by...
    It truly is a cat city, both of pets & strays, & now there's even an online, 0dessa Files, attempting to photographically document the stray population - a task in itself, because, like many Eastern European countries, neutering is not commonplace in Ukraine...
    It does not really reflect well upon 0dessa, that so many stray cats are at large on its streets, & just how they get by, is a mystery in itself, but all the same, these creatures give character to the place...
    Cats are natural climbers, & 0dessa with its streets & courtyards overgrown with vines, give them a veritable jungle, & I'm told, some enter apartments & try to take their own snacks...
    The city's cat population probably started in order to control the rat population, which is usually out of control around a port...
    Now the cats have taken over, & seem as much at home here, as the people...
    Animals take after their keepers; or is it the other way around?
    There is a poem, '0dessa Pussycats', by Robin Hardy, which is about the city's 'dyevooshkee', alikening them to cats, & it's true, they are the most feline girls I've ever seen...

    Fondest memory: 0n my first visit to 0dessa, I had an apartment with a door that squeaked every time I opened it, like the sound effect from a horror film...
    Whenever I went out, the noise caused a skeletal cat to appear, poking its head up from a set of steps leading into next door's cellar, in order to see what was coming...
    After giving me a long stare, the ancient cat would disappear back down the steps into the shadows...
    I think the oldest cat I've ever seen was somebody's pet in 0dessa, & it was so thin it reminded me of the mummified cats that were removed from the Egyptian pyramids!
    When it moved, it was like a toy in slow motion, because the batteries are drained!
    Also, when I first went to 0dessa in August, I remember waking up because of the stifling heat, & finding this furry, damp lump on top of me, which turned out to be the owner's cat!
    I've never touched a sweaty cat before - that just demonstrates how humid high summer is in 0dessa...

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    Courtyard life...

    by arturowan Updated Nov 16, 2013

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    Favorite thing: 0dessa is a city renowned for its architecture, though it might take you a while to notice the quality of it, because walking around the place, you need to constantly watch your feet, because of all the trip hazards...
    If you want to admire the architecture, it's a good idea to take a seat at an outside table of a restaurant or cafe, & spend some time, just looking upwards...
    0dessa has a really fascinating roofline, because the buildings are so old, with such intricate decoration - it's just a shame that so many of them are in various states of collapse, & will not be restored to maintain the vision of antiquity...
    Primorskiy Boulvar, leading into the area with the central opera house, is the most elegant aspect of the city, with nearby Deribasovskaya being the main tourist area...
    The rest of the city is not my idea of beautiful, but when you get to know 0dessa, enough so as to find the place interesting, its dilapidated condition develops a peculiar charm...
    My favourite thing about 0dessa is its layout - basically a grid pattern, but it's not as simple as that...
    There are manifold inter-connecting alleyways ('pereoolokee') between the signposted streets, which lead into shortcuts & hidden aspects of the city...
    Where the street numbers are, instead of individual doorways, are archways with large, metal, double gates, leading into courtyards, some of which are inter-connected by further alleyways, & this is the magical side of 0dessa, which most fascinates me about the city...
    No 2 courtyards are the same, & each 1 tells 1000's of tales about the folk who live in them, by the hapahazard contents of cars, washing lines, outhouses, plantpots, dog kennels, & resident cats...
    Trees & grapevines grow untamed within each courtyard, the roots dragging up the pavings, & when green, giving all 0dessa the appearance of the abandoned city, described in The Jungle Book...
    The great thing about spending enough time in 0dessa to warrant renting an apartment, is to observe courtyard life, with all the neighbouring locals & their pets, interacting, & coming & going - it's so much more interesting than just being on the beach...

    Fondest memory: If you visit 0dessa during the winter holidays, be sure to make a point of strolling down the arterial, Deribasovskaya 0olitsa, where the Christmas tree stands, towards the end which connects with Preobrazhanskaya 0olitsa...
    The annually erected fir tree ('yolka') is an 0dessan tradition, & it really is a sight to see, towering over this wide, central shopping precinct/street; especially when it snows & the branches are sprinkled sparkly white...
    Another fond memory I have of the snow, was watching a neighbour in the courtyard beneath my apartment window...
    I nicknamed him The Goose, after the character in the film Mad Max, who is bald & only ever appears in a leather bomber jacket, over a bear chest - just as my neighbour always dressed, despite temperatures being below -10
    Whenever there was a fresh snowfall, The Goose would soon appear, carrying a short-handled duster, & without a hat or anything beneath his leather jacket, meticuously dusting the snow off his car - what an entertaining spectacle - you couldn't invent it for a film...
    0dessa is a city known for its iconic architecture, & the old buildings are transformed when it snows, into an image of romantic fairy tale...

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  • stay in Odessa, Ukraine

    by alexkyiv1 Written Jul 4, 2012

    Favorite thing: stay on Deribasiska - this is the best option: very center of Odessa, nice streets, sightseengs, nightclubs and bars and a lot of tourists. Arcadia is famouse only due to its beach - usually overcrowded and dirty and nothing more. However you can go to Langerone beach not far from Deribasivska. I've been several times to Odessa but now prefer traveling to Lviv or Yalta in Crimea.

    Fondest memory: Odessa's humor festival

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    Hero City

    by hunterV Updated Oct 1, 2011

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    Odessa railway station
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    Favorite thing: Odessa is one of the Hero-Cities of the Soviet Union.
    This honorary title was awarded to the city for the mass heroism, courage and staunchness of the working people of the city in their struggle against the Nazi invaders in 1941-45.

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    Odessa Champagne

    by hunterV Updated Oct 1, 2011

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    The fence of the winery in Odessa
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    Favorite thing: Your impressions of your stay in this city can be complemented by drinking some champagne made in Odessa such as "French Boulevard", "Odessa" and others.
    Odessa has long been famous for its champagne.
    You can recognize Odessa champagne by its black label.
    There are also new sorts of champagne.
    Odessa is also famous for its cognac. The trademark is called "Shustov".
    36 French Boulevard is the address of the famous Odessa winery that produces champagne and sparkling wines.
    The winery was founded in 1896 and is one of the few champagne wineries in Ukraine.
    This label is from Odessa red semisweet sparkling wine.
    I have always enjoyed that kind of wine!
    It was a good souvenir to take home and a good memory of my stay in Odessa.

    Fondest memory: Drinking some champagne from Odessa at the city beach.
    was lucky for the hotel where I used to stay many times - Magnolia - is just opposite the champagne winery! I was glad to stay at such a historical place and often think of French Boulevard that I explored each time I stayed there.
    Odessa Champagne Winery
    closed joint stock company
    36 French Boulevard
    Odessa 65058
    Ukraine

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    At the Golden Shore

    by hunterV Updated Oct 1, 2011

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    Bathing at the Golden Shore
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    Fondest memory: Having a happy family vacation in Odessa and bathing in the Black Sea at Golden Shore beach near Cape Big Fountain.
    It was unforgettable experience, especially for our daughter who enjoys swimming.
    We also went downtown to visit the main sites in Odessa and to “Privoz” market that is a must for every visitor of Odessa, too.
    “Privoz” market is located next to the railway station.

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    Central City Beach

    by hunterV Updated Oct 1, 2011

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    Favorite thing: Visiting the central city beach in Arcadia.
    There you can sunbathe and enjoy everything the beach has to offer including cafes, restaurants and casino.
    There are lots of cafes:
    Tropicano
    Mexican Village
    Western
    Prince
    Itaka
    Pago
    "Atlantis" club
    Assol tavern etc.
    In the evening there is a disco at 'Kon-Tiki'.
    By the way, “Arcadia” means God’s Gate in Ancient Greek.
    It was the name the ancient Greeks gave to a highland area in Hellas for its beautiful landscape and heavenly way of life of its inhabitants.
    Arcadia in Odessa has always been a resort for people living in Odessa and its visitors.

    Fondest memory: spending a day at Arcadia beach.

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    The Origin of Odesa's name

    by om_212 Updated Sep 14, 2010

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    in the name of greek Odessus

    Favorite thing: The origin of the city name has Greek roots. In the end of the 18 century there was a tradition to rename captured Turkish cities by Greek names. Khadybei was not an exception. In 1794 at one of the royal receptions in St. Petersburg, someone approached the Empress with a proposal to rename Khadjibei into Odessus in honor or an ancient Greek colony that was believed to be located there. The Empress liked the name but insisted on making it ‘female.’ Thus Odessus was turned into Odesa.

    It took some time for peasants to learn the new name, and out of habit, they still called it Khadjibei. 'To expedite’ the learning process, the following method was applied. At all outposts, kozaks asked peasants where they were going. Those who answered ‘to Khadjibei’ were flogged. The method turned to be extremely effective, and soon everyone called the city Odesa.

    P.S. the actual Greek colony Odessus was later discovered near Bulganin city Varna.

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    Odesa Celebrations: City Days and Yumorina

    by om_212 Updated Sep 8, 2010

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    Favorite thing: Odesites like fun and lengthy celebrations. that's why they celebrate their City Day not for ONE but THREE days, from September 1 through 3. hundreds of people come to city so if you are planning to be in Odesa around those days, you better take care of hotel and ticket reservations well in advance, unless you travel by your a car and are not planning to sleep :)
    another popular holiday to mind is Odesa Yumorina (April's Fool Day, April 1)

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    Passage Odessa

    by hunterV Updated Feb 14, 2010

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    Favorite thing: This is All-Ukrainian Odessa monthly magazine.
    More than 75 issues have been published already since June 1996.
    It contains a lot of interesting information connected with all sides of life in Odessa, with people who used to live and work here and who visited Odessa.
    You can find a lot of interesting articles about things connected with this city, a lot of Odessa anecdotes, etc.
    Alaxander Shatukh is the editor-in-chief.
    The editorial office is at 13 De Ribas Street (office # 21).
    If you'd like to get more information from Odessa, why not have a look at the web site from Odessa:
    www.odessapassage.com
    where there is Odessa chat, photo album, web cameras, competitions and other things for tourists there.

    Fondest memory: visiting the city beaches in the summer and cafes in all other seasons.
    www.odessapassage.com
    E-mail:
    passage@farlep.net
    +38 048 234 80 38
    +38 048 760 17 32
    +38 048 741 11 30

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    Construction Sites

    by hunterV Updated Jan 13, 2010

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    Trade and Business Center, Greek Street, Odessa

    Favorite thing: Construction sites are among the city sites, too.
    You can see them not only uptown where new apartment houses of very unique projects are being built, but also downtown.
    This concrete-and-glass building is going to be a new Trade and Business Center and is it being built by Gefest Co. in Greek Street.

    Fondest memory: exploring the streets in the Old City.

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    Odesa houses and yards

    by om_212 Updated Feb 5, 2008

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    Favorite thing: the best way to get from one street to another if you are in a hurry is to cut through a "windy" Odesa yards. But even if you are not in a hurry, make sure to get a sneak-peek into one of those yards. homey, cozy, with people chatting on the benches, with grapevines crawling up old building walls, creating the pleasant shade in the summer, they will transfer you into a different, non-touristy Odesa; which has a lot to offer for those who know where to seek :)

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    expense

    by deeper_blue Written Feb 1, 2008

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    Favorite thing: Some parts of the Ukraine are quite poor and underdeveloped but not Odessa and other major cities. It isn't cheap to stay here. Many buildings and streets are very modern and well looked after. Ukraien uses the Hryvnia 5hr=1US dollar

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    Stroll along the Deribasivska...

    by lotharlerch Updated Aug 20, 2007

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    Favorite thing:
    Stroll along the Deribasivska street and walk up and down the most famous staircase in the history of the cinema, the Potemkin-staircase from the harbour up into the city. The only one adequate way to arrive in Odesa would be by boat, of course, although I came twice by train (to the other end of the city.

    Fondest memory: To stroll around, sit in the nice open air cafes along the Deribasivska, watch the people and their life.

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