The Vibrancy of Kyiv, every time I visit

Of course political and financial capitals benefit economically at the expense of the rest of the country, but nevertheless, I’m always impressed and excited when I visit Kyiv — the same can be said of New York City.

Both are great places to visit.

I saw new restaurants and was particularly surprised to see an organic place and a raw-foods place. I was not surprised by the peculiar mixing of styles — Mex Tex Italiano

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Of course, where there are abandoned properties literally a few hundred meters from Maidan, Kyiv’s central square, you know this isn’t a normal free market:

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As on most weekends, they close the Khreshchatyk, the main street that runs past Maidan. It looked like some sports celebration. There were two girls on equestrian styled horses, gymnasts jumping on trampolines, wrestling matching, little arena-style football games, relay races, tug-of-war and more.

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Olympic events invoke two of the things politicians love most: flag waving and government-funded infrastructure projects.