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Knights of the Vine RUSSIA


The Heat Goes On, in Moscow’s Nightclubs
Miguel Francis

The hot summer was pretty shortlived. But looking on the bright side, clubs are opening up one after another, the cozy warmth of Moscow’s nightlife is slowly lurking up, ex-pats are coming back from their summer vacations to the busy town and I couldn’t be happier in bringing you another update on the new happenings within the rambunctious nightlife of Moscow.

Before we start, I’d like to quickly give you an update on one of the best expat parties in town. No, its not just because I’m involved in its organization but because its defi nitely one of the best ex-pat parties in Moscow. Honey Bunny ex-pat Thursdays at Imperia Lounge have become very successful, defi nitely a fi esta for a foreigner not just this summer but well into the fall. I can safely say that our publisher, John Ortega, has witnessed one, which gives this event the ultimate seal of approval. Giorgio Paolucci and Pavel Rudanovsky have master-minded this perfect virtual club. Honey Bunny is a brand that moves from place to place creating its most original ex-pat Thursdays and Saturdays in town. Girls eating burgers and spraying themselves with whip cream while they perform an elaborate dance number to live house vocal songs performed by me are just some of the things you’ll witness at Honey Bunny. Every Thursday at the glamorous Imperia Lounge its time for some toasts with honey along with DJ Llyod Antuan, live vocals and MC by Miguel Santiago, Verdi Cabaret and the Honey Bunny girls with your favourite hosts Pavel Rudanovsky and Giorgio Paolucci. Located near Metro Ulitsa 1905 Goda, Mantulinskaya 5.

Another place worth checking out is Giorgio’s Paradise Rock Tuesday at Garage Club (near Metro Polyanka, Brotnikov Per. 8). This is for all you rock lovers out there, sometimes there is just too much house music in my foreign ears and when I need to vent with some good ol’ rock’n’roll, this is the place to be! Last but not least, we might be doing a PASSPORT Magazine Club Night at Imperia Lounge in late October to November. Join PASSPORT Magazine Moscow on Facebook to stay in tune!

Hope you’re OK with some bad news before we continue on with the good ones. We Are Family, a club that has been created and successfully operational for almost a year thanks to the creative acolytes behind DyagileV Club, Sinisha Lazarevich and Misha Kozlov, has unexpectedly closed its doors. A pretty typical Moscow situation with some bills not paid on time (or something like that) led to a Moscow police order that initiated a complete lockdown and seal on the whole premises. It’s quite unfortunate for everyone who made some unforgettable memories at this beautiful place. This club had an amazing atmosphere and was probably one of the strongest clubs over the whole 2009-2010 period in bringing foreign DJ talent into Moscow. But not to worry, a new super club came crashing right into its place and on we go with the good news!

Behold, the infamous Hollywood super-club Playhouse has gotten a small sister in Moscow. Ladies and gentlemen! Playhouse Moscow has just opened its doors on the 17th of September! This is a place that deserves your presence, or perhaps the other way around. The club has no ties to Playhouse Hollywood, and is fully operated by the same team that created Royal Bar. The idea behind this giant club was to create something unique within Moscow’s nightlife, using a big venue, ironically the same venue We Are Family have used for their club, the Playhouse team have created an entertainment extravaganza hive. Their grand opening weekend was a blast, nothing but grand! First a Ministry of Sound DJ, Mouse T, ripping off the roof with his solid international house tunes, then an Italian progressive circus called Circo Nero, performing some insanity while hanging from the ceiling. Some serious Ibiza-type club entertainment, ladies and gents! Their plan is to bring over Cirque du Soleil next month along with other great Circus acts from around the world Stay tuned for more updates in the next issue. Playhouse is located near Metro Kitai-Gorod, Lubyanskii Proezd 15/2. Oh, and not to brag or anything, but I was chosen as the official voice for the club, so you will definitely see me there on the weekends.

We Are Infashion, another new addition to the scene. This is a bar that simply screams chic, upscale-relax and let yourself go. Probably the only bar in Moscow where labels, clothing and all that superfi cial glam doesn’t matter but yet the place is filled with these ex-glamorous people just letting themselves go and getting pretty intoxicated, and that’s the idea. If you need to visit a cozy place with some open-minded clubbers then We Are Infashion is the place for you. Hip, fun and adventurous. You can have dinner, smoke a delicious hookah, dance, and then, well, get plastered! The place is located near Metro Smolenskaya, 1st Smolenskii Pereulok 7, and its available for you on the weekdays.

Speaking of these let-yourself-loose places, Rolling Stone, located on Bolotnaya Naberzhnaya within the super club Rai district that I covered in the July issue, is another one of those hip, progressive bars with DJs that play all kinds of fashionable and unfashionable tunes, catering to a wide array of tastes. I went there a few times, not sure why I haven’t mentioned this place before, but let me tell you: this is a great spot to come right after your main club adventures are over. A place where you will see women dance on the bar, a place where you will see the rest of the people dance on the bar as the morning sun starts to rise—and I’ll let your imagination make up the rest. You get the idea, a really fun place to be at! Rolling Stone is located right next door to Rai, so if you’re catching a cab just tell the driver the word “Rai” and he will know where to take you.

No matter what kind of leisure time, wild or luxurious, you prefer there is a small get-that-phone-number Russian girl behavior guide that I wanted to provide you with. Another good name for it is the rules of “Moscow’s Natural Nightlife Selection”. Being a single guy myself, I’ve had my share of experiences in this little game here in Moscow. Now this is defi nitely for ex-pats like me who do not have a family and are single but please note that the activities suggested above are a great way to spend a late evening with your beloved ones in Moscow (for example, take your kids to the Rock Tuesday and enjoy some rock and roll, or why not take your girl-friend to Imperia Thursdays and meet other expats?) and well, the ones below are for single guys only! Furthermore, I want to point out that I hope single males and females find this useful, this is not intended in anyway to off end the Russian or foreign women living in Moscow. I’d love to invite out all the lovely PASSPORT Magazine female readers out there to join these parties (we need some rock girls for Giorgio’s Rock Tuesdays). Once you indulge into Moscow’s nightlife you will see that it’s not as bad as it may seem.

Tip #1: Do not be afraid. Most of the girls sitting at the bar or dancing on the dance floor would love for you, the mysterious foreigner, to come up and say hello in broken Russian or simplified English. The majority of Russians study English from grade one and for the most part they will understand you, and be able to reply. Unlike the West, here in the fine-graded mid-line between Western and Eastern ideologies and cultures, the women are responsive and eager to get acquainted with fun, interesting people, especially if you’re a foreigner on top of that.

Tip #2: The idea here is not to scare the girl off in anyway but make her interested. Without applying any pressure, fi nd out what she does and where she’s from. Make sure she is Moscow born. The majority of the “gold-diggers” that will instantly ask you for a drink in a situation like this most likely come from other parts of Russia. Usually Muscovites are very sincere and polite. Afterwards give a little intro about yourself and your doings over here in Moscow.

Tip #3: Here is a tested, guaranteed way of getting in touch with that girl you just met out in the night. Once you rambled about yourself a bit and found out a little bit about her, hand over your business card. Works like a charm. You instantly witness how your card gets treated with care and studied like a long awaited prize. After the warm heaviness of the situation has passed, you can proceed with full confi dence, pull out your mobile, move it in her direction and ask her for the phone number. At this point it is up to you either to continue the conversation, perhaps do that drink and do some dancing or play the “I’ll call you in a couple of days” game.

I’ve personally experienced both scenarios. At one point some random girls came up to me and my brother while we were standing by the bar, gave us their numbers and asked us to come over for dinner. Seriously. Shocking, intriguing, and it turned out safe and fun! Other times, we simply roamed the clubs, searching for single and curious people like us, using the tips provided above.

What not to do: If you’re dancing at the club or lounging by the bar, don’t just simply approach the girl and straight off offer her a dinner or a drink. First start off by offering her a dance, if she feels she is too good for you then you shouldn’t waste your time. Dancing, the international body language, only this activity has proved to work in the process of “Moscow’s Natural Nightlife Selection”. If the girl sees that you are willing to buy her things before you’ve even had the change to get to know her, she will instantly take advantage of that and then sooner or later disappear, leaving you with a decent tab to close. Hopefully I did some good here and gave you single gentlemen out there a few good pointers for some fun out on the nightly clubbing run. Enjoy!

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