What time is it in Russia?

Jonathan Brent in The New Criterion:

Moscow is now the most expensive city in the world, at least according to a recent, widely publicized report. Teenagers walk down Tverskaya Boulevard with stylish new cell phones pressed to their ears; they stop before shop windows that could line Madison Avenue; they treat themselves to ice cream and coffee at a wide spectrum of new foreign and domestic establishments. Restaurants of every sort serve every kind of food from pizza and hamburgers to sushi and the finest pre-Revolutionary lamb. “Moo-Moo,” with its enormous polyethylene black and white Holstein out front, “Shesh-Besh,” “Shashlyk-Mashlyk,” “Yolki-Palki” with their colorful ethnic trappings in full display announce themselves where but ten years ago nondescript storefronts presented signs that read simply: “Shoes,” “Furniture,” or “Women’s Clothing.” Ordinary shops are packed with expensive foreign goods. Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, and mammoth SUVs converge on all the boulevards, and, in traditional Moskvich style, do not recognize the rights of pedestrians to enter their privileged world of speed and power.

More here.