Moscow, the 80s. Memories

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Cafe «Lira»

Cafe «Lira», the 80s

I did not limit myself to parties. In addition to those in the student dormitories of the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute and the University of Peoples Friendship after Patrice Lumumba, I also liked some informal movements, such as parties of artists and poets, hippies, punks and rockers in the street Old Arbat and in Gorbushka (Culture House named after Gorbunov), as well as funny casual meetings of graduates of the 23rd special school in the cafe «Lira», which was located in the Pushkin Square, on the very spot where the building of the first Moscow cafe «McDonald’s» is now located. In truth, my character was unusually curious and outgoing from nature.

And once in a pleasant autumn evening, when it was getting a little dark, quarreling slightly with my dad about the fact that different generations, views on life and mortal existence sometimes do not coincide, I went in search of new adventures and acquaintances in a place of chance meeting of the graduates of the 23rd specialized English school, cafe «Lira».

It was just about this place that the leader of the «Time Machine» group Andrei Makarevich wrote winged catch lines at the time:

Time Machine — Cafe Lira

Author of text (words):

Makarevich An.

Composer (music):

Makarevich An.

By the way, Andrei Makarevich did not study at our school, his sister, Natasha, who loved to sing songs by him, studied with us, of course, we liked to sing them too. We first sang them to the accompaniment of a home piano, and then we all switched to guitars. At the same time, the songs of Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava were very popular in our circle.

Speaking of the well-known personalities, Vladimir Basov, who had played one of the leading roles in the popular film «Moscow — Cassiopia» studied with us, but in an older class. He was called Lob by everyone behind his back.

However, I’ve moved away from the main theme of my story — from the «Lira» cafe. Arriving at the cafe, I sat down at a free table, ordered a cup of coffee without sugar and began to ponder how to live on. I didn’t really want to discuss with my dad about the difference in outlook on life.

My mother was in the hospital at that moment, they were going to release her, but not earlier than in a couple of weeks. I wanted to hang out (temporarily live) some time in a pleasant and calm atmosphere, close to my heart and soul.

— It would be possible, for example, to go to one of my student dormitories. — I thought, but I immediately abandoned such a simple idea. I wanted something new and unusual.

Then I went to a familiar bartender and asked a question:

— Hello, old man, listen, do you have any ideas of a crib (apartment or room) in which I could hang out for a couple of days? You know, my folks have driven me crazy with their discussions of my wrong lifestyle and with the boring lectures on the same topic.

— «Why not, I really do have some,» Karen said, charmingly kind as ever, and turned to the guy at the table to the left:

— Listen, Frost, it’s just that a dudette (a girl) named Tania has got problems of misunderstanding by the folks (parents). Maybe you’ll attach the girl for a couple of days to any safe crib?

«Well, no questions asked, old man, why not help a good, as I hope, person.» — Frost reacted and, turning to me, asked. — Is the dormitory suburb of the Babushkinskaya metro station suitable geographically?

— Yes, anything will do, thanks a lot, Frost. — I answered.

— Well, why so official, ma’am! You can call me just Serge.

«Ok, just Serge, great human thanks.» — I answered with a pleased voice, after which we set off to my new place of residence.

Guera’s apartment, dissidents and parties


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