Tuesday, September 11, 2007

FAQ You, FAQ You, You’re Cool, FAQ You, I’m Out

There was I time I hated myself for being so poor I had to hang out at FAQ Cafe, a D.I.Y. bohemian place which looks ready to cave in on itself at any moment. Then I learned to stop worrying and love the arty, free-spirit-or-else of it all, because at least it’s not as bad as the rest of the club scene.

Or is it?


It all brings back bad memories of being in high school, taking Basic Photography and then showing it to people and writing poetry and then showing it to people. Plus, even if they’re hippie lesbians, the girls at FAQ still get nakey on the bar after two cocktails, which undermines everything, I think.

ArteFAQ, FAQ’s sophomore project, opened this summer on the other side of Tverskaya and is way more sophisticated. While FAQ Café is still getting scrounging money for shots of bathtub vodka, ArteFAQ enjoys imported beer and is writing a PhD dissertation on how to food is performed in the Soviet experience. If I don’t meet my husband in a bookstore poetically reaching for the same copy of Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish,” like I always imagined since I was a little girl, then it will be at “Gastrololiya,” a series of talks hosted at ArteFAQ about the critical theory of gastronomy.

The décor’s also a big improvement: overflowing bookcases, sundry old photographs, a fire crackling in the fireplace and a homemade Roy Lichtenstein painted on the ground. Basically everything people think academia will be like, before they realize they’ve condemned themselves to a life of poverty.

The best part about peeing there is that there’s a giant, quivering TV eye in one of the stalls.

Photos: faqcafe.ru, artefaq.ru

FAQ Cafe, 9 Gazetny Per., Bldg. 2, Metro: Okhotny Ryad, Tel. 629-0827;
ArteFAQ, 32 Bol. Dmitrovka Ul, Bldg. 1, Metro: Tverskaya, Tel. 650-3971

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