Not unlike in any northern city that spends its winters under cloud cover, devoid of blue skies, sunlight, and Vitamin D for several months, the Spring in Kyiv is a magical time. People emerge from their homes, offices, and the cafe-bars where they’ve been hiding in mass numbers, desperate to soak in the precious rays of sun. Unsurprisingly, to enjoy the warmth of Spring, many people in Kyiv seek sunny refuge in one of the city’s plentiful parks. Though they are all delightful, I have a favorite.
Being from the American northwest, I am no stranger to long, grey, gloomy winters, and the fevery delight that follows when the sun finally emerges. This year in Kyiv, I was in a hurry to find a sunny spot nearby NovaMova, the language school where I have my Russian classes, where I could both do my homework, snap some pictures, and simply soak the sunlight into my skin like a hungry plant seeking photosynthesis.
I found all of those things and more in nearby Tarasa Shevchenko Park. Located across from Tarasa Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, it was built for students, and thus, has numerous benches and tables perfect for doing homework. Some of them are a bit more creatively designed than your average park bench, some are reclined, some are circular, some are built in pairs that face one another, a favorite for couples.
Whereas much of the park is occupied by students, there’s also an extensive playground, a restaurant called O’Panas that sells absolutely delicious bliynii (crepe-like pancakes with a variety of fillings) out of their front window if you don’t feel like going inside, and an entire corner of the park for chess games, multiple espresso and snack stands, and an old street car that’s been turned into a book store. Only about a ten minute walk from Zoloti Vorota, the metro station closest to NovaMova, the park is absolutely worth a visit, whether you want to relax, people watch, or study. I have photos to prove how fun it is.
Tarasa Shevchenko Park in Kyiv
Volodymyrska Street 60
Rebekah Welch is a senior at University of Montana in Missoula. She is a double major in Russian and Journalism with an emphasis on photography. She is studying Russian language at NovaMova in Kiev, and am also working for the school as an intern, creating a photoblog. After a semester abroad, she hopes to become fluent enough in Russian that she can work as photojournalist throughout Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Although she loves this area of the world, she has a passion for journalism and will go wherever the story takes her.