Originally Posted by vaticanplum
The best surprise of all, though, came when I found the crappy little cafeteria (literally "sport cafe") in back of the ice rink. It is named...the Red Machine. This is funny enough, given Russia's precarious relationship to the Soviet Union (some things they just completely ignore; others, like sports, they celebrate). But what's funnier is that when I say it is called The Red Machine, I mean that it is actually called The Red Machine. In English. I might never have stopped to read it in Cyrillic; I might have completely missed the name. But since it's written in English, with a huge hammer and sickle standing in for the "E" in "Red," it was pretty unmistakable. I was pretty elated that the cosmicness of the whole thing, that one of the very few Americans who surely goes to visit this place as a tourist happens to be a girl from Cincinnati, who is of course going to flip out seeing this nickname in its (original?) incarnation.
Wow, what an amazing story! I can't imagine how excited you must have been when you saw that sign. Pure serendipity! Did you get anything to eat in there? What kind of offerings did they have?