I’ve become obsessed with film photography, but I become obsessed with things really quickly and tend to forget about them and abandon them equally quickly. I’m hoping doing these monthly posts will help me stick to the habit and continue taking pictures regularly. I enjoy the process and (more importantly) I like that it’s a reason for me to go for a walk. An anxious brain like mine needs to be outside more and a lazy brain like mine needs a reason to go outside. So I’m hoping taking these pictures will be that reason.
Anyway, September was mostly good. I had to take a business trip to Kharkiv, 1 and that was exhausting. It basically took me out of commission for the first two weeks of October. But I’ll save that for next month’s post.
Kharkiv was a really big surprise for me, by the way. I didn’t expect the city to be as cool as it was.
I live in the capital, and it feels like Kyiv is the amalgamation of all the other cities (except the local government half-asses everything and it ends up being a mess). We’ve got some “business” areas, some “high density of hipsters” areas, some “bad neighborhood” areas, etc. It feels like the kind of city an alien would construct if it had a vague idea of what a city should be and a tight deadline.
When I visit a city like Lviv, it feels cozier and older. But that comes with the drawbacks of bad water pressure and kinda terrible infrastructure (especially in terms of public transportation).
And when I visit a city like Odessa it feels fun and there’s a beach and there’s always parties everywhere and there’s also cats everywhere. But that comes with the drawbacks of “there are always so many people there!”
And then there’s Kharkiv. Kharkiv really surprised me, because it feels like a good, well organized, clean city. That’s very much the opposite of what I expected from a city that’s so close to Russia (geographically and mentally). But let me tell you — it’s great.
The public transport is solid, the parks are gorgeous, and the biggest perk of all — this city is clean AF. Like, I don’t know if it’s because they clean the streets regularly (in a post-USSR “keep everything presentable even though it’s chaos in the background” kind of way), or if it’s in the culture of the people to just not litter, but there’s no trash or cigarette butts or bottles anywhere.
So, it kinda feels like the kind of city an alien would build if it had a very clear and good blueprint, but no understanding of how cities change and work after you add “people” into the equation. Great (and big!) parks, streets that are hella-wide, trashcans available everywhere (to keep the litter off the pavement), and also Sweeter — probably the best chain of coffee places in Ukraine (sadly only available in Kharkiv).
Here are more Kharkiv pictures: