|Who doesn't need some nicely decorated wooden eggs?|
While today the U.S. propaganda machine has its sights squarely set on the Islamic world, Sad City is just old enough to remember when the propaganda machine positioned Russia as the great enemy and threat to the American way of life. Behind the "Iron Curtain" the country was painted as cold and forbidding and a factory for producing elite, machine like hockey players and a terrible menacing boxer that fought our great upstart hero in Rocky IV. Meanwhile with the passage of time, the Russian military threat has subsided, the people are no longer looked upon as mysterious, some of their hockey players are good while some are not, and no one cares about boxing or Sylvester Stallone anymore.
While we had visions of dozens of booths hocking exotic and elaborate Russian wares, we were initially a little disappointed. There were only about a dozen tables and half were selling goods that weren't particularly unique or Russian. After a buying a raffle ticket to win a Keuring or a T.V. we ventured in and were happy to find some uniquely Russian tables.
The best part of the bazaar was the food. There were desserts and candy. We ate at the kitchen having a couple different varenikis (Russian pierogis) and a golubsty, a cabbage wrapped dish. All were excellent.
Browsing the other booths we saw jewelry, Russian Coca-Cola and Harley Davidson shirts, and dolls. There were also Russian breads, jams, and other prepared foods. We aren't normally big dessert eaters, but we couldn't leave without a piece of baklava. Baklava is just plain awesome. Sad City writers have been known to creep into sleeping peoples refrigerators to devour more baklava that we were allowed.
The atmosphere was neither cold not forbidding. The people were friendly and while we were disappointed that we didn't run into t.A.T.u or Pavel Bure or pick up any cool CCCP hockey jerseys, we did have some great food and saw some cool Russian stuff. And we got to visit a bazaar. A successful Sad City Hartford adventure.