Lubyanka Cellars, or why I was absent from my blog

This is the last photo I took on my prolonged vacation in the mountains, which ended in Geneva. This long holiday also explains why I’ve been vacationing off my blog.

This window is indeed in the basement of the Justice Palace in Geneva, and strangely is made me think of Moscow’s most “tallest” building, the former KGB (now rebranded into the FSB) at Lubyanka, 2.

It was jokingly referred to as “the tallest building”, because “one could see Siberia from its basement”. Indeed, the cellars housed a prison where people were tortured and executed for joking about Moscow’s tallest building, as well as other heinous crimes.

A business idea popped up immediately.

What if I could rent out a part of the basement there for a liquor store?

“Wines and Liquors from Lubyanka Cellars”, or “La Cave du Palais de KGB”.

With the after-sale slogan to be printed on the bill, “If you don’t come back we assume you didn’t like it here. We’ll find out why”.

I could run promotions like, “Buy two bottles of vodka, get standard-issue handcuffs free”. Though I am sure I won’t have to. I mean, who would refuse getting a specially designed bottle from the KGB cellar?! Imagine the touristic value of a vodka bottle bought at such an establishment, all the legends and stories the happy customer could share with his mates back home…

And, of course, there would be plenty of art. I talked about the art of war in my previous post, and I think it’s time to share the art of repressions in one of my next ones.

P. S. Any ideas on how to sell this plan to the FSB director? 

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11 thoughts on “Lubyanka Cellars, or why I was absent from my blog

    1. artmoscow Post author

      You couldn’t know it, I guess, but in Russian “vintage” has an interesting prison-jargon connotation to “arrest in a rude manner”. Great name for a shop like this ))

      Reply
    1. artmoscow Post author

      HI, thank you for stopping by my blog, and I wish you success with yours! You may want to realise though that tagging posts with links to your blog is not, actually, a winning tactics. I remember seeing an article on this from the wordpress team. Cheers, K

      Reply
  1. Boryana

    For some reason I did not get an email notification for this post and I just read it. Ominous! Reminds me of a joke we had in BG when one of the leading gangs of organized car thieves set up an insurance company. Their ad slogan: “Come to us – or we’ll come to you”
    Good to have you back!

    Reply
    1. artmoscow Post author

      Thank you ) It’s good to be back! Is this slogan a fake or true? Sounds possible, but still quite beyond anything I could have imagined even for Russia! )

      Reply
      1. Boryana

        The slogan is a joke, though if they advertised at the time and someone proposed it as their advertising slogan, I bet they would have accepted it wholeheartedly. The company I worked for had to insure its cars with the 2 competing gangs – that is “insurance companies”. Who needed advertising!

        Reply
  2. Yumna

    You could suggest to him that if rents you the space for a wine shop the people working within the building get 10% off on wine and liquors. Having a wine shop in the basement of the FSB actually sounds more or less of a loss for you because you’d then have to pay rent and 10% off on wine.Of course you can overcharge your customers up to 200% (or more if you like, you would have no choice with the limited number of customers)

    Reply
    1. artmoscow Post author

      The best practical joke would be to haul a buddy to Lubyanka cellars and – bang! – suprise, it’s not what he feared, but a liquor joint! ) Make the life there a bit merrier )

      Reply

It would be grand to hear from you now!

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