Empty Swings

 Came across this old swing ride while wandering around Gorky Park in Moscow this winter.  I showed it to a close friend who indicated it was very "depressing", and I couldn't agree more.  There is just something both eerie and despondent about an object designed to entertain children, once you take the kids away.  The abandoned and never used Ferris wheel outside the Chernobyl disaster site, much beloved by photo journalists, might be the best expression of this.  Gorky Park, actually a significant green space in Moscow, actually has a halfway decent, if weathered, amusement park operating inside it, and it has been filled with Western rides since at least 1994 or so.  I remember in the mid 90s the rides were all German produced, and so there must have been some immediate post Cold War deal to supply them. 

  In any case, one of my primary reasons for going was to revisit an ancient and decrepit Ferris Wheel located near one of the lakes in the park.  It was a fantastic remnant of the USSR that looked like it was right out of the space race and the 1960s.  I always liked to joke when I took people on it that the steel had been made in Magnitorsk (one of the early Soviet industrial projects and an equivalent to perhaps Pittsburgh), and thus could collapse at any time... Upon arriving at the park I remembered approximately where the wheel was, and to be honest it was so big one couldn't miss it anyway, but to my surprise as of my last visit there it was gone.  This swing shot was taken on a snowy day in late November, and while I struggled even to identify the platform on which the wheel stood, as far I as I can tell it disappeared either for the winter, or permanently, without a trace.  I've scoured various online resources to boot, figured if it was to be removed there would at least be a reference somewhere in the news, but to date have found nothing of substance.  

 If anyone reading this happens to knows its fate, please share...here is a guest shot of the wheel in better days...and meanwhile I hope you enjoy the gloomy swings...

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