Gavin Newsom For The Arts

On cue, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference and announced massive aide for the Homeless and The Arts. I had just sent my business proposal to the City Government of Belmont, who have no Arts Program that I am aware of. I had talked with a friend about getting Grace Slick to do paintings in Charlatan Square as part of my Cultural Package for the Belmont that needs to get the Governor’s attention, being, I am kin to Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, as is Belmont Pioneer, Carl Janke. Michael Wilding married Aileen Getty, and thus Carl Janke is in the Getty Family Tree. This Getty Tree For The Arts adopted Gavin when he was a teenager. The J. Paul Getty father and son moved to England. Junior was Knighted by the Queen and was titled “Sir” after he became a British subject. Liz Taylor was Knighted by the Queen for her contribution to the Film Industry that made California great.

John Presco

President: Belmont Soda Works

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/gavin-newsom-proposes-12-billion-to-combat-homelessne

The investment would be broken into three parts: $8.75 billion for homeless housing units and affordable apartments; $3.7 billion for homeless prevention and rental support; and $1.5 billion to clean up roadways and public spaces.

How eight elite San Francisco families funded Gavin Newsom’s political ascent – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

His father, Bill, was a lifelong friend of Gordon Getty, the son of oil magnate J. Paul Getty — they attended high school together. Bill Newsom later managed the Getty family trust on behalf of Gordon, estimated by Forbes to be worth more than $2 billion in 2018. Bill Newsom was so close with the family that he helped deliver the ransom money after the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s grandson, John Paul Getty III.

J. Paul Getty – Wikipedia

 In 1959, Sutton Place, a 72-room mansion, was purchased from George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland, for £60,000, about half of what the Duke paid for it 40 years earlie

George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of SutherlandKTPC (29 August 1888 – 1 February 1963), styled Earl Gower until 1892 and Marquess of Stafford between 1892 and 1913, was a British courtier, patron of the film industry and Conservative party politician from the Leveson-Gower family. He held minor office in the Conservative administration of Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin in the 1920s and was later Lord Steward of the Household from 1935 to 1936. As a noted patron of the British film industry, the Sutherland Trophy, awarded by the British Film Institute, is named in his honour.

George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland – Wikipedia

John Paul Getty Jr. – Wikipedia

Getty donated more than £140m to artistic and cultural causes from which the National Gallery received £50m. He was appointed Knight of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1987, but as a foreign national could not use the title “Sir”. In December 1997, Getty was granted British citizenship and renounced his US nationalityThe Queen reportedly commented: “Now you can use your title. Isn’t that nice?”[30]

His personal fortune was estimated at about £1.6 billion. His donations included support for the National Gallery, the British Museum, the British Film Institute,

The Cheyne Art Walk | Rosamond Press

Lord Hesketh at Belmont | Rosamond Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom holds press conference amid surging COVID-19 cases — WATCH LIVE – YouTube

Press Releases — Californians for the Arts

Opposition to Newsom recall grows as Caitlyn Jenner, GOP generate little support, poll finds (msn.com)

The campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom has failed to gain momentum in recent months as significantly more California voters favor keeping him in office, and only anemic support has surfaced for reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner while other Republican candidates hoping to take the governor’s place have little backing, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll that was co-sponsored by the L.A. Times.

Why Queen Elizabeth’s Cousin’s Kremlin Scandal Pressures Royals Over Harry and Meghan (msn.com)

John Paul GETTY : Family tree by fraternelle.org (wikifrat) – Geneanet

Prince of Kent and Gordon Getty | Rosamond Press

Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin has been accused of offering access to the Kremlin for $10,000 a day—pressuring the royals to show Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are not the only family members they are willing to sanction.

They offered him $200,000 to make a pre-recorded speech endorsing the company for its launch event.

The journalists approached a friend of the prince, Lord Reading, who suggested that he could make open doors to access Russian President Vladimir Putin on behalf of the company.

This, the newspaper reported, would have cost them $50,000 for a four or five day trip by the prince to Russia.

During a Zoom meeting, they filmed Prince Michael saying: “I have never had any close connection before with gold and the idea makes me very happy.”

It saw him offer to film his speech at Kensington Palace and agree to reference his status as a royal.

The prince’s spokesperson told Newsweek the documentary was “nonsense” and denied he was leveraging his royal status.

An undercover investigation by The Sunday Times and @C4Dispatches: Prince Michael of Kent is alleged to be secretly selling his privileged access to Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime to business clients seeking favours from the Kremlin #Royalsforhire https://t.co/zXNhmtwW3i

BROAD COALITION OF ARTS, CULTURE & CREATIVITY SECTOR GARNERS DIVERSE STATEWIDE SUPPORT FOR BOLD, TRANSFORMATIONAL INVESTMENT URGING GOVERNOR NEWSOM AND THE CALIFORNIA STATE LEGISLATURE TO RESTART THE ARTS WITH STIMULUS FUNDING

California Arts Advocates, California Association of Museums and the California Chapter of the National Independent Venue Association join forces for an unprecedented $1 billion funding request.

Coalition gains support from over 500 businesses and organizations and sends over 3,500 letters to Sacramento from all legislative districts.

Sacramento, CA – May 11th, 2021 – A broad coalition representing arts workers, cultural institutions, nonprofit organizations, museums, and independent venues are calling on Governor Newsom and the California State Legislature for an unprecedented $1 billion investment in the arts, culture and creative economy. The brand-new coalition represents the first time that for-profit, non-profit, cultural organizations and arts workers have raised their voices together for the collective arts, culture and creative economies in California.

Gaining support from over 500 businesses, organizations and civic leaders across the state including Mayor Todd Gloria of San Diego and Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, this proposal will provide much needed economic stimulus and investment to restart arts in California (see letter here: https://bit.ly/3ePIbQF and see map of supportive entities here: https://bit.ly/331HRsq). Additionally, over 3,500 constituents have sent letters of support to their state elected officials for this funding request so far.

Federal relief funds from the American Rescue Plan and windfall state tax receipts have given California a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in the arts and stabilize an historically underfunded sector of the state economy. The return on investment for the State is high with an economic impact study showing that for every dollar spent at an arts venue, twelve dollars is generated in the local economy at restaurants, bars, lodging, retail shops and transportation.

State Senators Ben Allen (26th District) and Susan Rubio (22nd District), and State Assemblymembers Laura Friedman (43rd District), Adrin Nazarian (46th District) and Sharon Quirk Silva (65th District) have emerged as the legislative champions for this bold, transformational investment.

“This money will bolster our museums, theaters, other arts and cultural institutions, and artists that were hit so hard by the pandemic,” said Senator Allen (D-Santa Monica). “As we emerge from COVID-19, let’s keep California at the cutting edge of arts and creative innovation and support those who inspire us to dream big dreams.”

“I was a creative child with a lot of energy in a community with many bad elements. The performing and visual arts provided the outlet I needed to express myself in a creative and positive way, so I know how critical it is to support small, nonprofit performance arts programs, especially in our minority neighborhoods,” noted Senator Rubio (D-Baldwin Park). “The areas already suffer due to lack of arts in schools. These organizations focus on emerging voices and artists in marginalized communities, many of whom are rarely given an opportunity in larger venues and whose needs are often ignored. We must support them now as they face financial ruin. This funding will ensure minimum wages for workers and protect our small community art programs as they deal with the aftermath of the pandemic.”

“Our theaters, museums, and cultural venues were among the first to shut down during the pandemic, and they’ll be among the last to reopen,” said Assemblymember Friedman (D- Glendale). “This funding is a lifeline for our creative arts economy that enriches neighborhoods and communities across California.”

“I am proud to join my colleagues as we stand with the creative industries that bring art, culture, jobs and prosperity to California. The arts are the backbone of millions of jobs across California that have been struggling to properly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sustaining the arts is a critical investment in California’s future,” said Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys).

“The unprecedented $1 billion investment will support and revitalize our arts, culture and creativity economy that have been dramatically affected by the pandemic,” said Chair of the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Industry Media Committee Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton). “California continues to be the center of arts and entertainment, bolstering a number of creative industries and innovative artists that are struggling from the economic impacts felt by many from COVID-19. This funding will allow our artists and creative industries the opportunity to not only reopen, but be able to revitalize our evolving art scene throughout California.”

A $1 billion investment in California’s arts, culture, and creativity industries will help overcome the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions and have a positive impact on jobs creation, tourism, and tax revenues. The proposal outlines stimulus investment to independent venues to provide working capital for reopening and rehiring, investments to the California Arts Council for community access to arts, workforce development and infrastructure investments including support for Senate Bill 628 (Allen), the California Creative Workforce Act, and Senate Bill 805 (Rubio), the Save Performing Arts Act, and grants for the restoration, preservation, and interpretation of California’s historical, cultural, and natural resources through the California Cultural and Historical Endowment.

As California looks to rebuild local communities and recover, arts, culture and creativity will be an essential industry to stimulate local economies, bring social cohesion, provide mental health support and wellness, and deliver positive opportunities for families and youth.

####

About California Arts Advocates:

Working on behalf of artists, arts workers, arts and culture organizations, creative businesses and the millions of people that attend museums, galleries, and performances each year, the California Arts Advocates develop strategies and coordinate advocacy that strengthen arts and culture in the State. www.californiansforthearts.org/http://www.californiaartsadvocates.org

About California Association of Museums:

The California Association of Museums assists California museums in fulfilling their missions as educational and research institutions, with a vision of “stronger museums for a stronger California.” California museums are located in every county across the state and include art and history museums, science centers, natural history museums, cultural centers, zoos, aquariums, children’s museums, and botanical gardens. The association’s 200+ institutional members represent organizations of all sizes, disciplines, and geographical regions. Learn more at www.calmuseums.org.

About National Independent Venue Association – California Chapter:

Established in November 2020 as a chapter of the greater National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), the mission of NIVA – CA is to preserve the ecosystem of independent venues and promoters in California by uniting, organizing and voicing support for our industry. Representing over 400 independent venues across California, NIVA – CA creates awareness around issues affecting independent art & culture in our communities. Learn more at https://nivacalifornia.org/.

.

Media Contacts:
California Arts Advocates
Julie Baker / julie@californiaartsadvocates.org / 916-296-1838

California Association of Museums
Celeste DeWald / cam@calmuseums.org / 831-471-9970 x102

NIVA – CA
Casey Lowdermilk / clowdermilk@anotherplanetent.com / 415-624-8928

Prince of Kent and Gordon Getty

Posted on April 29, 2018 by Royal Rosamond Press

The Prince off Kent and Gordon Getty have been playing with the Russians. Princess of Kent has been rude to black people, if not being an outright racist. These players are being held in check by the media, but Trump has taken the shame out of that. We common people, and these royals need to found a Guild or two that sets a higher standard – for the people! All the people! Putin wants to bring back the Czar and Russian Royalty with coats of arms. I saw two black people in the Basle parade, and was startled to see about thirty blue-eyed, blond haired beauties dressed in innocent plaid. Gordon is kin to Ian Flemming who might be directing his show – from on high – after getting a clearer view of things. I have received a divine hint he offers his valence to my muse – My Wing – who cries and screams……….

“We can do better!”

Jon

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/04/28/princess-michael-kent-reportedly-had-two-black-sheep-named-venus-and-serena.html

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/a20092801/aatish-taseer-princess-michael-venus-serena-williams-black-sheep/

Chazen is a partner of the Getty family, he investing in Plumpjack, a brand name Gordom Getty took from Shakespeare. Gordon wrote an opera ‘PlumpJack’ and took it to Russia. Getty flew Prince Michael Windsor of Kent to Russia to hear his opera that was not paid for by the National Endowment for the Arts. It was paid for by the tax subsidies collected from the little people who get robbed at all the gas pumps the Gettys and Nobel Oil own.

Garth Benton sued his friend Gordon when he and his wife had a Benton mural painted over. What was the last word my ex-brother-in-law uttered on his death bed? Was it;

“Up the arts!”

The Prince was present when Scottish bagpipes marked into Red Square.

God of Art

ADVOCACY PAYS OFF

The Dec. 5 San Francisco Chronicle carried an article reporting on the recent application of moral rights legislation that National Artists Equity Association (NAEA) promoted first in California (1979 Calif. Art Preservation Act) and then nationally with the passage of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990. Under this legislation, artists’ sold works are protected against intentional alteration, mutilation or destruction. According to the article, San Francisco collectors Ann and Gordon Getty have settled a $500,000 lawsuit brought by artist Garth Benton, a muralist with an international reputation, when he learned that the Gettys had “whited out” several of his large canvasses.

This is not the first time artists have used the Art Preservation Act, and the Chronicle article reported also that a $175,000 settlement was paid to artist Kent Twitchell when his mural overlooking the Hollywood Freeway, “The Old Woman of the Freeway,” was painted over by a billboard company.

This, and other examples of artists rights legislation (such as the California Artist-Dealer Relations Law, and the California Resale Royalties Act) came about as a result of the efforts of individual artists who joined Artists Equity and organized for collective advocacy. They brought about historic change that continues to serve the visual artists profession today. There is much yet to be done, and all artists are invited to join in the effort.”

Prince Michael of Kent GCVO (Michael George Charles Franklin; born 4 July 1942) is a grandson of King George V and Queen Mary, making him a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. He is also the first cousin once removed of Prince Philip. Prince Michael occasionally carries out royal duties representing the Queen at some functions in Commonwealth realms outside of the United Kingdom. Otherwise, he manages his own consultancy business and undertakes various commercial work around the world. He has also presented some television documentaries on the royal families of Europe. He is named after Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia, the younger brother of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and first cousin of three of his grandparents.

God of Art

Phantoms of the Opera

(Images: Nancy Pelosi and her husband at the SF Opera. Gordon Getty
and Janna Bullock in Russia. More Swells in Russia. Benton murals in
Getty Villa)

Gordon Getty has written and produced an opera ‘Plump Jack’ based
upon his favorite Shakespear character, and his wine and resturant
empire. Prince Michael and his family flew to Russia on “The Jetty”
Getty’s private Jet. I have already shown the connections between
Wagner’s operas and the Swan Knight legand and my Rosemont family who
are kin to Princess Michael. Christine was the diva in the
movie ‘Phantom of the Opera’. I have compared my late sister,
Christine Rosamond, to Sleeping Beauty. Garth Benton recently redid
his murals for the Getty Villa. President Putin is moving Western
Culture to Russia in preparation for the unvieling of a revived
Czarist culture. The Russian Opera and Orchestra – along with
Russia’s Art – will launch a New Rennaissance that will bring the
West out of its mini Dark Age launched by that screwball from Texas
and his insane Doomsday morons that captured our Democracy and turned
it into den of religious fanatics, perverts, and thieves.

Jon Presco

“Foreign patrons including Prince Michael and Getty – the billionaire
composer and son of late oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, who has given
millions to the orchestra and flew in on his private jet “The Jetty” –
have been instrumental in its success and kept it alive through a
power struggle in recent years that mimicked the wars between fallen
oligarchs and Kremlin favorites.Though he sold his PJ shares, Mayor
Gavin Newsom was on hand to toast the success of the casually tony
Cow Hollow restaurant he founded with Getty’s help.

Getty said that in his wildest dreams, he never imagined this
enterprise (now a mini-empire) named after his opera (which in turn
was named for his favorite Shakespearean character, the roguish John
Falstaff) would last as long or do as well. “I just figured it would
give Gavin some experience in how things work,” said the billionaire
philanthropist, laughing. “Little did I know!” A third of the
original staff remains, including manager Rose Gibson and her
sisters, Joan and Kay Power, all who began on the wait staff. “I
remember when we first opened — Gavin was still making deliveries
from our wine shop down the street.”

Janna Bullock, Zoe Bullock, and Alexey Kuznetsov in St. George’s
Palace

Marianne Wyman in St. George’s Palace L. to r.: St. George’s Palace
in all its glory;

R. Couri Hay takes an extended look around. From there we paraded on
to the White Hall for the concert, a welcome relief from all the
gold, which after a while can give you a headache, and sat in the
front row with the Kents. The Tchaikovsky concert under the baton of
Maestro Mikhail Pletnev, who founded the orchestra, opened with a
dramatic excerpt from Sleeping Beauty. This was followed by the 1812
Overture, which was written for the opening of St. George’s Palace to
celebrate the Russian victory over the French and was premiered in
this very hall. The orchestra has no official connection to the
government and is completely supported by private money, making it
unique in Russian culture. President Putin, who is best described as
all-powerful, allowed the concert — a first in these historic
chambers, to take place. It was a wonderful and welcome sign of
support from the president. After a few words from Prince Michael,
who is also a directly related to the last czar, Nicholas II, we were
given a tour of the private treaty and conference rooms as well as
all the official rooms of the wings of the original palace that had
been spared. After that, there was a reception in yet another
perfectly appointed hall. Princess Michael and I talked about the
princess’ children: her son Frederick Windsor, who is off climbing in
the Andes, and her daughter Gabriella Windsor, who is busy writing a
book. Prince Michael presented the RNO’s silver baton to Gordon Getty
for his vast contributions (approximately $25 million over 15 years)
to the RNO, which he has supported since its inception. The princess
and I had the melon balls and lemon custard, the only edible things
we were offered. The vodka was fine, the champagne, undrinkable. The
food at the Kremlin needs work — make that a lot of work.

http://newyorksocialdiary.com/socialdiary/2005/12_01_05/socialdiary12_
01_05sanfran.php

The Outer Peristyle garden has been completely replanted, now no
longer a “green” garden with only acanthus and laurel, but with roses
and other flowers. An additional 1,200 trees including cypress,
cedar, oak, sycamore and olive have been added to the 1,500 already
on the grounds, plus 100,000 new shrubs, flowers, plants and
groundcover, featuring a mix of Mediterranean and native California
varieties. The quiet of the original ranch still pervades the
grounds, making any visitor feel removed from L.A.’s urban hubbub.
The decorated walls of the Outer Peristyle, painted by mural artist
Garth Benton 30 years ago, have been repainted by the same artist in
the same trompe l’oeil style. But it feels more deliciously exotic
and even dazzling.

http://artscenecal.com/ArticlesFile/Archive/Articles2006/Articles0706/
JHoffberg0706.html

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/entertainment/arts/article_958398
.php

A royal “whee”: The queen wasn’t home, but scads of other royalty
(European and Californian in variety) donned the ermine when Prince
Michael of Kent (patron of the Russian National Orchestra) and his
wife, Princess Michael of Kent, hosted a concert by the orchestra in
usually-not-open-to-the-public St. George’s Chapel (where many
British sovereigns and royalty are buried) at Windsor Castle.
Honoring the late Sir John Paul Getty Jr. (who died last year), the
black-tie invite drew guests such as Sir Getty’s widow, Lady Victoria
Getty; his brother Gordon Getty and wife Ann, with sons Peter and
Billy and Billy’s wife, Vanessa; and a gaggle of Getty cousins and
friends: Mark Getty, Tara Getty, Ariadne Getty Williams; Kathleen
Sullivan Alioto and daughter Domenica, and Dodie Rosekrans. Just like
the postconcert Davies Symphony Hall crowd, guests headed out
afterward for a bite to eat. Unlike Davies Hall, it was only a short
stroll to the main castle, where tables were laid with gold place
settings.

Gordon and his brother lived half a world apart for most of their
lives, and sometimes felt like rivals growing up, but they’d grown
close in later years. “Gordon was visibly moved,” said friend and
lawyer Bill Prezant. “There was the emotional connection of his
brother mixed with the music and the chapel’s excellent choir. He
actually got a little misty.”

In addition to Getty’s “Joan and the Bells,” the orchestra also
performed the world premiere of a choral piece composed by Russian
National Orchestra Artistic Director Mikhail Pletnev and dedicated to
Getty. Based on a poem by William Butler Yeats (suggested by a
longtime friend, Judge Newsom) the work celebrates Gordon’s recent
70th. Getty is an RNO supporter but doesn’t contribute to events
where his music is played. Which made it even better. “This had to be
one of the orchestra’s best performances ever,” he said. “It was
absolutely knock-down, knock-your-socks-off spectacular.”

http://www.sfcv.org/arts_revs/plumpjack_3_9_99.php

Saturday was our most important day. We were off for a private visit
of the Kremlin, which is literally across the street from the hotel,
and a concert by the Russian National Orchestra in St. George’s Hall,
something never allowed before. HRH Prince Michael of Kent, is the
RNO’s royal Patron. He and his wife Princess Michael, clad in a sable
trimmed raincoat and pearls the size of onions, were the guests of
honor.We had a police escort to the gates and upon arrival were
escorted by uniformed officers to a private viewing stand past the
curious crowds. This particular afternoon was the first of the RNO’s
15th Anniversary celebrations. Trumpets heralded the arrival of the
Kents, as we ascended the viewing stand to watch the Changing of the
Guard, a recreation of the Imperial Review that took place daily
until the 1917 Revolution.

The cavalry did their equestrian dance as the soldiers marched about.
It reminded me of a ballet by Balanchine.We then left the pomp and
circumstance behind to enter the Kremlin’s inner sanctum, the
magnificent St. George’s Palace. Mr. Getty, Mrs. Bullock, her 17-year-
old daughter Zoë on a break from her Swiss boarding school, and
Janna’s husband Alexis joined us. Alexis was the only member of the
party who had been in these rooms before. They are only used for
occasions of State to receive visiting kings, queens, presidents and
other assorted owner brokers.The palace had been destroyed, and has
just been rebuilt in all its gilded glory. The first reception hall
is gold and white — that’s 18-karat gold. The complex parquet on the
floors is more commonly seen on tables — that’s if your tables are
18th Century and acquired at the Ingrao gallery. The throne room is
more impressive than Buckingham Palace’s. Its cathedral ceilings
scream power, the three thrones of the Tsars have an ermine canopy
the size of a tent you’d see erected for parties in Southampton.

Sunday night was Gordon Getty’s big night. The work he composed,
based on the Edgar Alan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” had
its premiere in the Great Hall of Conservatory and received a
standing ovation. After the concert, the Bullocks gave a dinner for
60 in Mr. Getty’s honor at Gorky, one of the new restaurants that was
as good as it was grand. Bowls of caviar and bottles of Dom Perignon
kicked things off. Russia’s top gypsy band Loiko played along with a
wonderful native folk orchestra. Gordon sang a song to amuse the
guests and a cake was brought out to celebrate the 21st birthday of
Misha Simonyan, the internationally acclaimed violinist. The Bullocks
were so impressed that they are bringing him to New York for a
private musical in December.

On Monday, Gordon and the patrons flew off to St. Petersburg for a
series of receptions and dinners in the city’s grandest palaces.
Alas, I had to return to New York for the opening of the
International Designer Showhouse at 9 East 67 Street, a house Janna
Bullock had lent the to the American friends of the American Hospital
of Paris Foundation who was the beneficiary of the Showhouse.

Gordon Getty’s private 737 is an aircraft of rare beauty that few
possess and many envy. It easily accommodated the 24 passengers bound
for the former Soviet Union and the Russian National Orchestra’s nine-
day patron trip.The forward cabin is done in shades of cream and
beige with leather couches and club chairs. There’s a plush bedroom
in the mid section that’s just like home if home were a wildly
expensive jumbo jet done up by Anne (Mrs. Gordon) Getty, an interior
decorator with impeccable taste. The aft cabin is a wood paneled
library with antique maps on the walls and chocolate leather
banquets. It’s the only way really.
Helen Yarmak

The price for this unique experience was a mere $25,000 per person,
including essential extras like a sable-lined raincoats by Helen
Yarmak for the ladies and cashmere lined trenchcoats by Loro Piana
for the men. These are bare essentials for Russia in the fall as it’s
chilly, with rains days and nights. The perfect way to make your trip
to Russia as smooth as their most expensive vodka, is to begin with
knowing someone in the government to facilitate your entrance and
exit. I was met by a trio of officials on the tarmac who swept me
into a van and through a VIP immigration desk with no lines and no
hassles and luggage appearing miraculously.

I was then tucked into a black Mercedes with tinted windows for the
forty-five minute trip to Moscow. My car had a crucial accessory for
life in Russia, a little blue light on the roof that means you can do
almost anything you want short of running people over. You can speed,
go down one-way streets, park on the sidewalk — a must in Moscow —
and break all the other rules that one needs to survive the hassles
of bumper-to-bumper. President Putin is the only person in town who
gets to travel by helicopter, so no matter how important you may be,
there’s absolutely nothing you can do about the roadway congestion.
Even the little blue light only takes you so far.

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About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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