Bolshevik Chic

Hardly more than a large cupboard with an elaborate central staircase, Roza Azora, an independent store within Gallery Shon, evokes a sort of Alice in Wonderland feeling—it’s a cross between the attic of an old dacha and a Dickensian toy shop. In place of neat shelves and displays, Soviet kitsch is piled on every surface, crammed into every nook and cranny. Outsize dolls and teddy bears sit on the steps; a cracked cheval glass is strung with lace and beads atop the stairs; and rows of original military tunics, silk vintage dresses, and sailors’ jackets from the Cold War fifties dangle from a balcony under the peeling ceiling.

Beneath the stairs lie more treats for the keen Sovietologist: Red Moscow perfume bottles, ink pots, and sideboards stuffed with commemorative teacups and stopka vodka glasses. Raking through the tchotchkes requires perseverance, but it is rewarded occasionally with, say, the discovery of a rare miniature Sputnik or a crystal-and-Bakelite-rocket desk set, both tokens of merit from a fantasist state to its grateful dreamers. At 12A Nikitsky Blvd.; 7-495/291-4579.