First Impressions. Yerevan, a city in transition, is slow to wake. Much of the art and architecture in Yerevan reflects the Soviet influence. The Soviet Union, which supported arts education and public culture, demolished regional styles and forms in favor of a severe modernism defined by concrete geometricism, with accents of social realism. Since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, this legacy continues to fade, literally returning to dust. Such is the course of empire. Political, civic, and cultural life is regenerating here, fed by a dedicated diaspora and enriched by an unpretentious cosmopolitanism, reflecting the irrepressible creativity of a freedom-loving people. Church bells resound through the narrow, stone-paved streets and alleys, calling the faithful to worship this beautiful Sunday morning.
The city of Yerevan is quite walkable, though hilly, with a series of lovely public parks and green spaces forming a gigantic Hammer and Sickle that could easily be discerned from outer space. Pushkin Street, Leo Street, Grigor Lusavorich Street, Mashtots Ave, Aram Street, Tigran Mets Ave, Saryan Street, Moskovtan Street, Sayat Ave--it is difficult to lose your way in Yerevan, this city nestled among mountains, mountains that were always a last refuge of the Armenian people.