It’s February. The shortest month by the calendar, but by the senses’ tally the longest: across Moscow low liverish sky, damp chill. Snow is melting, disclosing the months’ accumulation of trash, giving the passerby a sense of return without the warmth of a homecoming. The worst of the cold gone, lone figures in a motley cast of costumes (mice, medieval European kings, rabbits, comic-book pharmacists being the most popular) take up their posts on the streets — handing out fliers for discount haircuts, free lawyers’ consultations, happy hour pelmeni at rock-bottom prices. Public spaces give off a new whiff of creatureliness, of steam, damp, the stock and store of dailiness.