More St. Petersburg shotz

June 26, 2010

Things have been busy in St. Petersburg. I've been going to the archive and library pretty regularly, and in my spare time am trying to finish up on article that I've been working on for a (long) while.

I've also been making an effort to go out and have some fun. Last weekend a friend and I went to the Philharmonic to see a concert of Viennese music, and earlier this week I saw a performance of (mostly) Rachmaninoff music in commemoration of June 22--a day of "memory and mourning" in Russia, as this was the day Hitler invaded the USSR in 1941.  On July 2 I have tickets to see Bi-2, a really great band whose music I was first introduced to in the second Brat movie.

Bi-2 is playing at the Petrograd Palace of Culture, which is about a ten minute walk from my apartment. It's really, really great to be living in a big city again. Although the street I live on is pretty quiet, just minutes from my apartment the streets are crowded until early in the morning and plenty of places are open 24 hours. Best of all, there's a really great vibe to the neighborhood more generally. I love walking up Kamenoostrovskaia to take the subway to the archive in the morning, passing nicely-dressed women and businessmen on the street. I even love the steam-bath subway rides themselves--I've been reading Master and Margarita during the 40-minute commute to and from the archive. 

Map of St. Petersburg metro.
As you can see from the map, much of St. Petersburg is made up of islands. The main 'downtown' part of the city is located on the eastern/southern side of the river, around where the blue line hits the green line. I live in the part of town marked 'Petrogradskaya storona,' on the other side of the river. Do you see the little red island with the blue towers on it? That's the Peter and Paul fortress, the oldest structure in St. Petersburg--it's about a ten minute walk from my place. Every day at noon, a cannon in the fortress shoots off a blank round.

When I was picking up tickets to see Bi-2 I heard Kino playing in the next room and went over to see what was going on. I found out that a tribute concert in honor of Viktor Tsoi's birthday was taking place. I bought a ticket and went in, eventually seeing five bands at a small bar located just inside the entrance to the Palace of Culture. One of the bands--called "Raznye Liudy" ("Random people," although a Slavicist would probably translate the name as "Assorted people") put on a really good show. Here is one of their videos. 

Anyway, I've been taking my camera around with me pretty much everywhere I go. Frankly, however, I never feel like my photos here do justice to the light, which is simply amazing. 

Winter Palace/Hermitage Museum


Statue of Gorky not far from my house. He used to live in this neighborhood. In the background you can see the mosque and its minarets.
The Cruiser Aurora 

Sennaia Ploschad' metro station

Chapel on the Petrograd side.

I took this shot at about 11 pm

Petrograd street scene

Plying the waters of the Neva 

Hermitage Museum

More links, info and analysis can be found at the Borderlands Lounge

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