Habits and Ways, Saint Petersburg
Watch all the latest releases like Harry Potter in 3D in large iMax format new in 2007
It is about 350 rubles for first run movies
Kinostar City iMax theater
Free bus to center from Park Pobedy Metro
Although weddings are not my favorite celebrations in the world, I must admit that this one caught my eye. Being in the park across the River Neva, opposite the Hermitage Museum, I have managed to catch a few wedding couples and their friends coming on the docks to perform a probably long lasting tradition.
The habit is very interesting, after having a glass of champagne, they smash the glasses on the docks. One couple there, even released two pigeons.
One nice way to meet Russian people who want to speak Englisha nd talk to YOU is to go to the meeting of the Englsih Communication Club. They meet regularly to speck on many topics and practice English together. They often meet at City Bar, an ex-pat hangout near the US Consulate.
Chekc their website for meetings
Contact them through their website before you go ... maybe they will invite you as a guest speaker!
They are friendly to foreigners and appreciative of the chance to hear and talk to native English speakers.
The national independence day of America is not celebrated in Russia, but some expat groups do participate.
The biggest is a 4th of July celebration put on by the American Chamber of Commerce in St. Petersburg.
They have games, concerts and prizes. In years past it was invitation only, but now open the event to more participants.
The City Bar has a 4th of July special, hotdog, chips and beer for 250 rubles. Not a good deal, but in the spirit.
The holy man to the last Czar's was one of the most confounding characters of his time.
He held complete confidence of the Czarina for the apparent healing of the tsarevich's bleeding illness, but over time was thought unholy by most around the royal circle.
The Orthodox Church tried to distance themselves several times and many men of influence who dared to speak against him were fired or imprisoned by the wish of the czarina with the concordance of her husband, Czar Nicholas,
Rasputin was finally undone at the Sheremetev Palace where he went on the pretence to meet the attractive wife of Count Sheremetev. A big strong man from Siberia, Rasputin was poisoned, shot and finally drowned in the Neva before ending his influence over life in St. Petersburg.
Some historians credit him with the undoing of Nicholas by keeping the royals disinformed of the true changes occuring in Russia at the time. Tsar Nicholas abdicated and established a provisional democratic government, but it was too late. The Bolsheviks took over in 1917 and won the civil war to end democratic rule until 1991.
Supposedly some of Rasputin's member was removed and preserved at Kunstkamera and continues to make news of the weird at exhibitions. He was said to have a strange power over women, not unlike the vampires of modern literature, but judge for yourself.
There are many sites in Saint Petersburg associated with books by Dostoevsky. Here is the door to the apartment where Raskolnikov lived.
Guess what? He is not there anymore. :) Don't go knocking on doors, new people live in the apartments now and they don't appreciate your curiosity. :)
Go see the Dostoevsky museum instead.
Besides, Raskonikov would be at the bar, not at home. You can feel his presence in any small neighborhood alkogolik bar in town.
"Raskolnikov was not used to crowds, and, as we said before, he avoided society of every sort, more especially of late. But now all at once he felt a desire to be with other people. Something new seemed to be taking place within him, and with it he felt a sort of thirst for company. He was so weary after a whole month of concentrated wretchedness and gloomy excitement that he longed to rest, if only for a moment, in some other world, whatever it might be; and, in spite of the filthiness of the surroundings, he was glad now to stay in the tavern."
From Chapter 2 "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoevsky.
Don't miss the smallest dog
The Petersburg Orchid is the world's smallest breed of dog. It might look more like a kitten at first glance in the owner's hand. Or a very large hamster. :)
But is is a real dog.
We have seen several in the center of Saint Petersburg.
In years past you usually saw large dogs in Saint Petersburg. Big strong working dogs. That fit the soviet ideal. But also it is very impractical to live with a big dog in a small urban apartment.
Now smaller dogs may be seen. And with luck, the world's smallest can be added to the sights you see in Saint Petersburg. :)
Here is a recent release, Ballets Russes, a documentary of how Russian ballet got transplanted to France and throughout the world through a group of young ballet dancers who became the darling of the dance world.
Great documentary with extensive interviews of original dancers and vintage footage of their adventures aroudn the world. I learned much and have more appreciation for ballet from this movie.
The Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg has top ballet festivals and performances. It is available on DVD and is showing in art and independent movie houses.
Here is a recent release, Ballets Russes, a documentary of how Russian ballet got transplanted to France and throughout the world through a group of young ballet dancers who became the darling of the dance world. Great documentary with extensive interviews of original dancers and vintage footage of their adventures aroudn the world. I learned much and have more appreciation for ballet from this movie. The Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg has top ballet festivals and performances. It is available on DVD and is showing in art adn independent movie houses.
Real folk dances and festivals are a little obscure to find in the city.
There are the reviews made for tourists in the center, but to find groups from a village that still retain their old traditions requires a more careful scan of the calendar listings.
This group was in a park on Ostrov Krestovsky celebrating the Day of Russian Birch Tree in song and dance.
Troitsa is celebrated 50 days after Easter, usually in June.
On Troitsa the houses are usually decorated with fresh green branches. The maiden's clothes are put on the young birch-trees and songs and dances round the birch-trees take place. The garlands made of birch branches and flowers are put into water for fortune-telling.
The city of St. Petersburg spent big money to build a new toilet near Gorkovskaya Metro. It is finished in gray marble and has a flat area for cafe on top.
All this luxury can be had for just 10 rubles.
But for some the call of nature will always be answered better and for free at the tree for free.
Thanks are due to the city government for making WC signs to direct people to the new WC so no one will go at the wrong tree!
The Wedding Palace.
Americans generally can only be married to a Russian in the Wedding Palace onteh Anglisky Embankmanet, (The Steiglitz Palace).
Russian citizens can be marreid at their local ZAGs office in civil ceremony or wedding palace. Generally, only Russian citizens belonging to teh Russian Orthodox Church can marry inteh Orthodox Churches.
See our travelogue for more information and photos.
At a cafe known as the Idiot Cafe in St Petersburg, located near Moika and St Issac's Cathedral, they gave me a free shot of vodka for breakfast every morning.
Please note that you have to pay for water :)
Of course! Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art, is all over the world, so why not in Petersburg? When I was there for the summer I managed to find a group to practice with. At the time they were at a gym near Viborgskaya metro, but it changes a lot. In the summer, they would meet around 15:00 on Sundays near the helicopter field on the island where the Peter-Paul fortress is located. They're great people, working really hard to improve and find an official group to join. It's lots of fun, but you'll need to know some Russian to get in touch w/them.
Most weekends during the summer, there seems to be a mass exodus from the city, with Petersburgians going out to their dachas (summer homes) in the forested areas outside the city to relax, pick mushrooms, go swimming, sunbathe, and most importantly - to breathe fresh air. If you are lucky enough to be invited out to a dacha, you should go, it's a nice break from the city. But remember your bug repellent! The mosquitos can be awful.
It was interesting to look at the most ancient gold of the world! That only ancient people from him did! Now, from the Hermitage it have taken away there where have found to Siberia, but it was really interesting .