Leningrad in fall of 2016. Part 1. Arrival.

Saint-Petersburg caught me for the first time in 2015 and, obviously, he did an absolutely stunning impression on me.

I felt kinda same cultural shock when I first visited Kiev, and as the result I wanted to recolate again.

Saint-Petersburg buys with its spread: if we're talking about bridges, there are kinda 500 (in reality there are 342; the number is monstrous, really); if we're talking about streets, it's arrow straight and 10 kilometers long.

The city is filled with hookers ads (I've met something similar in Ukraine in yellow papers in a heavily veiled form in dating section). Locals are very reverent to their history, and in particular, to Siege. It is as sacral as Holocaust.

“Citizens! This side of street is more dangerous during shelling”.

“This lettering is leaved here in memory of heroism and courage of Leningrad citizens during 900 days of Siege.”

This city is fanatic even about food. Last year I mentioned large number of sushi and wok-restaurants and cafés. This year locals are fond of donuts. It's sold everywhere, it's cheap, fat and hearty.

The very first night puzzled me with difficult nature morte in the middle of the street. It's hard to imagine intensity of emotions behind this scene.

There weren't terrorist attacks here, like in Dnepropetrovsk, thus street urns are from concrete, and that's unusual.

Lots of broken glass.

Local citizens do everything with taste, even graffities. I hadn't understand a thing but I liked the calligraphy (or how it's called?).

“Not mine Yelstin”.

Russian Amsterdam, Venice-lite. However the comparison is more like an insult.

Triumphal arc of General Staff Building is stunning. However, it's all stunning in this town.

In the very center of capital of Ukraine, hero-city Kiev, walk animators dressed like Sponge Bob, Scrat (from Ice Age) and other fauna. On main square of former capital of Russia, hero-city Leningrad, walk animators dressed like emperors and empress. Sapienti sat.

It's almost always cold in the city. Long straight streets produce permanent unpleasant wind (it also gets wet near the water).

“I'm cold”.

But locals are not quite bothered with this fact. It's very often scene of someone running. Not in sports outfit, not looking late. Just man or woman running, three in the morning, for example. Aboriginals insist that they are never in a rush. But run anyways. Even on their own wedding.

But Saint-Petersburg really doesn't hurry. The city had already made it on time.

“Happiness” is beyond.

It's kinda like Firenzé. Actually it's common misconception that the city is three stories tall.

It's not three stories tall. Not even four.

Probably it's gonna be opening for many, but famous skyscrapers in New York (or Las Vegas) make up a tiny fraction of the city. A much closer example is business cluster of Moscow City. It is enough to drive off five stations on subway and the city goes up dramatically with ugly paneled nine-Brezhnev era buildings and idiotic modern skyscrapers. It's good that the center is large, low, and tight.

The lights of our eyes shine day and night.

Tags: spb, photo