Enjoying Life in St. Petersburg
Trip Start Jun 05, 2007
17Trip End Aug 01, 2007
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First there are some from Smolny Cathedral. This is a former convent/cathedral complex (all sky blue and white) which now houses various things, including the institute where I took my Russian classes three years ago. In 2004, the cathedral itself was covered in scaffolding while they were doing renovations, so it was nice to see the actual building this time. I also went up to the top where you get some great views of the city -- pretty far away from St. Isaac's, which is another cathedral with great views of the city from the top, so you get some different perspectives.
There is also a park along Nevsky Prospekt (in front of the Alexandrinksy Theater) where I sat for a while. There were several benches occupied by people playing chess, so I went to watch at the one which seemed to have the most (around 5 or so) spectators. I remember this from previous years here in St. Pete (I even played some speed-chess with a guy for a dollar a couple times, which I quickly lost) and it was always fun to watch. The same can be said for this time -- there is constant talk amongst both participants in the game and the spectators. Not quite trash talk, but each player commenting on the others' moves, quipping clever phrases, etc. and the spectators telling the players where they should go, or saying "good move," "bad move," "don't be afraid, we're here beside you," and many other things.
Mahbod arrives here tomorrow and will be in Russia with me for two weeks.