St. Petersburg Russia ... on the way to the Harmony Conference
 
If you have not seen the Mikhail Barishnikov-Gregory Hines movie White Nights ... you probably want to see it ... if you have ... see it again. It is 25-29 May, 2012, and we are experiencing the white nights in every sense except the Soviet one. This is definitely a post Soviet society ...
 
Gulf of Finland approaching St. Petersburg Gulf of Finland approaching St. Petersburg
   
One leaves the US to fly into what for my generation is only a few small steps removed from the Cold War Soviet Union .... reality could not be further removed from such assumption.

First let's build a foundation for this discourse.

The pictures you are going to see here are not everything I shot ... to do that would require many GB of images. And I have not included more than a handful of pictures of art objects such as paintings or scultpure as they can be better viewed in person or in a library book. Rather these pictures have been culled from the thousands taken because they, I hope, show Russia as something far different from what I expect most people think it is.

But before viewing this small selection of experiences and comments ... if you want to go to St. Petersburg Russia, and I would hope everyone would, you want to do it the right way ... and for that I highly recommend the following:

1. Contact Russia Express
2. Ask for Dasha and work with her
3. Request Anna Mazenkova as your guide

You will be grateful you did. And if you need to ask "why" email me.
Russia on the approach to St. Petersburg  
 
St. Petersburg on approach to Pulkovo Airport
 

This could be anywhere ... almost any major city on the planet. You have to be paying attention to know where you are.
 
Jaguars and Land Rovers on sale next door to the Volvo dealership In Nurnberg it was a Burger King ... here it is McDonalds ... the message is the same
 
This is about the only visible sign that there was ever a Soviet Union ... you needed a microscope to find evidence that such an entity ever existed. To our eyes and ears there was the Czarist past ... then a 90 year gap ... then the present. No different from what sees in the Baltics, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and other's sharing some part of that common history.
   
By pure coincidence ... arriving in St. Petersburg
just in time for the 209th anniversary celebration
This picture is here not because there is anything remarkable in it.
Rather it is here because there is nothing remarkable in it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
Phonetic Russian Signage ... "STOP". Finally my college Russian pays off No fires, skiing, speeches, and most importantly no jumping off of buildings
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Stretch limos, stretch Hummers: Obnoxious in any country The only thing "red" ... the CocaCola logo
 
   
 
Gondolier on the lake at Pushkin If protesters are ever looking for a source of bricks ... this is the promised land
 
Dasha Anatoli teaching high speed offensive driving ... he was brilliant
   
A small dinner entre Anna w/ Helen Anna w/ Dan
 
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