Thursday, February 16, 2012

First day in Saint Petersburg

Marie-Claire and I arrived in Saint Petersburg on Wednesday.  We are here to do 4 talks for the Center for Independent Social Research. The flight from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg was barely an hour long.  Had I known, i would have taken the train instead!  maybe next time.

After so many years of imagining Russia, it has been such an adventure to actually set my feet there. 

The differences were apparent in the airport itself (at least when it came to the challenge of getting money). 

Don't get me wrong: I had no problem FINDING a bank machine.  The challenge was deciphering the words given my clear inadquacies with the Russian alphabet!

The amazing part was that i managed to overcome those inadequacies, and end up with a fistfull of rubles!

Elena and Alex (who are with the Centre) met us at the airport, and drove us into town.  Sweet of them!

Dostoyevsky's Cathedral by day...

I love our hotel... it is located at an intersection with 5 corners. 

The intersection is referred to (of course) as "Best Corner", which makes it only logical that we are staying that the "Best Corner Hotel".

An a fabulous place it is:  just minutes from the Dostoyevsky statue, the St. Nikolas Cathedral (where Dostoyevsky worshipped), and the house where Dostoyevsky wrote "The Brothers Karamazov".

the cathedral by night...
Further, it is apparently a short walk to the Hermitage (where i hope to spend a day or two wandering the halls, looking at art). 

Outside the Best Corner Hotel

But we can find 'art' even closer.  Consider this bit of street art on the wall just outside our hotel.

I am not sure actually how to answer the question posed. 

I mean, i do 'know' who Bansky is (ie "Exit Through the Giftshop"), but i don't know him (her?) personally... nor am I sure if the question is really a request for information, or something else.

Nor am I sure if this stencil actually "IS" a Bansky, or just an other answering piece of street art (which means 'in the spirit of Bansky?')

 Either way, it is one piece of signage in this city that I can actually understand, which makes it something of a treat for me!  ;-)


  1. Bansky?

    Couldn't resist going to look and see who he is,


  2. Rebecca?

    As well, I went to the "spirit of Bansky" link in your post. I don't know if I could identify him again, but I am pretty sure I saw a guy with the same haircut when I was down in Camden Town.


  3. I hope this means you've seen the Bansky simpsons intro

    I think maybe you showed it to me!!

    hurrah for onion domes!


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