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A Spontaneous Weekend in St. Pete

Published: August 16, 2013 (Issue # 1773)



  • People slowly losing their memories under Fidels dusty lights on the infamous Dumskaya Ulitsa in St. Petersburg.
    Photo: Alexey Alexeev / Fidel Official

The decision to pack up and leave Moscow for a weekend in St. Petersburg is usually rather spontaneous and sometimes aided by copious amounts of drinking before getting on the train. So when you eventually wake up in St. Pete in the morning, you feel like a character in the famous New Year's Eve Soviet comedy "The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!"

After imbibing several coffees, you go for an obligatory stroll down Nevsky Prospekt and the canals. You could visit the Hermitage or the Russian Museum, but really you are better off taking an afternoon nap before getting on with what you really came here to do: party. The options are so numerous that you have to pick carefully.

First post-recovery stop was Mishka (40 Fontanka Naberezhnaya, +7-812- 643-2550 http://vk.com/mishkabar). This DJ bar right off Nevsky is rather small, but can boast great cocktails, including the famous Bloody Boyarsky, a local cocktail commemorating the famous actor Mikhail Boyarsky, a native of St. Petersburg himself. It's a mix of vodka, grenadine and tabasco sauce and a few too many of them can knock you out. Mishka Bar also has some good DJ sets. Check the schedule in advance.

When we walked out of Mishka bar and down Fontanka Naberezhnaya, some random car stopped at the curb in front of us and a very agitated young man with a sack made of newspapers jumped out. He held out the sack with the words, "sunflower seeds straight from Kuban, they are really awesome, take some!" Befuddled, we took a couple of handfuls. The guy got back in the car. And the sunflower seeds indeed turned out to be pretty good.

The highlight of the night was the summer residency of XXXX (6 Yuzhnaya Doroga, +7-812-929-1442) club on Krestovsky Ostrov. The venue is located right on the shore with beautiful views of boats rocking on the water. Mumiy Troll, probably Russia's most popular rock band, performed later that night, and they were amazing as always. After the concert the dancing started in earnest, and we were all having a great time.

A great time, that is, until one of my friends was led out of the club by the guards for trying to join in with the staff dance. We tried to explain that with a 4,000 ruble deposit per person it would be strange to expect your clients to be anything but trashed. In response to that, another friend got a kick in the teeth from one of the guards, and when we tried to protest we were told to "go the f*** back to Moscow."

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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