St. Petersburg: Oleg was walking along Nevsky with his friends. He said he is a vocalist in a metal core band. However, the band is 'having some issues,' he said.
St. Petersburg: Alan, 32, and Gulnaz, 30, traveled to St. Petersburg from Moscow for Alan's music performance in a circus. When asked how they met, Alan said Gulnaz was sharing an apartment with a girl friend of his violinist. Gulnaz grew up in Ufa and made a documentary film about the plane crash over Europe that killed more than a hundred people from Ufa, including many school children. She said the film was shown at a foreign film festival.
St. Petersburg: Evgeny, 18, was walking with a new acquaintance outside a popular St. Petersburg mall. Hair slicked back and sporting a long coat, Evgeny said he liked the fashion style of 1920s American gangster figures as portrayed in films. Evgeny works in a restaurant and said he likes to spend his free time walking around St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg: I passed Palace Square and the Hermitage at 4:30 am on a Monday morning. As I did so, I saw some people on the square and got out to find out who they are and what they were doing. Anastasia, 39, was dressed in a yellow outfit and walking with a group. An office worker, Anastasia said she was celebrating her son's high school graduation.
St. Petersburg: I passed 24 yo Yulia three days in a row as she stood in her costume in the center of St. Petersburg. Yulia, like so many others I met in Russia's second city, said she moved here 4 years ago after falling in love with St. Petersburg's architecture. ''It is so romantic,'' she said of the city. Raised in Murmansk, Yulia studied accounting at an institute in her hometown and worked in her profession. However, she was bored by the routine work and quit. For the past month, she has been working at a restaurant, handing out flyers on the street and entertaining children inside the restaurant. Yulia, who likes to read and write poetry in her free time, says its a temporary job until she 'finds herself.’ However, she is enjoying herself in the meantime she says. People happily stop to photograph with her, she said. ‘’I am happy that I have a fun job that pays well,’’ she said.
St. Petersburg: Alisa, 29, was sitting on her foldable bicycle, waiting for her friend Sasha. Alisa was carrying her painting gear on her back. She said she was going to paint the St. Petersburg cityscape with her friend. Born and raised in Rostov, Alisa moved to St. Pete several years ago in part because of the city’s beauty. Alisa is an architect as are both her father and brother. Sasha is also an architect as are his sister, dad, aunt, grandmother and grandfather. Sasha said his dad and grandfather also paint because they were limited in their architectural creativity during Soviet times.
St. Petersburg: These twins from Murmansk were rollerbladding together in front of the Hermitage. Yulia and Masha, 21, just graduated a St Petersburg university with a degree in conflict resolution and multimedia. They are now trying to decided what they want to do next. Yulia said that conflict resolution isn't well developed in Russia, so they will likely pursue work in multimedia.
St. Petersburg: Svetlana, 22, was hanging out on Nevsky Prospect listening to street musicians with a dozen other 20 year olds. Svetlana, who just graduated with a degree in psychology, said she knows the musicians and comes to listen to them.
St. Petersburg: Elizaveta, 22, and her mom Vera were walking along Nevsky Propect when their colorful clothing caught my eye. Elizaveta, who grew up in the Far East province of Kamchatka across from Alaska and moved to St. Petersburg to study, said she has had a pretty exciting summer so far. In addition to finishing her law degree, she got married a few weeks ago. She will be moving to Estonia with her husband.
St. Petersburg: 'Brooklyn' clothing store in St Petersburg specializes in American clothing like Levis and Dickies. Brooklyn was opened by Artem, a 39 year-old local businessmen, about two years ago. Artem said he was involved in oil and gas and traveled often to Huston, sometimes stopping in NYC, explaining how he came up with the name. Since 'Brooklyn' was opened, the US dollar has nearly doubled versus the Russian ruble, making such clothes as Levis and Dickies twice as expensive. Thus, 'Brooklyn' has added Russian made clothing, including bow ties. Artem, who has spent some time in Brooklyn, would like to open an old-school gym in St Petersburg like Brooklyn's Gleason's, where there are Russia-born trainers. He explained his reasoning by saying that boxing - as well as a healthy lifestyle in general - has become more popular in recent years.