NIZHNY NOVGOROD: I was walking along Nizhny Novgorod's riverside at 5:30 pm when I saw Yura and Sergei playing their guitars. "We are just sitting, playing for ourselves," they told me. I chatted about 15 minutes with them and left to finish photographing the city. Yura told me they would be sitting her til sunset and that it was worth coming back to photograph it. I walked around for 3 hours and found myself back at the same spot right after sunset. The boys were still there, but were packing up their guitars. I ran over to get a last shot of them against the sky. Yura was right, it was worth coming back to photograph. To see some photos of Nizhny Novgorod, please click here.
SAMARA: It was a pretty amazing site....the sun was covering the Frozen Volga with a bright light on a late morning... when in the distance, a darkish figure was moving quickly across the white mass. It was someone riding a bike across the frozen river. I ran back toward the stairs leading to the Volga to catch Alexander getting off his bike. He said he lives on the other side of the Volga and crosses 5 times a week to clean snow off roofs. Alexander said he was on his way to work. I asked if it were difficult to bike across the ice. He answered that it was easy as he has been doing it for so long.
SAMARA: Dmitry and Sveta were walking along the frozen Volga River on Woman’s Day, far from the rest of the holiday goers that were enjoying the beautiful sunset. Dmitry, who works for a local power company, said he met Sveta at a New Year’s eve costume party in the Samara suburbs to ring in 2014. He was dressed as a martian and she was dressed as a robot…
SAMARA: This couple was returning home on Woman's Day from their walk across the frozen Volga with their 8 month-old dog. They said it only took about 15-20 minutes to make the cross, which others complete via a boat ride across the ice. They said their daughter has been living in Los Angeles for the last three years with her Russian husband, having opened a music retail store.
Ksenia and Danil, 14, were walking along the frozen Volga in Samara around sunset time on Woman's Day. Danil had given her five tulips, red and yellow, but Ksenia left them at a cafe fearing they would freeze if she took them on their Volga River walk. Both teenagers study English 6 times a week at an advanced high school and both have studied English abroad, Ksenia having spent 3 weeks in upstate New York. Danil would like to be a chemist while Ksenia said she would like to become an engineer. When I asked them what is lacking in Samara, they were quick to answer: ''We want a Starbucks in the middle of the city,'' said Danil. ''It is the best coffee in the world,'' chimed in Ksenia. Starbucks is in fact opening at the moment their first store in Samara, but it is located at the airport, a good 30 minutes from the center of town.