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Day Thirteen: St. Petersburg

August 13, 2006

Dedushka-Orange Bear keeps calling and asking that his hometown, St. Petersburg, be put on the list of thirty favorite places.

“I do not understand,” laments Yevgeny, “why it is not on list.”

Orange Bear counts to himself.

Nyet, nyet, nyet, do not put on list,” says Yevgeny. “Nyet. Bears on leashes in park. Terrible. Awful. You pay foul man to make bear dance…nyet, nyet. City is run-down. Do not put on list.”

Long pause.

“Would you like a minute, Dedushka?”

Founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great, St. Petersburg is a relatively young city by European standards ā€” even New York is older. Built on swampland and featuring over 60 rivers and canals, this planned city is often referred to as the “Venice of the North.” (The sobriquet is popular: Amsterdam, Stockholm, even Manchester all lay claim to the name. And, yes, it was in one of these canals that the infamous Rasputin met his demise.)

St. Petersburg is home to the legendary Winter Palace, Hermitage Museum, Kirov Ballet, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev ā€”

Da, da, Dostoevsky!” interrupts Yevgeny. “Ahh, Dostoevsky. I rest my cases. Put on list!”

(Snow in Petersburg and Fyodor.)

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