Thursday, March 11, 2010

3/10 St Petersburg: Adventures in downtown

Cousin Paul and I met for dinner at the restaurant Teplo. I love this place. They serve Russian "home cooking" in a relaxed homey atmosphere. High marks for food, service, ambiance, an artfully drawn scene in chocolate syrup, and a waitress who is studying Chinese.

I complimented Paul on his shirt, he told me with some disappointment that he and Annita got it in Italy. Paul says that in Russia, you can't find a good shirt in a normal size. For some reason they believe people who can afford a beautiful shirt should be fat.

When Olga, Maria, and Leonid finished meeting with a book editor/publisher, then came over to meet us. They are considering a project to scan, touch-up, organize, and share all of their historical photos. I asked enough questions to make them possibly reconsider if it's worth it at all :)

One thing I love about St Petersburg - and modern city living in general - is how people can impulsively come together. After overseeing a lecture at their Monochrome Loft, Konstantin and his coworkers Natasha and Dima joined us at the restaurant before we all separated again.

On the way home, Leonid got a panicked phone call that Konstantin had been taken away by the police. It was really amazing watching Leonid spring into action. He drove with purpose back towards the area where we had parted. In the end it was a misunderstanding - the police were just looking for a donation to their retirement fund and Konstantin's offense was in not offering it - but it was really impressive watching Leonid come to the rescue.

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