Category Archives: Photos

What I’m going to miss seeing on a regular basis

Veteran street musicians

minor acts of vandalism on monuments

Kazanskii Sobor

The Gulf of Finland

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

The Neva


Vera, my Russian sister

my friends

Pastel colored buildings


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Rasputin was hung like a horse

The other day, a group of us went to the Erotica Museum after school to check out Rasputin’s embalmed chlen – member. I use the word “museum” in the loosest possible sense — it’s a couple of glass cases filled with genitalia shaped into fun figurines and Rasputin’s pickled dick, which is the main exhibit. It’s also located in the Prostate Center (and I think AIDS clinic?) , so while we’re there, giggling, there are people sitting, waiting to get tested for STDs and prostate issues.

I also highly doubt this thing is real. There is a major loophole in their story. Even if a couple of robbers decided to chop off Rasputin’s weiner, they’d have to immediately preserve it, or else, well it’d dry out or rot. And formaldehyde isn’t really a household item. It’s probably a sea-cucumber or something. All the same, it’s still kind of a shock/absolutely hilarious to see a 30cm and two-fist thick dick in a jar.

Rasputin was really popular with the ladies though - they'd literally line up just to sleep with him.

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the top of the caucasus - we hiked up there.

4 days on a train — an interesting experiment in itself. On the two days there, we were lucky enough to have two babushki with us to protect us from a rowdy, drunk man from the Moscow circus. And on the two days back, the train cabin was filled with rows of not-so-great smelling Russian men, a crazy woman, and some drunk chuvaks.

But the total 96 hours on a train were worth it for the 6 days we spent in Sochi. ACTR really outdid themselves on this long trip. Sochi was a beautiful change of scenery from Petersburg, which still has traces of winter remaining. There wasn’t the oppressing smell of cigarette smoke and industrial smog, and everything was shockingly green (there still are barely any leaves in Petersburg)

The Moscow resident-director led us on a couple of hikes up parts of the Caucasus. The first hike we went on, we climbed (read: struggled) up a part of the mountain to find a status of Prometheus and then climbed down (read: struggled some more) to take a delightful bath in an icy-cold waterfall. The next day, we walked up 7.5 miles to the top of Mount Akhun to see a breath taking view of Abkhazia (no longer part of Georgia). My favorite excursion, however, was when we went to Krasnaya Polyana and went to the top of a mountain on a ski lift. Pictures and words cannot do it justice.

A Russian woman badgered us to take our shirts off and wouldn't leave us alone until we showed her pictures of ourselves with our shirts off.

Now it is off to Moscow in a couple of days for Victory Day/Den’ Pobedy (День Победы). 8 hours on an overnight train to Moscow, 48 hours in Moscow, 8 hours back. I will be celebrating the 65th anniversary of the ass-kicking of Nazi Germany in high-fallutin’ Russian style. Moscow, get ready to rumble.

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Wait a minute…

One of the horse tamers

The Anchikov bridge, which crosses the Fontanka, is flanked by the Horse Tamers — four horse sculptures with their respective tamers. I usually pass them without giving a second look — Piter has spoiled me, and I no longer am amazed by beautiful sculptures, art, or architecture. However, the other day, one of my friends on the program told me that one of the horses has a person’s face in place of testicles. “Face balls!” he said.

Wait, face balls?

Yes, face balls.

Can you see it?

There are a lot of rumors surrounding who the face is supposed to be. One says that the face is the artist’s arch-nemesis. Others say that it’s Tsar Nicholas I. Some even say that it’s supposed to be Napoleon.

Just another reason why I’m loving it here.

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Pushkin… For the Birds

Pushkin is a nice little perch for the birds

“Красуйся, град Петров, и стой
Неколебимо как Россия,
Да умирится же с тобой
И побежденная стихия;
Вражду и плен старинный свой
Пусть волны финские забудут
И тщетной злобою не будут
Тревожить вечный сон Петра!

Была ужасная пора,
Об ней свежо воспоминанье…
Об ней, друзья мои, для вас
Начну свое повествованье.
Печален будет мой рассказ.”

“Now, city of Peter, stand thou fast,
Foursquare, like Russia; vaunt thy splendor!
The very element shall surrender
And make her peace with thee at last.
Their ancient bondage and their rancors
The Finnish waves shall bury deep
Nor vex with idle spite that cankers
Our Peter’s everlasting sleep!

There was a dreadful time, we keep
Still freshly on our memories painted;
And you, my friends, shall be acquainted
By me, with all that history:
A grievous record it will be.”
– “Медный Всадник” – The Bronze Horseman

The Russian Museum


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