Oto in Motherland: a (huge) photo log

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Postby Otohiko » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:27 pm

Back alleys
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*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:27 pm

Back at the canal
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Tuborg bottle
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Tuborg bottle and her twins
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Bridge
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*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:28 pm

Griboedov Canal
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Cobblestone bridge
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Sennaya Square, recently rebuilt with brand-spanking-new shopping centres
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And an old re-built chapel
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*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:28 pm

The massive new trade complex
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View from same point left – far less shiny!
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Hey Jasper,
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This says “Jasper” >___>

My 3 favorite buildings at the Fontanka
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Back alley
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*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:33 pm

Street
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Fontanka river
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A cute teenage couple!
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They’re apparently fans of a very popular but intelligent rock band from St. Petersburg, PilOt, which I like a lOt myself.
Aw.
Greatly approved! :D

A link to PilOt's song about St. Petersburg from their official site:
http://pilot.infobox.ru/mp3/war/war___02.mp3

The lyrics actually resonate a lot with my own impressions of many poorer areas of the city:

translated from Russian wrote:
PilOt - Piter

If it became apparent, that the sun
Is rolling off the edge of the earth
That means this city will soon wake up,
Come out

To take a walk through the trodden mud
Beside the beer stalls and the old bath house
Enchanted by October
And then

Beside the smoked-out grim women
Shuffling to their homes
Carrying their happyness in bags
For those fuckers to eat

Throwing around the remains of swearwords
Hunching over in the cold wind
It won't be hard to guess
That you're in Piter

---

Here it's easy to confuse sky and earth
Angels and beasts
Here on the corner of Stepanov-Skvortzov
It's always an open house

Here the price on the knees of girls
Was written in a diary in the morning
Here, the palaces of clinics have covered
The bones of those lying in earth

Here winds blow out the frost
From waists and sleeves
Here, perhaps, Peter the Great
Went batshit from the mosquitoes

Look at the diamonds in store windows
And the hunger of those who won the war
Where everyone spits on everything off a high steeple
Tell me? Only in Piter

---

Here, winter wet its feet
Coming down with flu, like the rest
Here, a janitor can become a rock star -
Quite easily

Here, street trash was replaced by bandits
And well-fed laundresses substitute kings
And besides poems written on walls -
Phone numbers of sluts

Walk past the eternal fortress
Where they cured people with stakes
Beside the red-brick prison
That married a maternity ward

In the golden glow of churches
It stands on the swamp land in shit
Here, I was born in '72
And yet I still live, in Piter


Fontanka
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*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:33 pm

Remember that thing people threw money on from a bridge?
Well, I still can’t get a coin on it – but someone managed to even get a beer can there! :shock:
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The smoke stacks that were seen above those 3 buildings before
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Neat artsy graffiti with historical references, apparently
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I looked at it too hard, however, since I slipped and fell then and there, by some miracle not damaging my camera
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…to be honest I think the beer might have had something to do with it :roll:

*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:34 pm

Zebra blocks!
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Which is the right way up here?
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Vitebsky Train Station
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The towering smoke stacks of a power plant in the distance
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*to be continued*

And now it's time for another regularly-scheduled pause! :P
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:00 pm

And now for a more short-ranged departure out of town. On my mother’s insistence (she was/is in Canada), my grandfather and I were to check up on her grandparents’ grave at the cemetery just outside town. So, off we went to Pargolovo, the rather nearby suburb.

A statue of Lenin near the highway in Pargolovo
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Pargolovo, highway
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Walkway leading downhill
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Russian suburbs
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The Russian concept of suburbs, at least so far (and it’s changing) is a bit different from the American one. Virtually the entire city’s population and workforce lives in high-rises. Suburbs is more like a village. Besides limited numbers of the rich elite, there’s very few of them typical well-equipped suburban homes with satellite TV and neatly-trimmed lawns.

Rails near Pargolovo station
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Amusing Oto fact:
That one recurring nightmare I might have mentioned, about me being killed by a train, takes place (supposedly) just further up the rails, still visible in the picture.
I guess I passed this area a lot back in the day…

*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:02 pm

Pargolovo station
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AHA! A bus stop
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What’s so “AHA”? Well, this is a bus stop left over from Soviet times. Within the city limits, they’ve been replaced by more modern, fiberglass-made stops. But here in the suburbs, they remain authentic.

Sky over Pargolovo
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Passing a field of cabbage
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Sun and clouds
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*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:04 pm

Northern Cemetery, Pargolovo

Selling wreaths and flowers at the cemetery gate.
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Yet more of the sky.
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Right at the entrance.
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The Northern Cemetery is one of the two large and currently-active public cemeteries in St. Petersburg (the other one being, surprise surprise, Southern Cemetery). I’ve never been to Southern Cemetery but what I’ve heard about it makes me like Northern better. Northern is sort of like a forest and bush with graves tucked into it; it’s a HUGE plot and it’s very quiet. Southern is more the typical huge field.

I loathe cemeteries, I really do, but the forested types I loathe least. The only cemetery I’ve ever liked was the the Lutheran Smolenskoe cemetery on Vasilievsky Island, which I unfortunately didn’t visit this time around – though I hear it’s not as fun anymore as it’s been cleaned up. It has these HUGE monuments, a lot of them set up for German nobility, most of which were in a state of ruin, overgrown and with trees falling all around them. I guarantee there is not another cemetery in the world that’s nearly as creepy and awesome as Smolenskoe.

Otherwise, yea. I loathe cemeteries; I likewise loathe the idea of cremation. I honestly wish I die in a way that doesn’t require funeral arrangements, heh. I think I’ve done this rant for a few people before, so I’ll spare the rest of you the graphic details of how I’d prefer my remains should be disposed of when the time comes :roll:

Gravestones in the forest
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Obviously taken from the wrong side as the faces are oriented away from me.

The right side:
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Quite quaint. Certainly a good point – at least this indeed looks like “resting in peace”, not some of the nightmarish urban cemeteries that I’ve seen that are something of a cross between a park and a shopping mall :roll:

*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:05 pm

Abandoned monuments
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Sad. I can tell these have not been visited for years.

Trash
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Brothers
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And here we are at the site.
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This, mind you, is after nearly an hour of walking through the graveyard – it’s that huge.

A rock.
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Or is it?
I was told a story by my relatives after stepping on that rock once. Apparently this is a gravestone of a woman whose family could not afford a proper monument. Looking at the way it seems to be in its own separate plot, that certainly makes sense. Again, very sad.

*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:06 pm

Some of the other ‘neighbours’
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There! We’re done our handiwork. Took us a while to clean and fix everything up.
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It was cloudy for most of the day, but just as we left and I turned around to take one last look, that ray of sunlight you see fell on the grave. I personally felt very good about it.

A less forested area of the cemetery
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Back on the bus
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“Beware of dog”
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More accurately, the Russian version of this is “Warning – angry dog!”

*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:08 pm

Getting off the commuter train at Shuvalovo, a nearer suburb
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Train leaving
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Shuvalovo/Ozerki. Well-known lakes at which many of the old nobility’s (and new rich elite’s) dachas stand
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Picturesque
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A new home stylized to look like the old.
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Aside from the obvious lavishness, a sign that this is not a poor man’s home is the high, solid fence. Whoever lives there clearly has something to fear for; unlike the West where people have no problem with keeping wealthy houses in the open, in Russia they are uniformly fortresses – this is one of the less impressive ones. Some have two layers of concrete fencing and/or private guards with dogs.

*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:08 pm

The far less wealthy – DIRECTLY across the road from the building in the previous picture :o
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Again to illustrate that weird socioeconomic contrast

Bottles
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And there’s that funky (and very clear) transition from suburban to urban
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*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

Postby Otohiko » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:08 pm

The Vyborg highway
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Tram line at the edge of town
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Buildings at the edge of Composers’ Street
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Beer ads.
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Alcohol addiction, the eternal plague of Russia. More people die of alcohol-related causes each year in Russia than of any other cause (and possibly of all other causes combined). No, I’m not exaggerating.

Inside the typical residential blocks; service building and flower beds
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*to be continued*
Otohiko
 
Joined: 05 May 2003

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