Most websites and city guides try to make things easy for their users. This one does not.
In fact, it deliberately sets out to lead its visitors astray, to tempt them down unknown paths, to plunge them into the thick of the St Petersburg fog. In short, to get them well and truly lost.
If this is not your idea of how best to get to know the city, then I apologize. You'll find help elsewhere. But if you're still with me, then read on for a moment.
On this website I've tried to capture the feeling of exploring, with only occasional glances at a map, an unknown or partially known city. Its impulse is the liberating moment when the new arrival in a city steps out of his/her room with the idea of 'just wandering' - and plunges into the neighbouring streets, trusting to his/her own sense of direction and interest rather than the nannying navigation given by a map or guidebook.
For this reason, the site perversely has no clearly visible structure - no navigation providing easy access to categories such as sights, architecture, accommodation, history, 'things to do', and so on. Such categories make life too straightforward; and in a city such as St Petersburg nothing can be straightforward.
In fact, the very essence of St Petersburg is its warped sense of direction. Its streets may be straight, but the path you take through them is bound to be anything but, as you are deflected this way and that by chance encounters and events, headlong plunges into history and myth, and harrowing or hilarious brushes with the city's literature, a body of texts and characters which are almost as real as the city itself. Which is to say, not very real at all.
This site sets out to capture the above experience. Take care!
To move from one page to the next, use either a) the site name to get back to the home page, where there is a full list of entries, or b) the four points on the compass symbol (North and South are generally pages with a direct thematic or semantic connection to the page you're on; East and West are diversions to more obliquely connected themes).