Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Tonight I am writing from the Capital of All the Russias, the Brasilia of the 18th century, St. Petersburg -- home of the Hermitage and insane cathedrals up the anus. AND HOOKERS!!! This week I'm in St. Petersburg, next week I'm in Berlin, for work. Not hookers.

And hookers like in 80's movies hookers. At my hotel. At my hotel, THE GODDAMN MARRIOTT. Hookers, dressed like 40 year old skanks in Catholic schoolgirl outfits, probably with PhDs in Dialectical Economics, WAVING and WINKING to all and sundry
(but especially South Korean Biz Dev cocksuckers and Marxist French Agronomists) in the bland business hotel lounge like some hottie in a POPEYE cartoon, only they are not so hot, and are depressing like Cancer. The disconnect, if you are a sociopath, is the hotties in Popeye cartoons are:

a) Sort of hot, as within the self-consistent Popeye universe, where Olive Oyl is considered hot.


b) Not three blocks away from the massive, terrifying, and gorgeous St. Isaac's Cathedral, Peter the Great's massive Imperial fuck you to Russian parochialism, and, I think, Jehovah. (Running from whores, you turn an unassuming corner, and BY THE HOLY FECES OF THE JESUS IMMACULATELY CONCEPTED, there is A DOME OF DOLLY PARTON MAGNITUDE, serving as a perch to the host of 50 Foot Archangels and Cuter Saints, who stand in a ring around the quadruple Z-cup Italianate dome, big enough that the bourses of distant Amsterdam and London would enlarge and engorge their credit ratings for the Hottie on the Neva, i.e. Holy Russia.)


c) Not hookers. Although, Wimpy would have done anything to anyone, if they had seen fit to furnish the funds for a hamburger today, which would then lead to a golden shower next Tuesday. But that was only implied because the Fleisher Brothers had something called taste, you Pulp Fiction-loving asshole.

Anyways, I'm having zakooska with workmates downstairs late night at the bar (in the fucking Marriott. How bland can a motherfucker get with a hotel chain?), which is the Russian equivilant of smorgasbord, only I guess that the major disconnect between zakooska and smorgasbord is the inclusion of, how you say, putas.

These women had the subtly of, I don't know, clinically insane people who are half way normally dressed who start talking to you about when Malcolm X appeared to them in a toilet stall at the Greyhound station as they rinsed out their wading boots while you wait for the bus to come. They wink. Who the hell winks. I got winked at tonight. WINKED, motherfucker. Last time I got winked at was by your grandma, and I do not mean anything sexual by that.

So, as to St. Petersburg itself... alternately transcendent aesthetic nirvana and the set of Kelly's Heroes. Everything historically worth saving, or new and financially profitable, is in immaculate shape; newer buildings look low-end Scandinavian and there more Mercedes here than I've seen in LA, easily. The banks of the Neva you'll find a stretch of perfect block long Palladian manors, in bright eggshell blues and chiffon yellow, extending for a dozen miles But, holy shit, everything else is a husk. If the Bronx were the size of London, and had equestrian statues and Russian orthodox cathedrals everywhere with gilded domes, it would look like St. Petersburg.

A illustrative case: earlier today, my first full day in St. P's, I went to an unnamed hugely historically significant Russian film studio for some work related hoo-ha. And the place looked like a crackhouse the size of the Louvre. Endless parallelogram hallways with light absorbing, pocked marked plaster walls painted the color green if the word "green" described the act of drowning puppies in the bile of war criminals.

But... big, huge but... the people are nicer than Canadians, they work hard, Jesus, they are rebuilding a continent-size country from scratch. So, golly, I'm some kind of an asshole. I also had the most amazing piroshski of my life, the Budweiser is the real Czech Budweiser (delicious) and really, St. Isaacs Cathedral is a balls out, kidney punching example of yes-I-am-a-giant-tasteless-monstrosity-fuck-you-beauty and I can see its swollen Italianate dome from my window, which I spent the first night gazing at, waiting for sleep. So, I'm conflicted. Lemme see more. I'll get back to you.

Labels: ,


Blogger MyLavaLife said...

People who are nicer than Canadians?? You're on drugs!

6:50 PM  
Blogger Crackpot Press said...

Good for you... keep your Balm-X handy who knows what you could catch going through that lobby?

10:19 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home