Russia: The Bucket List

Entering the Moscow Metro (courtesy of Emma Gallagher)

Touring the Famous Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro first hit the rails in 1935. Back then, there were only thirteen stations and not even seven miles of track. These days, the Metro ranks as one of the world’s top three busiest transits (Tokyo is an unstoppable first in that Read More

Catherine Palace Amber Room in Pushkin

Visiting Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia

I'm a child of the Cold War: An eastern European refugee father, elementary school air raid drills, the certainty that whether it be the Cuban Missile Crisis, Prague Spring, the Vietnam War, or socialist Nicaragua, the Commies were coming. So it Read More

Baltic Amber

What to Buy in Russia: Souvenir Shopping in St. Petersburg

Some 20 years after the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, I found  myself engaged in the most capitalistic of interactions: trying to figure out how many rubles equals how many dollars while negotiating the purchase of a pair of painted wooden Read More


St. Petersburg’s Peterhof by Hydrofoil

Summer in St. Petersburg: white nights, cruise ships, guided tours...  and crowds everywhere. Museum queues are reminiscent of bread lines during the Communist years, tour groups are marched through the palaces as if on a conveyor belt, and in some Read More