-----From St. Petersburg Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia - May 1, 2000 - By Vladimir Nedelski
Editor's Note: What an unusual coincidence that on May Day, Ensign received this message from the former Petrograd, then Leningrad, now called by its original name "St. Petersburg". Oddly enough Vladimir did not include a valid email addess in his message but he has included his postal address and his telephone number. Since these appear valid it seemed important for us to publish his letter so that you might consider his message. The only changes made to Vladimir's text has been the imposition of paragraph breaks to make it easier to read on your screen.
  Let's me from Russia wish to readers of your newspaper well-being and hapiness.
I'm 43 years old and I live in Saint-Petersburg - the former capital of Russia. I'm not married and work as a designer.
  I want to know what your readers think about Russia and Russian people.
And from myself and from many inhabitans of Saint Petersburg I want to say: "Let's communicate direct". May be you want to interchange by ideas, suggestions; to be friends; to come to us during vacation; to exchange by stamps, coins, phone cards, badges; to find joint business; to meet for friendship and marriage; to get instant information about life in Russian (politicians and events...).
  I'd like to receive an answer from readers of your newspaper who is interested in. I'll be glad to meet with single woman who needs approval.
  Also I'd like to know what your readers think about the following: what intelligentsia of Russia, Sain-Petersburg must do in order to build such democratic state as yours? The matter is the people and the government have nothing in common. Corruption, theft, murders of opponents, total deception of people... I, as an inhabitant of Russia, can difficult understand why not helping to common people of Russia in building democracy.
  We ask you to help in restoration democratic administration in Saint-Petersburg. Say how to live in the city where rights of people are violated. Residents of the city live in the beggary but the money which administration of city get from abroad disappear in unknown direction. We, residents of Saint-Petersburg, want you to help us to build the structure of people administration such as in your beautiful country.
  And about my hobby. I'd like to gather collection of fire medals and fire metallic badges of different countries. May be somebody among readers of your newspaper have something and want to help me in collecting. I'll send in exchange the collection material from Russia. May be somebody have friends among firemans or can come to the Fire Department (Fire Museum or special shop) in order to inquire about fire medals and fire metallic badges. Fire metallic badges and medals you can send me with your wishes to my address:
  Vladimir Nedelski
P.O. Box 257
191025 Russia

+7 (812) 484-15-26
  Dear editor, I ask you to publish my letter in your newspaper, may be in reduction. If it's impossible then please tell to your Fire Department, Fire Museum or firemans you know about my wish to exchange by fire medals and badges.
About collaboration residents of Saint-Petersburg with residents of your country please tell to the special organisations of people and adminitration which can really help us in reconstruction of order and democracy.
  Best regards,
Nedelski Vladimir
Editor's note:
Vladimir's message provoked my curiousity to find out a little more about this city that I remember from Tolstoy and the horrible account of its struggle during World War II, what is it like now. Below are some web sites that might help us all find out more about the place. The only warm water port that stayed open all year for Northern and White Russia.
  This first reference is the work of Harry Meyer and has a collection of things that tell about the city and conditions there including holidays and important events (today, May day is a holiday in St. Petersburg)
  A Fresh Guide to St. Petersburg - This is an interesting summary of things "Times are tough in Russia. Precious few people have all the money, and they certainly aren't spending it on improving the roads or public services. As a tourist here for only a couple of days it might seem that St. Petersburg is in a state of elegant decay, but from the inside there's nothing elegant about it. It can be frustrating being away from western conveniences like hot water and peanut butter for great periods of time. Still, some people do chose to live here. "
  St Petersburg at your fingertips - this is a rather tourist oriented but informative site about the city. the pictures used at the top of this page were gleaned from this site.
  Here is a live camera looking at St. Isaac's Cathedral with the temperature posted beside the current picture. Only 3C there today.
  The St. Petersburg Times - This is an English language news paper in St. Petersburg and it has local and internation stories on their web site, you will notice they pay considerable attention to hockey.
  St. Petersburg Picture Gallery - If you would like to look around the place this great web site has loads of excellent pictures in each season and of the major sites visitors want to see.
  If you want something short and to the point check out this reference in the Electric Library Encylopedia.com.