A loft in the south of Petersburg
Рарк в небе or a park in the sky, this is what этажи лофтрроект (etaji loftprojekt) promises. There are also galleries and an exhibition of Dutch artists. Larissa and her friend Marina want to meet there and take me with them.
Dutch art in the dark
In the loft we find the exhibition “Shadow Boxing”. It turns out be not “shadow” boxing, but boxing in the dark. We get small flash lights and dive into a totally dark room. We set out with our flash lights to uncover what might be there. We find large pictures, one showing Adam (he is black and strong) and Eva (she is white and fragile). what might this mean? The white race dying out? The pictures look threatening and are hard to decipher. There are also sculptures, one of them a wooden roof and a dead body hanging over it, with his brush still in his hands. Hm… Larissa and Marina mumble about Dutch humor and that Petersburg has a special relationship with the Netherlands. Right, since Peter the Great.
Now we are hungry. There is a terrasse with tables made from cable reels. We order some drinks, spaghetti, salad and okroschka. We wait for half an hour, then we receive our drinks. We wait for another hour, and then receive spaghetti… there is no okroschka left. in Russian дождемся means to wait until the very end and then get something. Well, I waited and did not get anything. This is less than “дождемся”. Larissa and Marina shared their Spaghetti with me, how kind.
The park in the sky – парк в небе
But, where is the park in the sky? We see people on the roof of this loft building. We find a cashier, who makes us pay and sign a document. We find a balcony, and from there plain iron ladders dauntingly poiniting to the roof, here on the fourth or fifth floor, with the streets below us. This is why we had to sign! We carefully climb up those ladders, and find an extension of the restaurant on the roof (the food travels in a lift). Young people around us, stretching on matrasses. Cables on this roof – good that I am small enough to fit underneath. We are by far the oldest guests, particularly me, the baby boomer – being frowned at by the younger folks around us. The view of Petersburg is spectactular, sure – but… this experience seems very Russian to me.
Thank you, Larissa and Marina, for this very Russian experience.
Later I read that the Lonely Planet recommends the Loft Project Etagi as “one of the city’s coolest galleries”. Oh yes, it is surely cool and unconventional. And it does not come without adrenalin.