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Thread: Moscow versus Petersburg

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    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Moscow versus Petersburg

    Forgive me if this has come up before. I have never been to either city, but in my reading about Russia in the 19th century, more than once I have come across comparisons between the two places. Moscow was seen as truly Russian while Petersburg was more European, and people from the western city had a quite different view of life, manners and morals etc. compared to Moscovites. My question: Is there still today a sharp difference between Moscovites and Petersburgers or have things evened out since Anna Karenina was written?
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Miles
    My question: Is there still today a sharp difference between Moscovites and Petersburgers
    Of course not.
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Things have changed of course, but some rivalry exists even now. Both cities have become more cosmopolitan. In the times when St. Petersburg was the capital, Moscow was considered more provincial (by St. Petersburgers), now is the other way around (well, I'm a Moscovite ). St. Petersburg is called 'the northern capital' sometimes. And the St.Petersburgers often call their city 'the cultural capital'.
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    And the St.Petersburgers often call their city 'the cultural capital'.
    ... which actually is not true at all (but don't say that to St.Petersburgers!!! )
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Yep, they are a bit zealous about that
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    I am niether Moscovita nor Petersburger and I think that St. Petersburg is more beautiful from the architecture point of view. The buildings are decorated, more Europian in St/ P than in Moscow. Petergof, Pushkino, the cente of St. P are amazing. The people are carmer, they needn't hurry so much.
    Moscow is a financial center, it's a real megapolis. And the architecture is mostly modern in Moscow. People are always in a hurry, they try to catch the life.
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollymundo
    The people are carmer
    What do you mean, "carmer"?

    Moscow is a financial center
    Moscow also is a true cultural centre of Russia. All the best theatres are in Moscow. And the myth which says that Petersburgers are more courteous is just rubbish.
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by Pollymundo
    The people are carmer
    What do you mean, "carmer"?
    I think it's calmer.
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    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    I read an interview with a Russian opera star who said that singers don't like to visit Moscow because the extreme cold affects their voices adversely. I believe the season for opera runs during the colder moths of the year. It seems as though the climate of St. Petersburg is a little milder than Moscow's. If foreign artists prefer the nothern capital, could this be one of the reasons why it claims cultural precedence?
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Miles
    singers don't like to visit Moscow because the extreme cold affects their voices adversely.
    Someone who calls Moscow weather "extreme cold" should be from Africa.

    It seems as though the climate of St. Petersburg is a little milder than Moscow's.
    In St. Petersburg, it's much much colder than in Moscow!! Just believe me!!
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    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Does anyone else agree that Petersburg is much colder than Moscow?
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Miles
    Does anyone else agree that Petersburg is much colder than Moscow?
    Sorry, I am not "anyone else", but I can add that maybe not "much much", but Petersburg is definitely colder.
    Last weekend I travelled from Petersburg to Moscow with a girl from Khabarovsk, and she said, too, that Moscow is noticeably warmer. At 12.00 we left Petersburg, and at 23.00 we were in Moscow. We roamed about the streets till one o'clock in the morning, and it was warmer than in Petersburg in the daytime.
    The main thing why Petersburg is colder is the cold wind from the sea, I think.
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Miles
    Does anyone else agree that Petersburg is much colder than Moscow?
    Check it on any map. St. Petersburg is 800 km to the North from Moscow. Damp cold - what could be worse?
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Sometimes it's easy to recognize a Petersburger with the way they talk: they speak with opening their mouth just a little; kind of speaking with a side of their mouth. Also, Petersburgers seem outward less emotional, somewhat restrained in their behaviour. That is not to say ALL Petersburgers are like that, but whomever I knew were that way. Moscovites are usually more relaxed and seem outward more open. That is not to offend Petersburgers in any way, as this is purely subjective and possible others would not find that true. (And probably being more restrained might even be considered a virtue by some.) Other than that, I would say there's no noticeable difference.

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    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Here is some information from the site pagoda.ru:

    Average yearly temp. St. Petersburg: 5.4 degrees C.

    Average yearly temp. Moscow: 5.4 degrees C.

    Average January temp. St. Petersburg: -6 degrees C.

    Average January temp. Moscow: -7.5 degrees C.

    Average June temp. St. Petersburg and Moscow: both about 18 degrees C.

    My understanding is that being near to the sea or an ocean tends to make the climate more moderate, while being far from the sea favours severity (the so called 'continental climate'). This would explain why the two cities can have the same average annual temperature despite St. Petersburg being 800 km to the north of Moscow. It's not just a question of how far north you are.

    The singer who said that artists did not like to sing in Moscow because of the cold in winter was not from Africa, but from Russia itself.
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    My understanding is that being near to the sea or an ocean tends to make the climate more moderate
    It's only thanks to the Gulfstream. Tell that to people who live in Murmansk where sea freezes in winter.

    Check relative humidity averages. Believe me, you would prefer dry -10 C in Moscow than damp -3 C in St.P.

    I've got some friend from Siberia and they say that while they have -30C back home it feels much colder in Moscow while it's only -5C here. It's humdity that matters (checked by my own skin).
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    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Some more info. from the same site:

    Average yearly humidity St. Petersburg: 78%

    Average yearly humidity Moscow: 77%

    January av. St. P.: 85%

    January av. Moscow: 83%

    June av. St. P.: 68%

    June av. Moscow 70%.

    I am not convinced by the statement that the moderating influence of the sea only applies to areas bathed by the Gulfstream. There has to be some reason why a city 800 km north of another can have the same average annual temperature as its more southerly counterpart. Physics suggests that water stores the warmth of the sun during the day and releases it at night. But I am not a metereologist, and I suspect that you are not one either, and until such a person appears I fear this discussion will not be too productive.
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Believe me, you would prefer dry -10 C in Moscow than damp -3 C in St.P.
    +1

    When it's +20 in summer in Moscow, it's quite warm; but when it's +20 in summer in Petersburg, it could be very cold, because of the strong, cold wind and different dampness.

    The singer who said that artists did not like to sing in Moscow because of the cold in winter was not from Africa, but from Russia itself.
    Probably he meant that Russia itself is cold; I can't believe he could say that Moscow is colder than Petersburg. What was the singer's name, by the way?
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Miles
    I am not convinced.
    Well, you're arguing with people who have actually been in St. Petersburg and in Moscow in winter and can compare their experience. There are lies, big lies and statistics...

    Come, feel it for yourself if you don't believe us.

    There has to be some reason why a city 800 km north of another can have the same average annual temperature as its more southerly counterpart. Physics suggests that water stores the warmth of the sun during the day and releases it at night. But I am not a metereologist, and I suspect that you are not one either, and until such a person appears I fear this discussion will not be too productive.
    There is simply nothing between St. Petersburg and Moscow to stop the weather. It's a flat plain. Rains come from the Baltic Sea and pour it down all their way South (they always go South for some reason). Since clouds carry more water when they are over St. P. it's only natural that you would feel colder there than in Moscow even if temperatures in the both cities are the same.

    In Artic lattitudes (beyond the Polar circle where the Scandinavian peninsula effectively blocks the Gulfstream, sea simply freezes in winter making no difference whatsoever).
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    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Moscow versus Petersburg

    Ramil, here are some results of a search for the term "moderating influence of the sea" minus gulfstream:

    "St. Petersburg experiences a humid continental climate of the cool summer subtype, due to the distinct moderating influence of the Baltic Sea cyclones" Wikipedia.

    "Due to the moderating influence of the sea, the temperature in Bombay undergoes little seasonal fluctuation" theory.tifr.res.in

    "Because of the moderating influence of the sea, places in eastern China have a much lower annual range of temperature than continental areas in the west." google.books

    I could cite other qoutes that show that the said moderating influence of the sea is not tied to the gulfstream.

    To be convincing you have to do better than: I went there last week with my girlfriend etc. Moscovites may well be biased, so producing some hard facts would make your case more credible. It's easy to dismiss evidence that doesn't support you as lies and statistics.

    Russia may be different (isn't it always ) but in England when it rains in winter in tends to become warmer rather than colder.
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