A Quick Bite And Culture by Night

A Quick Bite And Culture by Night

The Night of the Hippies at Erarta Museum is among the most hotly anticipated events.

Published: May 15, 2013 (Issue # 1759)

This weekend, St. Petersburg will see two international events take place that happen only once a year: Restaurant Day, when anyone can don a toque and become a chef, will take place on May 18, right before the Night of Museums, which begins at 6 p.m. that evening and lasts till 6 a.m. the following day.

While the Night of Museums has been celebrated in St. Petersburg since 2007, Restaurant Day will take place in the city for the first time. The culinary festival is held on the same day in numerous cities around the world and allows anyone to open a restaurant, anywhere in the city, for one day. 54 cafes, restaurants and bars have already registered on the event website, which contains a map of the restaurants that are participating internationally. This is in comparison to the 41 amateur chefs that are due to present their culinary creations in Moscow and the more than 300 cooks that have signed up for Helsinki’s Restaurant Day.

Open spaces such as the Mikhailovsky, Tavrichesky and Lopukhinsky gardens, Park 300-Letiya and Krestovsky Island Park, as well as art spaces, will host pop-up restaurants. Among the latter are Hello Hostel, Chetvert Art Space and the Poryadok Slov bookstore.

Italian, Japanese, French, Latvian and Asian cuisine, as well as dishes for vegetarians, will all be on offer at the cafes scattered around the city throughout the day.

After filling up on the culinary creations of St. Petersburg’s aspiring chefs, excess calories can be worked off during the Night of Museums. 83 venues are participating in this year’s event. Some will close as early as 11 p.m., while others will welcome visitors until 6 a.m. the following day. In addition to their regular exhibition programs, many of the arts venues are putting on special programs, performances and single-day exhibitions.

The theme chosen for this year’s event is “Openings,” a reference to a museum’s ability to be open to new ideas and to visitors from all walks of life. Among the 15 sites participating for the first time this year are the Shostakovich Philharmonic, the Rimsky-Korsakov Apartment Museum and Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.

The Night of the Hippies at Erarta Museum, jousting tournaments at the Artillery Museum, a Circus Fair at the Upsala Circus and a Futurist performance in the courtyard of the Anna Akhmatova Museum are among the most anticipated events.

To improve access to the different museums, five special bus routes will be set up on Saturday night across the city. A single ticket for the event costs 350 rubles and offers unlimited museum admissions throughout the night. Participating museums as well as city ticket offices have already begun selling tickets, which can also be purchased online.

The tradition of opening museums at night began in France in 1999. Since then, 42 countries around the world have joined the annual Night of Museums. Last year nearly 100,000 people visited St. Petersburg museums during the 12-hour event.

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