Ladies Who Lunch

Not long ago every Rus­sian had a job. But the new econ­omy has created a whole class of wives who no longer work. These mon­eyed, stylish women with time on their hands have dis­cov­ered that indulgent after­noon pleasure: the lei­surely lunch. The most fashion­able spot is Bistrot Garçon, where the French chef prepares melt-in-your-mouth terrines, fresh pastas, fanciful salads, and such luxurious treats as duck fillets with lime and lavender honey. Lunch, $150. At 95 Nevsky Prospekt; 7-812/717-2467; —M.A.B.

Stranded at 2 a.m. Few sights in St. Petersburg are as unforgettable and romantic as the drawbridges rising over the Neva River. Between 1:30 and 2:15 in the morning, about a dozen 19th- and early-20th-century bridges open to let boat traffic through. But this scene does come with a price: Many people end up stuck on one side until the bridges lower, around 5 a.m. While it has long pro­vided a convenient excuse for wayward spouses, most find the situation exasperating. For those who linger too long over their vodka, the only options are the Palace and Tuchkov bridges, which are let down for 20 minutes at approximately 2:45.