– "Did you know … the Duchy of Courland, now part of Latvia, once held Tobago as a colony?"
– "Wander through (the old town) on a winter night and you're lost in a fairy tale … Wander through it on a Friday evening in summer, on the other hand, and you may find yourself lost in a British stag party. Ryanair has much to answer for."
– "One of Russia's best-known democrats, the first governor of Nizhny, Boris Nemtsov, tried to shake up the city … He reopened the Nizhny Novgorod Fair…. The city did not become a merchant center. It soured in melancholy and inactivity."
– "Today Nizhny is paused, as if quietly waiting for what will happen next. But I have noticed that the number of very good poets has increased lately."