One final bit of advice about traveling to St. Petersburg comes from a dear friend of mine, a Russian I met here in Denver. According to Dmitry Polyakov, "Have an open mind, don't feel unsafe, and enjoy observing everything around you. Oh, and avoid Nevsky Prospekt on graduation night in late June. It's crazy." So there you have it.
A trip to St. Petersburg is bound to be a memorable one, and I hope no one is put off by the potential logistical challenges. Once you get there, and walk along the Neva River as it winds past the Winter Palace, you'll know why many refer to it as one of the most beautiful cities on earth, not to mention one of the more interesting. Udachi vam, or "good luck to you."