I heard a lot about Odessa before visiting- place of the famous baby stroller falling down the steps scene, 1905 revolution, world famous sense of humor (lot of it due to what used to be big Jewish population), Black Sea, and amazing food. I was so excited to come here and was not disappointed. I stayed at the Duc Hotel downtown, near the beautiful Pomorsky (Maritime) Boulevard.
Odessa is one of the few cities that knows the exact date of its establishment- it was September 2, 1794 when Russian Empress Catherine the Great founded this Black Sea port by decree, although there was civilization here before. The city was very diverse, with huge populations of Jews, Greeks, Albanians, Moldovans, Turks, Greeks, Poles, Russians, etc.
My city exploration tour started with the monument to the famous Russian writer Alexander Pushkin (Boris Godunov, Eugene Onegin), who lived here for 13 months when he was exiled from Moscow. Another famous writer who lived in Odessa was Nicolai Gogol (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls), whose house we also saw during our tour, although it wasn't centrally located. The next stop was the monument to Duc de Richelieu (which looks like a classic Greek or Roman statue) on top of the Potemkin Steps. The Steps were made famous in the Eisenstein's silent movie Battle Ship Potemkin which later inspired many directors, from Hitchcock to De Palma.
One of the most beautiful buildings in Odessa is the Opera. Its address is 1 Tchaikovsky Street, which is so cute. Most of European operas and theaters close during the summer, so we were unable to watch anything, or even go inside.