In the midst of a silly boastful tale about racing a motorbike illegally up and down the Richelieu steps he kept catching Musya’s eye with his own. Behind him a fountain was playing, he stood in his pale well-tailored suit before a curtain of silvery water. She wished, Musya realized, he’d really ask her for a loan after all because that would give her a reason to see him again; maybe they could even craft an arrangement pledging him to pay her back gradually across multiple meetings. With this thought, she’d smiled her first of many smiles at Leon Flohr. He appealed to her.
The steps were built between 1837-1841 to be the official gateway to the city from its Black Sea harbor, and were originally called after the Duc de Richelieu, courtier to Catherine the Great and Odessa’s first mayor. The enduring popularity of Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 film Battleship Potemkin led to a name change in the 20th century.