If we are to credit a comic scene from an Odessan operetta about the statue of the Duc de Richelieu, the Duc received a telegram from his relatives saying they were coming to visit him.  He went out to meet them and congealed on the spot with the telegram in his hand...

Yes - who, pray tell, didn't come to Odessa!  And who on earth didn't write about it!  And just what hasn't been written about it! 

Pushkin detected European features in Odessa, whereas Mark Twain opined:  "Look up the street or down the street, this way or that way, we saw only America!" Jules Verne discerned in Odessa "a genuine oasis in the middle of the vast surrounding steppes".  Only Mikhail Zhvanetskiy was straight and to the point, without metaphor:  "...a fairly beautiful city in our South and someone's North.  On the shores of the Black Sea."  Everyone, however, without exception, remarked on Odessa's blissful idleness.. 

The sea and blissful idleness are the chief draws of Odessa.  But it's not enough to have the sea- you need the inspiration to idleness as well.  And Odessa knows her stuff in that area.  

The intrigues of the streets and the heavy scent of spring acacias lead you to a cafe.  Ah, those diversely patronised Odessa cafes, vying with each other to offer mojito, lectures on the history of art, and eternal levity!  Prim and proper clubs
and multilingual summer terraces, highbrow theatres and reckless street poets and musicians, lush fairs and ripe bazaars, shady boulevards and sultry beaches, and yachts- a multitude of yachts and yacht-club moorings, yachts ready to spread their scarlet sails at your beck and call, for the most romantic episode of your life!

Yes, Odessa is the city of romance.  Here there have always abounded mad escapades in the name of love, and women have received lavish gifts: legendary ladders and bridges, or, in the worst-case scenario, just stars.  The stars in the sky above Odessa are a scattering of diamonds in the deep black velvet heavens.  And the blackness of the Odessan summer night is always pervaded by the smell of the sea and adventures.  

And in the morning birds chirping at the window, dust and gold trembling in the air, ice cream in a crunchy cone.  And, springing forth afresh:  boulevards and beaches, the lazy Odessan mid-day, attempting to envelop at a single stroke dozens of museums and hundreds of cubic metres of history.  And the architecture-- oh, the unbearable eclecticism of Odessa's architectural forms:  classicism and modernism,  Renaissance and Second Empire, Moorish style, Armenian decor, porticos, loggias, galleries!  And the dizzying names of the architects:  Boffo, Fellner and Helmer, Thomas de Thomon, Bernardazzi, Gonsiorowski…

And linen flutters in the wind amid the crumbling moulding of the balconies, recalling the rustling of silk and crinoline; and fog arises from the sea and engulfs the city, replacing the impossibly long and sunny Indian summer.  What does London know of fog?  Nothing whatsoever.  The romance of fog is also manufactured in Odessa, and Odessan artists celebrate it in a competitive chorus.  When you can no longer sunbathe or bathe in the sea, you can swim through the milky Odessa fog, and there will emerge out of the blue to meet you the trees of the park spread out above the harbour, and the benches with their lovers exchanging kisses.  And above the city floats the sound of a foghorn, summoning those who haven't yet been here:  "Come to Odessa!"