The shift from the production of goods toward the provision of specialized services is often considered as characteristic for post-modernity. Many traditional centres of heavy good industries currently experience sharp declines in their population numbers. But cities and towns that provide a variety of alternative spaces are avoiding the urban "shrinkage". Due to global networks and mass media, the consumerist culture becomes more attractive and desirable around the world. But, at the same time, it often destroys traditional cultures. The border between core and periphery, affluence and poverty, post-modernity and traditionalism is becoming tremendous. Very often this borderline divides the same country, and the case of Russia provides a very good example of that. This article is in this view an attempt to provide some theoretical groundwork for studying these processes, based on the case study of the cities of Ivanovo and Yaroslavl in Central Russia.