Adventures in squalor and weirdos, frequent flyer hustles, and the philosophical dilemmas of traveling in the 21st century.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Riga, Latvia: Where, If Your Country Is Going To Be Occupied, Nazis Are Better Than Soviets
We started our first day in Riga with a walk around the city perusing the Art Nouveau or Jugenstils architecture. Some of these are were designed by Mikhail Eisenstein, father of Sergei, the Soviet filmmaker.
Then we found a fake Mac store... It was the ideal place to buy Mac anything.
More funny heads and hidden carvings.
Riga is getting a face lift because next year they are one of the E.U.'s cities of culture.
Art Nouveau cats.
Steven sleeps with one eye open.
Central Market, Riga. This is inside of some old Nazi zeppelin warehouses.
Some people just set up shop on a stool like magnifying glass man.
Well, where is it?
Huge men load hog carcasses...
Rabbit and pigeon can be found in the market.
When the Soviets annexed Latvia, they imported Russians from all over the country. Here we have a bronze one.
And here we have a drunk one, doing the Russkie Doh See Doh...
And then there was this strange dance competition that kept old mens' attention...
Menu from a local's cafe.
I wonder who gave them the idea for this one.
This is the Ministry of Science building in Latvia. It's one of the Stalin-era birthday cake buildings.
Around the Stalin building the area is referred to as little Moscow where many gypsies and Russians live in old decrepit buildings. You can often find houses with only a fireplace for keeping warm but with a cable dish hanging outside of a window. The girl turning the corner in the upper-left was with a friend and they later reappeared and passed us with a bottle and plastic bag in their hand. They were huffing some glue or some paint.
Soviet cigarette ads. RAI Cigarettes.
Man leaving market with bags of cherries.
The oak tree has a sacred meaning in these countries.
Right here is where about 25,000 Jews were marched out of Riga with the expectation of being taken away on a train, but the Nazis had groups of them dig massive pits and just shot them so they'd fall into graves they'd just dug for themselves. Then, the next group would walk up, cover the dead with dirt, be shot and fall in. And so on, and so on. The Latvians do say in their Occupation museum that only Nazi's killed Latvian Jews, and local Latvians helped save a few while others just worried about themselves. But, as we've learned down here in Lithuania, the Latvian auxiliary police definitely helped them carry out the task.
Blackhead's House. A 14th century merchant.
Check out the nose on this cab driver! Amazing! What caused this? I couldn't resist...