Riga and I have a tumultuous relationship. The capital of Latvia welcomed me with a malicious staircase and a fountain of blood, the cramped hospital waiting room, and a merry-go-round of aptieka visits. As if that wasn’t enough of an introduction to the city, the skies chilled me with sullen rain, and the dirt, noise, and endless crush of people assaulted my senses after the breezy character of Tartu on summer holiday.
But after I slept off my frustration, patched up my legs, and blatantly ignored the stares of everyone around me at the sad state of my shins and knees, I set off into Riga’s streets, determined to like her mishmash of regal (slightly haughty) classical facades, modern storefronts, crisscrossing trams, lush pockets of green, and solemn medieval churches. Just when I thought I was too jaded to let any charms of sidewalk cafes or plucky street musicians into my heart, I caught the playful wink of an Art Nouveau building, like the forbidden rush of a secret kiss, tucked into the stone and mortar cacophony of centuries of human construction.
My photos of Riga reflect my ambivalence, the sweet moments of discovery and the melancholy of harsh lessons of reality, both past and now.
To view my photo slide show, click on the link below.