Tuesday, February 03, 2009


It was sunny this weekend for the first time since who knows when. Unfortunately, when it's clear is actually when it is the coldest. As it was in single digits (F), or double digits below (C), your correspondents did make sure to actually go outside and see the sun, but did not spend any great lengths of time outside.

We did manage to make it the two blocks from the Holla European Headquarters to the Latvian Art Museum. To be polite, one might say that music, dance, and poetry are where the Latvian people have channeled their greatest creative energies over the years. The temporary exhibition -- contemporary photography by a woman who did portraits of the residents of a modest apartment building in Riga over the last four years -- was excellent. The permanent collection, largely comprised of Latvian painting from the few hundred years preceeding World War II, had a few nice pieces.

One of the highlights, for its novelty value more than anything, was a small collection of ceramics, including those (barely adequately) pictured above. They come from a truly odd and certainly museum-caliber set of communist-themed chess pieces. It would have been cool if the opposing player's pieces were fat bankers wearing monocles and smoking cigars, or other capatalist parasites, but they were just the same as these in different colors.

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