Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Posts Tagged ‘Latvia

Passage Angel

with 3 comments

An angel adorning the entry to a dark passageway in Riga’s Old Town. Probably dates from the 12th or 13th century. Happier now than it can ever remember, though it’s not overly pleased with the iron bosoms.

It’s images like this, not that it’s technically all that great, that make me glad I photograph things. My photographs become a sort of reference library, so I don’t have to remember everything I’ve seen and done. But the remain alive – as vibrant as the moment they were taken when I pull them out and look at them.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

23/08/2012 at 10:52 pm

Dark story

with 5 comments

The people who know the story about this first-hand are all dead, bar a few that were too young to understand. It’s an insignificant balcony on an insignificant building in the old part of Riga. No marker, no plaque, nothing noting it. You could walk by an never notice – walk by once or ten thousand times. The story is there, telling itself every moment.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

20/06/2012 at 1:26 am

The end of time

with one comment

I hadn’t made the connection before, but this piece and just thinking of Riga makes me hum Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love.”

Found a video of him singing itand finally figured out how to embed it! Yay! 

This version is my favourite,from Austin City Limits in 1988. He looks much like when I saw him last year – his voice even more of a gravelly crackle but still so emotional. Love the violins, and the lyrics and the whole beauty of it.

My dancers’ dresses are all wrong for the song, and even for the piece, but I didn’t choose them. I shot the photos in Riga, Latvia – not quite Vienna, but not as far off as you might think…

There was something about Riga that I can’t quite name. I was only there for a few days, a little side trip during a fortnight spent in Tallinn (I am half Estonian…) Of course I adored Tallinn, all the medieval nooks and crannies, almost perfectly preserved, wonderful for exploring and dreaming and feeling history lingering in the aether…

But Latvia, Riga… messy, crumbling, passionate, delicious, dirty, noisy, lusty, vibrant – it was like falling into some ancient groove that played out over and over. Irresistable. Cheap, spooky, the stench of cigarettes and stale beer, tawdry affairs and passionate poets with mussed up hair. I think it was how I imagined Paris would be, though if Paris was ever that way those days are long long gone.

Viva Riga! Viva the dance. Dance me to the end of time…

…telling tales from around the world


Written by Titirangi Storyteller

15/11/2011 at 9:41 pm

Busking for Riga Blues

with 4 comments

Rather fell in love with this boy and how he wailed his traditional Latvian folk-punk anthems at the passersby. Threw him a lot of coins – it takes a lot of beer to fuel that kind of passion.

I wonder if he’s still there or if he’s grown and gone, settled in a comfortable suburb with a nice wife and a new baby. He may have thrown away the boots, but I bet he’s still got that guitar.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

27/05/2011 at 1:12 am

%d bloggers like this: