SWS:Riga editing is finished (good work, Aigars!) and now it’s time to check out some things on our Riga list. At the Art Academy, faculty carry bouquets of flowers for their name day while students silently making drawings for their entrance exam. At the Latgales Tirgus flea market, I forego the piles of rusty tools in favor of a few fabulous photographs. At the Academy of Sciences (aka Stalin’s Birthday Cake), we dine on cold beet soup in the Soviet-style cafeteria before ascending to the 17th floor for a 360 degree panoramic view of the city. A kiss,of course at the Laima Clock, the preferred Riga meeting point for friends and lovers since 1924 when it was “erected by social democrats…so people wouldn’t be late for work.” Very special tours of the Latvian Artists Union Museum and the Riga Porcelain Museum where we learn about Soviet ceramics, The Trespassers and my new favorite artist Aija Zarina – thank you, Iliana Veinberga! And finally, a glorious ride to the end of the world where we watch an apocalyptic sunset with the punks on the pier and enjoy Imaginary Latvian Summer an outdoor screening of terrific short films curated by our BAL pal Ildze Felsberga. This is Kate and Abby’s last day in Latvia… We raise a toast of beer and chocolate to one amazing week!