Latvia's capital, Riga, is a sublime balance of old and new. Its architecture and local traditions reflect on what it once was. Behind this exterior it's also a lively city with modern ideas, from experimental theater to third-wave coffee shops. There's this contrast between old-world corner shops and the shiny designer shops across the road. As strange as it can be, locals get it, and this balance gives Riga its charm.
On the flip-side, as a small city with a distinct culture, Riga has a tight-knit feel. It can also be hard to break in as an outsider. A feeling of openness towards newcomers is growing, but still leaves a fair bit to be desired. At the same time, it's exciting to see how younger generations are embracing change and accepting Riga for the global city it's becoming. I don't remember when I started taking photos of the city, but I always have a camera in my bag. Some of the people you see here are technically strangers, but in a city this small, they don't stay strangers for long.
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