Eccentric eatery livens up oil-rich ghost town

  • 2003-12-04
  • By Philip Birzulis
VENTSPILS - Put bluntly, the western Latvian port of Ventspils is schizophrenic. Big bucks from oil transit spent by a godfather-like mayor have given it schools, stadiums and other facilities that are the envy of everywhere else in Latvia. On the other hand, the city's 44,000 inhabitants are still, - well, Soviet.That is a harsh word, but on a drizzly Sunday you wonder whether Brezhnev still runs things. Apart from a crowd briefly tumbling out of a church, the streets are deserted. In the few open shops, the staff and customers are sullen, collars up against a hostile world. The stores the...
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