We waited quite a while before having dinner at Vincents. Reports from locals ranged from the best food in town to seriously overpriced. And in a city where you can have a good dinner on about every street corner and next to it, you don’t really need to go to the most expensive place. The price difference between Vincents and many other restaurants close to it, is big. But then again, comparing the prices at Vincents to comparable restaurants elsewhere in Europe, it’s actually not bad. So it’s a matter of how you look at it, and at one point we decided to go there anyway.
Coming from a country that is reputed to have more bicycles than people in it, I should be used to bikes all around me. My first encounter with Latvian cyclists however, annoyed me. I was stepping out of our front garden onto the sidewalk, and almost got run over by one. Or maybe it were two. Riding on the sidewalk is something that people in the Netherlands do with great care. Your place is on the street, and when you’re on the sidewalk, it’s for a reason and you try to avoid pedestrians. Not so much in Riga. My first thought on the subject was that if you want to ride a bicycle, you should be courageous enough to take part in normal traffic, and not bother pedestrians. A few months later I was almost used to it, and understood it a bit better as well. It’s the rules, here. And car drivers are simply not used to cyclists on the street, and don’t really care. So being part of normal traffic is slightly dangerous here.
The Blue Cow restaurant, or in Latvian: Zila Govs, has a special place in our lives. It was in this restaurant that we decided we would move to Riga. If we could have food like they serve here, this city was certainly a place that we could live in.
As many of the Latvian cuisine restaurants in Riga, meat has an important role on the menu in the Blue Cow. The quality of the meat is great, and they sure know how to prepare it. Some cuts, however, are surprises on the plate. The entrecote is nothing like the entrecote you get in France, for example. Still, it tastes good.
Have you heard of Ray Anderson (who sadly recently passed away) and his company Interface? No? Really not? Well, they make carpet. And do you know what they have in common with Nike and Walmart? They made a complete turn around of their way of operation. In stead of plundering the earth and societies to make a profit, they have decided to make a start with creating thick value. Maybe not fully, yet, but they’re in the progress of creating a new look on business. A new look on the system business is operating in, even. And that system is capitalism.