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You're reading: Remembering Lviv

The angel is
the latest trinket I picked up in Lviv, the western Ukrainian city which is
sometimes called Ukraine’s Little Paris. 
The statue was made by Olya Pylnyk, one of Lviv’s most celebrated
ceramic artists. Her works have been exhibited at the Green Sofa, an art
gallery on Virmenska Street that regularly highlights works by the city’s
artists.  I happened across this figurine
a few doors down from the gallery, at one of the many new cafes and specialty
shops that have sprouted along the lane over the last year.

With its
many swirls and curves, the angel is a representation of Lviv to me and my own
love affair with a city that has slowly but drastically changed over the many
decades I’ve traveled there.

My first
trip to Lviv was in 1974, when I accompanied my father on a journey we made to
Ukraine in the dark days of the Soviet Union. Spying on foreigners was typical
then, so when we met secretly with my father’s first cousin at her home, she
immediately put her fingers to her lips at the door.  She then lowered the drapes, grabbed a huge
pillow and placed it over the home phone to block inevitable eavesdropping.

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