When we went apartment hunting years ago we entertained the prospect of relocating to Kopli or North Tallinn, but then realized that the place was some sort of 24-hour, open air Soviet museum. The sharp contrast between the modern city center and these downtrodden neighborhoods is indicative of the kind of wealth gap that exists in a country that is constantly trying to grow the pie, rather than readjust the size of each piece everyone gets.
Standing there among the half burned homes and crumbling tenement blocks I wondered how these neighborhoods would finally turn out. Would the Estonian business elite wait until the last stateless pensioner died, then knock it all down to build a marina and a golf course? Would proponents of social democracy sweep in, salvage what they could, tear down the rest, and erect affordable housing?