Neuva York, Mi Cante, Mi Amor. Image: M. Makhene, 2011.
Who Wants To Shoot The Freak? Coney Island, 2008. Image: M. Makhene.
Living in a city of splendor, its magic, charm and allure can be easy to forget as you wonder from pillar to post on errands and that activity thing called life. One of my favorite writers, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, wrote an amusing story, Birdsong starring the City of Lagos as a character along with a young hot thing who has an affair with a married man. Reading the piece, you get a sense of Lagos' unforgiving humor and irreverent dismissal of any singular definition of who it is--Lagos is illicit lovers making suggestive, wicked smart jokes, "have you ever seen a Cock With A Dick?", Lagos is uptight evangelicals frowning upon atheists uncomfortable praying at work and it's also self-absorbed globetrotters equally concerned about their good taste as with how one looks in grinding traffic driving through Lagos. I'm something of a silent stalker, collecting and devouring everything and anything of letters Chimamanda dreams. The girl's got some serious game. Check the record, she's part of the uber-elite 20 under 40 handpicked by The New Yorker as literati stars to watch out for. She's also got real love for the foremost city of her home country. Which brings me back to my point--rediscovering why you fell in love with the city you call home. For me, those vows are renewed at every hello again, Madison Square Park, or walking into the sun of soft evening light enchanting those little east village gem streets or big 5th avenue Flat Iron-tourist magnet hype really worth its gas type intersections. New york, i LOVE you.