Monday, March 06, 2006

Lagos Centre of the Known Universe

I thoroughly enjoyed my day (Sunday) in Lagos today. I checked out the new shops at The Palms (it’s getting there) – getting into a heated argument with a security guard at one point – there’s nothing like a theatrical argument to liven up one's days in Lagos. He was very keen for me not to take any photographs. I ignored him. He got heated. I told him he had something wrong with his head. He threatened to biff me up and smash my camera. I took one last snap and made my move.

Then I went to the new Brazilian restaurant Churras on Ozumba Mbadiwe. The vibe is relaxed in a nautical kind of way, with beautiful Brazillian tunes playing, and lovely food (very herbivore-friendly). Then I met up with a happening upcoming rapper called Blaise at Terra Kulture, while twenty modellish women sashayed about in the gallery upstairs. More on Blaise later.. Lagos feels like it’s a city on the move; Bar Beach is finally being sorted out for good, the Radisson is looming on the skyline, the new Brazillian restaurant is a great place to hang on the weekend. Everything is slotting together. I’m starting to think like we’re living in the wrong city..


Nkem 12:00 pm  

When you say "everything" is slotting together, don't you mean the Island? I tend to feel that the rich can look after themselves, but what about the rest of Lagos?

grace,  12:33 pm  

Lagos is the city for you if you have a nice car, live on the Island, have thousands of dollars and a nice job, and a year's supply of generator diesel. VI and Ikoyi are nice areas for like the top 5% of Nigerians. Even those of us that don't live on the Island find it so difficult to get there sweat and dirt-free (unless you have a car) and when you do, its all these stupid trinket-filled american-style malls out of your price range. When they build air-conditioned public libraries and public parks, then Lagos (or even VI self) will be the place for me.

Anonymous,  2:10 pm  

Nkem, for the rest of lagos, they should go visit these places and start getting angry and ready for a revolution.

To Grace, don't worry all the things islanders are currently amusing themselves with will be coming to the mainland soon. But you're right though changes will come when public spaces are opened up so that many of these places will be enjoyed by all.

What I love about The Palms and City Mall is that all the villagers around Lekki and Lagos Island area boys are hanging out there in droves and leisurely walking into the shops much to the annoyance of the shop-keepers and the nouveau riche clients. Childish, but it tickles me.


chibs 5:34 pm  

Yes, what about those of us living in maryland whose only option is Mr. Biggs. And its not true they won't be coming back to the mainland anytime soon because in case you haven't noticed they left the mainland and are moving farther and farther into lekki. I should know I went to school in epe.

Akin 11:54 pm  

Did Fela not once say the whole thing about privileged Nigeria is summarised in the phrase -

Ikoyi-Airport-Overseas and Overseas-Airport-Ikoyi.

I have seen a number of tourist promotions about Nigeria on CNN, many seem to corroborate these nice stories, but what is off the rose-planted tracks?

In the end it is nice to know that the Bar Beach is no more overrun with white garment seers and sootsayers in John-The-Baptist caves - was it Easter 30 years ago that it looked like a sunny day out at Brighton Beach?

Memories ...

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