Friday, August 1, 2014

Dakar Snapshots, Flashback to 2011

It's Friday! And August... good lord. After a busy and extremely HOT morning... I may or may not have napped for a couple of hours this late afternoon. Whoops. Although I have many design and travel posts in the wings, they aren't quite ready. Instead, I thought I'd share some shots of Dakar from back in the day, mostly 2011.

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I often get asked what Dakar looks like, and while its not the most picturesque city - chock full of contrasts and extremes - I will always love the gritty sea air. I know for many people it is hard to actually imagine an African city (no, its not just jungle over here ;). Perhaps this will offer some perspective! P.S. These photos were all shot in Mermoz, a residential part of the city located between downtown and the airport. Snapshots from Plateau (downtown) would look very different.

^^View from my 5th floor living room balcony at the time, looking out over a major highway (called the VDN), to the left of the apartment. It's hard to capture in a photo, but the blue on the horizon is the ocean. The cluster of taller buildings is downtown Dakar.

^^Also from the living room, but to the right, where you can really see the ocean and Ile de la Madeleine.

^^View from the balcony in my bedroom. Statue straight ahead, and the lighthouse to the left -- gorgeous!

^^Like I said, a city of contrasts. Unfinished construction next to very nice buildings... and unpaved roads. Its crazy to think I lived in this apartment when I first met C. ;) And I've since lived in four other apartments.

^^Close-up of the massive (hideous) African Renaissance statue.

^^Room with a view :)

And now for some street shots of my neighborhood at the time, Mermoz... Here is a link from the NYT of pictures taken in Dakar, if you'd like another view of the city: "Senegal’s Changing Urban Landscape"

^^Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop/Rue de Wakam. Megan's building is in the background with the red balconies. This street goes all the way downtown, and has changed a lot in the past several years. It is now wider with real side walks.

^^A boutique near my cousin's hotel

^^Side street leading to the nieghborhood mosque

^^A beverage store in the neighborhood

^^Local bakery... chocolate spread for 50cfa!

^^Another Mermoz street

^^Fruit stand & horse and buggy

^^Western Union is everywhere! With a sheep nearby.

^^Local barber

^^Pétanque (bocce ball) can also be found in West Africa!

And with that, you have an aperçu of where I live! Happy weekend :)

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