Monday, September 17, 2012

This is Lagos!

I am deeply, madly, insatiably in love with Lagos, Nigeria. A place that has been dubbed "one of the worst cities in the world," has captured my heart in such a way that I fear I may never recover. Lagos is my secret love, because most of my friends and family would just not understand my obsession. In many ways, I can't even explain it to myself. But, here I am always coming back, again and again into the arms of Las Gidi which, at best, only reluctantly receive me and hardly give me the structure, stability and care that I need in order to establish a good relationship with a place. Nevertheless, I think Lagos is awesome! It doesn't try to please, but simply does. It's beauty and glory shines ever through the madness and you just can't help yourself from having a good-good time. If you doubt me, I ask - have you ever been to Federal Palace Hotel?

Or looked out from a 6th floor balcony over Ikeja?

Viewed the Lagos lagoon from a top floor in Victoria Island?

Or better yet, have you ever picked wild Aloe from just outside your door in Ikoyi?

Or eaten beans and dodo,

Okro with stew and pounded yam,

And grilled fish and boiled plantain....all in one day??

Yes, I think you will agree. Lagos is a dream! I mean, there's Bogobiri House,

Events like the African Women's Economic Summit,

 Art Galleries/Cafes like Terrakulture,

A Spa,

One that makes you feel this dreamy after your massage.

And of course, more food...lots of it!

From African Salad (Ugba),

And red beans rice (Wache),

To Ukpaka Na Ji (Oil Bean Seed with Yam Stew).

Time to take a break? Noooo, not yet. You haven't tried the Egusi Stew!

Or the Okro Soup with Palm Oil inside!

Then, there's the Edi Ka Ikong!

Oh, can't come to Lagos without having some Seafood Pepper Soup! you're starting to see the obsession...

Let me just find a place, so I can stay. Just live here, you know, so I can take my time and enjoy all that Eko has to offer. Here is a nice new condo on Banana Island!

Or, what of this hotel in my favorite color blue?

I can take walks and glimpse simple pleasures.

Do a little shopping for some serious local artistry at Quintessence.

Catch a ride to the Ovie Brume Youth Center to teach a knitting class to the future of Nigeria.

Stop over at the Blowfish Hotel and contemplate a swim.

Or while away the evening, painting in the sunset light.

So, my secret is out. I have a lover and Lagos is it!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


The classic home of the hippies, Woodstock, NY, is still, after all these years, a very unique and progressive place.

Coming here, you instantly notice that the vibe is decidlely laid back, inclusive and earthy. There are woods everywhere and most homes are owner-built, rustic and nestled amongst trees, flowers and wildlife. Coyotes are a common visitor to most people's yards and you can actually swim in the numerous waterfalls and ponds about town.

Not surprisingly, there is no shortage of vegetarian restaurants, health food stores and new age shops in town. An aspiring hippie can find just about anything their open heart desires. From raw goodies at Sun Flower Natural Foods,

To Rumi love poem collections at Mirabai Bookstore,

And don't forget the freshly picked organic strawberries at Sunfrost Farms.

One of the coolest places for me in Woodstock is the Press and Blend organic café where delicious coconut water and coconut milk are readily available.

Wandering around is a joy in Woodstock, as there are so many eclectic places to see and experience.

Peace love and Cupcakes is just what it sounds like it is, a haven for adorable little healthy and vegan cupcakes.

Yum Yum Noodle Bar is a noodle-lovers heaven and the grilled salmon with curried udon is so fresh, it melts in your mouth. Try it with the raw kale salad!


Oh, and definitely check out the public library, which offers a lot of obscure spiritual books that most libraries don’t carry. Such a regal building, befitting a house filled with the literary gems inside.

If by chance you can't find the book you're looking for there, then try the Golden Notebook, just around the corner from Turquoise Alley.

For dinner, head over to the NWHC Café for a great organic meal, where most everything is local and so super fresh.

The ambiance is nice too, both inside and out.

If you are lucky enough to find an available house to rent, take it! Especially if it is surroundied by trees in a garden of wild flowers.

Or if it's blue.

Or if it's both!

A place that must be added to your bucket list, Woodstock brings out the sentimental side in most.

So, if you decide to stay and buy your own property in hippieville. Go here first and they will help you.

Or here.

And don't be fooled by appearances! In Woodstock size matters way less than substance.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...