A debut post in a new series, "home around the world." Having lived outside the continent for almost 11 years now, there is nothing more uplifting than finding a spot where I can experience a little bit of home. This series is dedicated to showcasing some of those places and sharing the details, in case you ever need a dose. I'd love to hear about any gems you've found. To share your story, get in touch.
A funky lounge-cum-restaurant-cum-bar grows in Brooklyn. A cornerstone in my 10+ year love-affair with Fort Greene.
Inside, a large painting of Madiba himself; a chandelier made from glass coca cola bottles and; the kind of metal trunk (painted blue) that you may have carried to boarding school, form part of the eclectic decor. Jam jars for glasses and a kiosk-type wall with foodstuffs from home on sale. This is Madiba, a South African Experience, south of the Manhattan bridge.
About 10 years ago (I wince smile as I realise how old wise I'm getting), before New York's notorious Cabaret License was introduced, many a great night of dancing was had at the corner of Carlton and Dekalb. After the kitchen closed, dining tables would be moved aside, creating an intimate dancefloor. I think that's probably the best word to describe the atmosphere at Madiba. Visiting last summer, for the first time in years, I was delighted to run into familiar faces including DJ Stone* who's still doing his thing on their decks. There might not be the same dancefloor destruction to the freshest house and kwaito as in days gone by but, that warm afri-love vibe is definitely still in the air.