Wednesday, December 9, 2020

How to Pretend You’re in Dakar Today

By Sebastian Modak
A view in Dakar showing the Mosque of the Divinity, an architectural landmark in the city. Omar Victor Diop

There is a bar in the Senegalese capital of Dakar that you can only find if someone has pointed the way. The five-minute walk to the cove, down a thin dirt path that snakes from a chaotic intersection — horse-drawn carts and shiny S.U.V.s competing for space on packed roads — feels like passing through a portal between worlds. Dakar has an aura that seeps into your soul. The sensations — the smell of grilled fish and spiced coffee, the feeling of an impending downpour, the bone-rattling vibrations from a dozen drums — stay with you long after you leave. When I visited this West African city, as part of my journey around the world as the 52 Places Traveler, I often caught myself thinking of my future. [More

Dakar's open-air markets are where you see the city's energy at its most frenetic.Credit...Sebastian Modak/The New York Times