San Francisco FF. Port au Prince FF. Or how to sum up a city in 5 seconds flat

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL February 13, 2014
San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge by night

San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge by night

Here’s some ideas for San Francisco, emailed a colleague who had lived there awhile:

  • Ride the cable cars
  • Walk across the Golden Gate bridge
  • Visit Alcatraz
  • Visit Fisherman’s wharf and Pier 39
  • Lombard St (curviest street in the world)

Thanks, I replied, have you ever considered doing a series, ‘Around a city in five seconds’.

Might be an idea, he said. And fun.

It was a light-hearted exchange, ahead of a light-hearted trip to a city famous for its beauty, quality of life, ‘walkability’, culturally rich streetscapes, can-do spirit, liberal activism, environmental conscience and a bit more.

But the idea of a series of five-second city guides stayed with me.

And you don’t have to be a long-term resident.

In fact five things are about all you can enumerate in five seconds. And they’re generally the stuff the tourist will know as he passes through a city.


The magnificent Neg Mawon in Port au Prince

So, here’s ‘Port au Prince in five seconds’ (remember, the list is subjective):

  • Saunter along the walls of street art on Airport road
  • See the imposing Neg Marron downtown, symbolizing the unknown slave
  • Walk around Petionville
  • Eat at Kokoye, off Delmas 31 (it has the best poulet nan sos Djon Djon or chicken in Haitian mushroom sause)
  • Visit MUPANAH, the museum that lays bare many aspects of Haitian history and culture

Jack Kerouac

  • “Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
    – Jack Kerouac