Two days ago, July 18, was Nelson Mandela International Day, otherwise known as Mandela Day. My friends and I went to Madiba Restaurant for dinner in Fort Greene (an area of Brooklyn) and since Madiba is a notable South African restaurant and Nelson Mandela is a famous South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, president, humanitarian, et cetera … it was pretty crowded. At one point there were eight of us crowded around a 2′ x 2′ table, which was a bit awkward outside in the stifling heat. However, the drinks were yummy (Obama Mama) and the food was fine (salmon burger), although the prices were a bit pricey. The highlight of the night was when darkness fell and lanterns were lit in honor of Mandela.
It was really quite a magical experience seeing all these paper lanterns float off into the sky. That being said, there was some minor concern voiced as the lanterns went over the building that perhaps floating fire in a fairly dense area wasn’t the best idea ever … but no harm, no foul. After all the lanterns were lit and traveled beyond view, there was some traditional South African singing and dancing.
Considering that this was my first time in Fort Greene, it was a lovely experience. Sure it was a bit miserable because it’s been unbearably hot lately and I really didn’t intend to spend so much on dinner, but that’s just how it is. Ah, I’m going to miss all the cultural diversity of New York!