When I exit the subway at my stop, Nostrand Avenue, the scene recalls great West African markets like Dakar's Sandaga or Abidjan's
Treicheville: hair-braiding salons abound, tailor shops sprout like millet after the harmattan, and until the fall weather drives the color under wraps, boubous billow in the breeze. It's a shock, however, to spot a buba-and-lapa when driving through the red-sauce zones of Staten Island. Yet a West African community has established
a beachhead there and vigorously maintains its identity with churches, shops, and, yes, restaurants. Discovering the enclave when a colleague asked me to accompany her on a romp through the island's African eateries, I was especially
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By photo: Michael Kenneth Lopez
Esther Brown shows off the collards, spinach, and fried fish of her Bay Street Haven.