Friday, August 29, 2008

Nairobi blogs

Photo: Carnivore
Most visitors think of getting out of Nairobi as fast as possible, or enduring the city if they're based there, and making frequent forays to the parks or down to the coast. A couple of excellent blogs, written by Nairobians, help to humanise and promote the city in a really constructive and appealing way. (I accept, by the way, whatever I may have said in the first edition of the Rough Guide, more than 20 years ago, that the term "Nairobian" is in use, and means something these days.) They'll make you see the city in a different light.

Chick about Town, run by a sassy hedonist nicknamed Biche, concentrates on products and services, ranging from the best auto repair shop to her favourite contaceptives, and from the rise of the Nu Metro cinema chain to her favourite (and not-so-favourite) restaurants and clubs. All her posts are delivered in a gloriously enthusiastic, upfront and refreshingly detailed style.

Nairobi Now is a collaborative blog, doing for Nairobi's arts and culture scene what Biche does for the equally important business of having fun – though both blogs happily overlap. Live music and club nights, new theatre, fashion shows, book launches, gallery events and new movies are all flagged up. Fancy attending (or performing?) at an open mic poetry session at Club Soundd? Or retreating from the city with some Liszt and Schubert at the Italian Cultural Institute. It's all here.