When you LOVE a city
I love my city.
Gabriel García Marquez once compared Caracas to human beings of great stock, who can't be loved except by those that are capable of bearing them. And that's what you have to do when you live in Caracas, you have to bear it. You have to bear trash, bear traffic, bear smog, bear political intolerance on every side, bear injustice and poverty, bear inequality, bear a wave of violence that has not been seen anywhere not torn by war.
But it's not a fluke that people love Caracas... because under that rotten veneer lies a beautiful, fun, interesting, complex, living city. A mix of concrete, trees, flesh and blood that mesmerizes and fascinates anyone capable of looking deeper. There's nothing like looking at El Ávila in a cool December morning, or going to watch a baseball game at the packed Estadio Universitario, or going to buy Arepas at 5.30am after a long night of rum and whiskey, or making out with a beautiful girl in Plaza Altamira.
Some of you might have seen the video for the song "Rotten Town," by OneChot, a reggae artist that was recently shot in the head when trying to avoid getting robbed, victim to the same violence he denounced time and time again through his art. If you haven't, please see it here, it's a great song and a great video.
But there's a new anthem for the city. 12" Ninjazz, a hip hop collective from Venezuela has just released their video for the aptly titled song "Caracas." They capture exactly what I was talking about. There's nothing more to say except that it is BEAUTIFUL, I love it, and I'm proud of them for the work they do.
You learn to love Caracas in-spite of its contradictions, or maybe even because of them. Because, let's face it: danger and chaos are some of the most beautiful things in the world. Ninjazz captures that sentiment perfectly when they sing: "Caracas, city of tradition, treason, irony, paradox, and contradiction."
Enjoy Caracas, seen through the eyes of 12" Ninjazz: