It may be an obvious choice, but how could I not pay homage to the city of Kingston, Jamaica for my letter “K”? It has been my home city for many more years than anywhere else – including London, where I was born (yes, I’m basically an urban animal).
Strictly speaking, Kingston is what we call “downtown.” The rest is the parish of St. Andrew. But for residents, Kingston is uptown plus downtown. We often call the whole thing the “corporate area” governed by the Kingston & St. Andrew Corporation – population around 600,000 as of five years ago.
My house sits firmly on the Liguanea Plain; the city is surrounded by the Blue Mountains, Red Hills, Stony Hill – and Long Mountain to the east, which is now somewhat developed. Kingston is becoming less green; townhouse developments are sprouting in every corner uptown. Parks are relatively few (the nicely manicured Emancipation Park in New Kingston is one, and the University of the West Indies campus remains fairly green, despite a rash of Chinese-built industrial-style buildings in recent years). The Blue Mountains are a beautiful backdrop. If you are up there at night, the city lights spread a glittering carpet below.
There is the harbor, the waterfront, and the long spit to the airport. Survivors of the 1692 Port Royal earthquake first settled on the waterfront in what was then called “Colonel Barry’s Hog Crawle.” Surveyor John Goffe drew up the plans, but it didn’t become the capital city until 1872.
Oh, did I mention? I love this city!
(All my photos)