Seawall Sundays – the popular Guyana lime

by Quincy Richards

The “seawall” is now a buzzword used liberally and vaguely to imply “hottest new hangout spot in Georgetown”. Take a stroll any Sunday evening especially at the junction of Sheriff Street and Rupert Craig Highway and you’ll witness first hand how exactly it measures up to the hoopla. Indeed this great wall and the gala hive of activities recreated each weekend seem poised to alter the seawall’s historical legacy.

Built by the Dutch settlers in the 1880s, this massive slab of concrete wall is constructed along the foreshore of Guyana and stands as part of the battle against the mighty Atlantic Ocean which towers an alarming 7 feet above Guyana.

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Nowadays the seawall is to many a place of peace and tranquility. It has become a favorite place for afternoon walks, for listening to music, for lovers or for a priceless work out. The seawall as it stands depicting a mural from seemingly every entity in Guyana is also transformed into Guyana’s largest and finest marketing and advertising site.
On Sundays the seawall seems especially serene and inviting for an early morning splash in the Atlantic. After which it too seems to just join in the traditional lazy day of stillness but as the cooler dusk forces the light of day further west it brings with it a fete – Caribbean style with an extra oomph. The Sunday evening seawall now becomes the ‘hottest spot in town’ and the place to be. Take a walk and you will see.

Old friends, new friends and soon to be friends converge on the seawall; everyone who is anyone, thin ones, thick ones, tall ones, short ones, fat ones, chubby ones, slender ones and even the not so young ones all line the wall with one aim in mind – “to leave the cares of the world behind and have a good time”. The boom boxes will leave you short of none of the latest hits.

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The variety of attractions is enough to keep you interestingly entertained. A few folks might pass by with their pets in hand and others may attempt a most extreme fashion statement. Just as you turn to wave “hi” to that old classmate the squeals of CBRs all jazzed-up might grab your attention and captivate you with an unexpected stunt show. Some of the shiniest rides with the latest and flashiest “mags” will be on display. The cool Atlantic breeze steering the divine aroma of kebabs on a grill will compel you to skip off the wall to investigate. Food stalls are numerous; you can find: hotdogs, cook-up rice, fried fish with plantain chips, chicken, black/white pudding, souse, etc. beverage carts are everywhere. The street light that line the highway and the frequent flashes of motor vehicle head lamps add to the festive atmosphere of a semi-amusement fair; what ever your taste in food, drink, music, amusement, fashion or a good ‘ole’ hang, the Sunday seawall will have a bit for you. The vibrancy holds up until around mid-night when most folks start to draw back taking with them a majority of the excitement for the evening.

So whether you come as a resident or a visitor, with the intent to display or just to sit and add to the smiling faces, the constant element of surprise will leave you in high spirits. Each Sunday evening on the seawall you will come to find a sudden burst of excitement and entertainment; the coolest characteristic owing to spontaneity.
The seawall with its rich heritage has grown in popularity as one of Guyana’s famous landmarks but it with its explosive Sunday evening pursuit is slowly rewriting Guyana’s festive and cultural legacy.