The hustle and bustle of downtown culminates along Independence Sq, two parallel streets that flank the central Brian Lara Promenade, named for Trinidad's cricketing hero. The commanding 1836 Roman Catholic Cathedral caps the promenade’s eastern end; at its western end, past the high-rise blocks of the Nicholas and Central Bank towers, and a statue of Brian Lara, the square feeds onto the coastal highway, Wrightson Rd. A raised walkway over Wrightson Rd connects the promenade to the waterfront.

Though plagued by traffic fumes and the occasional whiff of urine, Independence Sq is a characterful place to absorb the downtown vibe. Office workers mingle with the odd rum-head, chess-players hunch over boards inlaid onto concrete tables, and enterprising entrepreneurs take advantage of the power sockets at the top of the street lights, scaling up to plug in clippers used for mobile barber shops.