Last night I attended an art exhibition called the Postcard Revival on the top floor of the Barbican Building, one of the most iconic buildings in downtown Joburg. I have no time to tell you anything about the exhibition, or the glorious building in which it took place. But I’m making time to show you one photo that I took from the Barbican’s 10th-floor balcony.
Ah, Joburg City. I heart you. (This is the Gauteng Legislature building.)
I’m off to the Joburg City Tourism Association’s weekend in the city. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve created a special hashtag for the weekend, #JoburgCity, which you can follow on Twitter and Instagram. Maybe I’ll even squeeze in a blog post at some point over the weekend. (Although likely not because the schedule is jam-packed.)
I’m very excited, and also very late. Bye.
You already know that Jozi is pretty from the rooftops. You know Jozi is pretty from the ground. I am now here to tell you that Jozi is pretty from highway overpasses, too.
View of Market Street from the Joe Slovo Drive overpass, just east of the city centre. Continue Reading
As I said in my previous post (and many other posts, for that matter), Joburg is pretty from above. But just to clarify, Joburg is pretty from ground level, too.
On Sunday I participated in another walking tour with Gerald Garner from JoburgPlaces. (Read about my previous JoburgPlaces tour here.) Sunday’s tour took us from Newtown to Maboneng and back, mostly on foot with a bit of driving mixed in.
Walking through Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown. Continue Reading
I try not to get upset when people refer to Johannesburg as “dangerous”, or “dirty”, or “ugly”. Such attitudes do Joburg a huge disservice, but they usually come from a place of ignorance rather than malice. Most of the people who say these things probably haven’t been into downtown Jozi for years, if ever. And they don’t realize what they’re missing.
I suppose one could argue — in certain specific instances — that Joburg can be dangerous. One could even argue that some parts of Joburg are dirty. (Although most of the city is actually quite clean.)
But…ugly? Nope. Not ever.
Downtown Jozi reflected in a remarkably clear puddle of water. Continue Reading
Johannesburg is a relatively new city, founded in a big hurry when gold was discovered here in 1886. Jozi has reinvented itself several times during its 130-year history and there isn’t much in the city that can be considered “old”, at least by European or Asian standards.
The Rand Club, Joburg’s first gentlemen’s club, is a notable exception. The Rand Club is old, and proud of it.
The Rand Club, in the center of Joburg at 33 Loveday Street. Continue Reading
Joahnnesburg newcomers often ask me about Parktown Prawns, Joburg’s most legendary insect. What do Parktown Prawns look like, people want to know. How big are they? Do Parktown Prawns really exist?
The answer to the last question is a definitive yes. You can read all about Parktown Prawns on Wikipedia. Definitely check it out because it’s a particularly entertaining Wiki entry. My favorite line is: “Accordingly they [Parktown Prawns] frighten nervous persons and they may chew carpets and fabrics.”
I’ve been wanting to write a Prawn post for years. Even though they are not actually indigenous to this area, Parktown Prawns have become a part of Joburg’s culture and folklore. Part cricket-on-steroids, part giant cockroach, park prehistoric monster, Parktown Prawns — much like this massive city that they have adapted to so well — are one-of-a-kind. Continue Reading
Last night I had dinner at the Darkie Café. I’m writing about it because:
1) The Darkie Café is smack in the middle of downtown Jozi, in the mining district — one of just a few restaurants in that area that are open at night.
2) The Darkie Café has decent food, and it’s fun.
3) The Darkie Café is called the Darkie Café. Only in Joburg will you find a restaurant with such a name. I like it. Continue Reading
This weekend I participated in a workshop on urban exploration in downtown Joburg, sponsored by Dérive app. Dérive is a new online application that encourages people to explore cities in a unique way — following a set of random instructions from a virtual deck of cards.
The cards in the deck say things like “Follow something red”, “Use public transport”, “Find a dog”, etc. Each time you complete an instruction you ask the deck for a new card, and keep going until you decide to stop.
Example of a Dérive app card. Continue Reading
I broke my iPhone yesterday.
Don’t be deceived by the smile. This is just me trying to be a good sport. I’m not happy. (Photo: Fiver Löcker)
I dropped the phone during an Instawalk. Last weekend, the people at Instagram challenged Instagrammers all over the world to meet up locally and walk together. It went without saying that the Instagram groups from Joburg (@IGersJozi) and Pretoria (@IGersPretoria) would get together and do a walk, as we do on most Sunday afternoons. Continue Reading
…ahem. Penis Enlargement.
Penis enlargement sign on Mint Rd., Fordsburg.
I’ve been planning this post for a while. But when it came time to actually write it, I hesitated. I don’t want to offend anyone and I don’t want to invite the wrong kind of web traffic, if you know what I mean. Continue Reading