An Organic, Vegan Exploration of Joburg

An Organic, Vegan Exploration of Joburg

Last weekend I was invited to attend Honest Travel's inaugural "Organic Vegan Experience" tour in downtown Joburg. We met in the afternoon at the Windybrow Theatre in Hillbrow and meandered around town until nightfall, visiting various urban gardens and greenhouses....

A Corner Shop Exhibition in Brixton

A Corner Shop Exhibition in Brixton

For more than half a century, the Hong family ran a corner shop at 166 Caroline Street in Brixton, one of Joburg's oldest residential suburbs. Immigrant-owned corner shops, much like spaza shops, are an iconic part of South African history and culture. 166 Caroline...

Yummy Mayfair: An American Junk Food Bonanza

Yummy Mayfair: An American Junk Food Bonanza

Earlier this week my American friend Ryan tipped me off to a shop called Yummy, in Mayfair, which sells a quirky selection of imported American junk food. I googled the place and knew immediately that I had to make a pilgrimage. Ryan and I went to Yummy yesterday. The...

Thoughts on the U.S. Presidential Election, From Afar

Thoughts on the U.S. Presidential Election, From Afar

Yesterday morning, I woke up and watched a recording of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' presidential election victory speeches. I was extremely far removed from that stage in Wilmington, Delaware -- sitting in bed at my house in Johannesburg with my iPhone balanced on my...

A Visit to the Thokoza Memorial

A Visit to the Thokoza Memorial

Last weekend I attended my second #SpazaShopTour of Katlehong and Thokoza (see my post about the first tour), and visited the Thokoza Memorial for the first time. The Thokoza Memorial, opened in 1999, honors the people who died in this area during the violent...

A Tree at Westdene Dam

A Tree at Westdene Dam

Today is Election Day in the United States. I had been thinking I could be sort of normal -- write a blog post, go about my day, etc. My vote has already been cast, after all. I'm a hemisphere away from America and there's nothing more I can do. Plus it's probably...

Return to the White Jacaranda Trees of Herbert Baker Street

Return to the White Jacaranda Trees of Herbert Baker Street

I am having a rough week. It's one of those weeks when I doubt and question everything about myself, both personally and professionally, and wonder if I shouldn't just shut down my blog, sell all my possessions, and move to Bali with my cat. Luckily though, the...

#10SouthAfricanTowns, Part 3: Kaapsehoop

#10SouthAfricanTowns, Part 3: Kaapsehoop

Kaapsehoop is the (long belated) third stop in my #10SouthAfricanTowns project, for which I’m visiting ten small towns across South Africa. Read about my first stop in Val and my second stop in Kameel. In September 2019, when I was first conceiving the idea for my...

Joburg Jacaranda Watch: October 2020

Joburg Jacaranda Watch: October 2020

Joburg's jacaranda trees are off to a slow start this year. Although the timing of the purple bloom explosion varies from year to year, there's no question we should have way more of them by now. Jacaranda trees on Melville's 3rd Avenue yesterday. There are a few...

Farewell From the Melville Cat

Farewell From the Melville Cat

From the Melville Cat: Good day, friends. I have sad news: This will be my final blog post. I am writing to you from Beyond. I don't know where I've gone, exactly. But all is well. I will try my best to explain. My favorite photo of myself. Yesterday began as usual. I...

Spaza Shop Magic in Katlehong

Spaza Shop Magic in Katlehong

On Saturday I participated in the first-ever #SpazaShopTour, starting and ending at African Accent Spaza Shop in Katlehong. Walking through Katlehong. The weather was miraculously perfect for a six-kilometer walk. We wound through Katlehong and Thokoza, visiting spaza...

Lockdown Nostalgia: It’s a Thing

Lockdown Nostalgia: It’s a Thing

It's late September, summer in Joburg, and I'm suffering from a case of lockdown nostalgia. Remember that time I published a blog post every day for 100 days, and I had nothing to post except flowers and cats but you all enjoyed it anyway? (Or maybe you just read it...

A Sunday Afternoon at Zoo Lake

A Sunday Afternoon at Zoo Lake

Zoo Lake, a popular public park in Parkview across Jan Smuts Avenue from the Johannesburg Zoo, is one of the most popular parks in Joburg and less than a ten-minute drive from my house. Yet I have not blogged about Zoo Lake for nearly a decade. (Here's my post about...

Announcing the Katlehong and Thokoza Spaza Shop Tour

Announcing the Katlehong and Thokoza Spaza Shop Tour

Many of you may remember my post about the African Accent Spaza Shop in Katlehong, which I visited for the first time in June. My first time at the African Accent Spaza Shop. (Photo: Nkosikhona Kumalo) I've kept going back, for various reasons. Every time I go I wind...

Heather Mason

I’m an American writer/blogger/photographer living a quirky life in Johannesburg. Follow along as I explore Johannesburg, South Africa, and the rest of the world.

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