Emily, a friend of mine from America who is backpacking around the world, visited me in Jozi this weekend. The timing of Emily’s visit was both lucky and unlucky. Unlucky because it rained all weekend. Lucky because this was the funnest Jozi weekend ever, jam-packed with quirky art exhibitions, musical performances, photowalks, and other awesome things.
Herewith is a recap of the Weekend of Jozi Awesomeness, recorded on my iPhone.
On Thursday evening we went to the opening of the “I collect gingers” exhibition at the Circa on Jellicoe gallery in Rosebank. The photo pretty much explains what the exhibition is about.
I felt lukewarm about the I collect gingers exhibition itself. But the ginger-tinged sunset that we saw from the Circa roof was phenomenal.
The upstairs exhibit at the Circa: “As It Is in Heaven” by Beezy Baily. This gallery is awesome — worth a visit for anyone interested in art or architecture.
We spent most of the day on Friday sheltering from the rain at home and in coffee shops. But in the evening we went to the Bassline, a legendary concert venue in Newtown (which used to be in Melville), to see Malian singer Vieux Farka Touré. Words can’t describe the awesomeness of this concert. It was so good that I didn’t even mind being kept out past 11:00 p.m. If you like West African music and ever hear that this guy is performing in your area, GO.
On Saturday we drove down the road to Braamfontein and spent the morning and afternoon eating at the Neighbourgoods Market, browsing in vintage clothing shops, and looking at African artwork at the beautiful Wits Art Museum. The photo above is of a trendy Braamfontein street.
Saturday evening, after waiting out another torrential rainstorm at the Lucky Bean in Melville, we attended our second musical gig of the weekend at the Afrikan Freedom Station in Sophiatown. (Read about my previous visit to the Afrikan Freedom Station.) We heard Nancy G, a local musician who I saw perform at the Bushfire Festival, and a band called UJU (pictured above). Both performances and the venue itself were, of course, awesome. I love the Afrikan Freedom Station and plan to spend more time hanging out there in the immediate future.
On Sunday morning we braved yet more rain for a tour of public works by Jozi artist Hannelie Coetzee. This tour, which spanned the entire Jozi CBD, was so awesome that it deserves its own blog post. In the meantime here is a detail shot of Hannelie’s mosaic in Braamfontein.
Rainy street photo taken on Commissioner St. during the Hannelie tour. You might remember this Cameron Platter graffiti mural from my I art Joburg post.
After the art tour we went to Roy’s house and ate some bananas. It was awesome. (Photo: Roy Potterill, aka @roywrench)
Let me pause to explain why I am wearing a Baltimore Ravens hat and shirt. The Ravens, my hometown American football team, played in the AFC championship yesterday against the New England Patriots. The Ravens beat the Patriots, which means they’re going to the Superbowl for the first time since 2001. One more reason why this weekend was insanely awesome.
On Sunday evening, we planned an Instawalk through downtown Jozi with some Instagramming friends. Emily has become a passionate Instagrammer lately so I was excited to introduce her to the joys of Instawalking. The rain was relentless at first but we soldiered on, trudging the streets and trying to shield our iPhones from the rain drops. Finally, finally the rain stopped. The streets were damp and shiny. And it was awesome.
Misty rain in Main Street’s Gandhi Square.
Puddle-jumping, featuring @roywrench and @emilylime3.
Quintessential Instawalker shot.
My favorite puddle shot of the evening.
We finished our epic weekend of awesomeness with pizza at the Ant. And as if things could get any more awesome, I went home and discovered that my blog surpassed 200,000 hits.
Sadly, the Weekend of Jozi Awesomeness had to end. Emily flew off to Cape Town this morning. (By the way, check out Emily’s excellent travel blog, I Climbled That.) I’m a little sad now, but happy to live in the only city on earth where such a Weekend of Awesomeness can occur. Thanks, Jozi.