Urban Hiking, Jozi Fashion, Mexican Rooftopping, and an Underground Feast

It’s a long title, I know. I can’t help it though — it was an eventful day.

The purpose of the JCTA media weekend (read about the beginning of the weekend here) was to show the media (and the world) the great things downtown Joburg has to offer. And this city offers a lot. Therefore we were very busy on Saturday and we all had a ridiculously good time.

Here is a photographic narrative of my day.

9:00 a.m.: Constitution Hill to the Carlton Centre with Walk & Talk Tours

walking the ramparts

Walking the ramparts around the Old Fort Prison on Constitution Hill.

On Saturday morning the journalists were broken into small groups, and each group participated in a different activity. I believe my group got the most exhausting activity of all: a marathon walk from Constitution Hill to the Carlton Centre with an outfit called Walk & Talk Tours. I’m not complaining though. I love walking in the city and we saw lots of great stuff. Every time I take a walk like this I discover new things.

Kitcheners old-timers

Near the beginning of the walk, our group stopped for a breakfast visit to the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein. Alessio and I grabbed coffee at the market and then crossed the street to Kitchener’s Carvery and Bar — a legendary Braamfontein pub. We found a bunch of regulars sitting at the bar (at 10 o’clock in the morning), who accosted us and demanded our help in naming the Seven Dwarfs.

Eland

The Eland statue at the corner of Ameshoff and Bertha Streets in Braamfontein. The Eland is one of the most recognizable public artworks in Joburg. It was constructed by artist Clive van den Berg in 2007 and weighs 20 tons. 

toy salesman

Interesting toys for sale on Diagonal Street.

Diagonal

Diagonal building on Diagonal Street.

following the dots

Walking along Main Street, “following the dots”. Beryl, the leader of Walk & Talk Tours, placed these colorful dots all along our route.

Carlton

Our destination: The Carlton Centre. The only downside was that we ran out of time and didn’t get to go up to the top.

12:30 p.m.: Fashion Show in the Fashion District

Fashion square

Fashion design fans get ready to watch an African fashion show.

We hopped a shuttle from the Carlton Centre and met up with the rest of the group, which was gathered in the Jozi Fashion District. The Fashion District, which is right smack in the middle of the city, is incredibly cool. I’m ashamed that I haven’t written about it before, but I’m actually going on another tour there this coming weekend and will write about it then.

Anyway, we were lucky enough to catch a fashion show, put on by students designing clothes with shwe-shwe fabric.

Fashion runway

Walking the runway.

model

The male models received the most applause.

maternity models

I loved these shwe-shwe maternity outfits. Although I’m not sure any pregnant woman in her right mind would wear those heels.

2:00 p.m.: Lunch and networking at the Bus Factory

We had a networking lunch at the Bus Factory in Newtown, where the offices of the Johannesburg Development Agency are located. It was very nice, but I suffered a temporary fit of exhaustion during that period and neglected to take any photos.

4:30 p.m.: Sundowners on the roof of the Parktonian Hotel

Parktonian sunset

Pretty.

I’ve visited the Parktonian’s beautiful rooftop bar before so I won’t show you too many photos of the view this time. However, the most notable part of our sundowner event on Saturday was not the view, but the Mexican theme. The servers were decked out in ponchos and sombreros, and Mexican food and drink was served. I was very excited by this. My love for Mexican food is well known.

sombrero guy

The mini nachos and guacamole weren’t great. But the servers’ outfits were fabulous beyond words, as was the white Irish-South-African mariachi musician (you can see him in the background of this pic) who strolled around with a Mexican guitar and portable stereo speaker singing “La Bamba” in an Irish accent.

There was lots of tequila at the Parktonian, which put everyone in a fine humor and helped us to forget how cold it was up there.

Well done, Parktonian. I heart you.

7:30 p.m.: Dinner at the Forum – Turbine Hall

Turbine Hall

Turbine Hall.

Turbine Hall, in Newtown, used to be a massive power station. Eventually it became a derelict building that housed hundreds of homeless people. Then, about ten years ago, the building was rehabilitated into an amazing event space.

We had dinner there on Saturday, at an opulent underground venue called the Forum.

Forum table

Table set for 75.

Laurice hammering

This is Laurice. She writes a cool blog called “Nothing to Do in Joburg Besides”. Somehow she got assigned the difficult task of hammering open this elaborate dish — a hard, salty bread crust with beef fillet inside. I can’t remember what it’s called. (Sorry. I drank tequila.)

The Forum is occasionally open to the public for dinner and other events. I highly recommend it.

I left the Forum at around 10:00 p.m., tired and full. I was asleep by 11:00.

The weekend continued on Sunday, when we spent the morning and afternoon touring the Maboneng Precinct. I’ve written a lot about Maboneng before though, so I will stop here. Writing this post has exhausted me all over again.

I love Jozi. The end.

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No Comments

  • Reply Eileen Myburgh May 23, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Hi

    hard, salty bread crust with beef fillet inside. – this is called a Beef Wellington

    hope that that helps

    Eileen

    • Reply 2summers May 23, 2013 at 9:04 am

      Haha, that’s so simple! Thank you. I feel like it was described as something else on the Forum menu though. I should have taken a photograph if it 🙂

  • Reply mzansigirl May 23, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Lovely post of our awesome weekend in the city. I’m still exhausted, but ready to do it all over again 🙂

  • Reply Justcallmegertie May 23, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Fabulous! It is not a Beef Wellington, because the crust of a beef Wellington is edible. I’ve seen this salt crust cooking on Masterchef. You don’t eat the crust, it is only for cooking. Apparently delicious if done well. It is called ‘en croute de sel’, so this was probably filet en croute de sel.
    The forum looks like a fab venue! Will definitely remember that and try and go to see it! I love the underground feel.

    • Reply 2summers May 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Yes, that sounds familiar! They also served a second dish that was exactly the same but had salmon fillet instead of beef. I ate that one — it was delicious.

      • Reply Justcallmegertie May 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

        Apparently a very good way to cook meat or veggies, to retain moisture. Sounds very complicated to me! But I am sure it is yum!

  • Reply SusanB May 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    It’s easy to pick up a celebrity magazine on my breaks at work to pass mindless time. My point is celebs wear ridiculous heels like that when they are pregnant. A small thought to leave but I was paying attention to the more important points to this expansive post.

    • Reply 2summers May 29, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Hahaha. I’m glad you were paying attention 🙂

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