Before launching into a post about celebrity-watching, I want to say that my heart goes out to those affected by the unthinkable violence in Norway yesterday, as well as the ongoing famine in East Africa. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ I’m not very interested in celebrities or celebrity gossip. I don’t read People or watch E! Entertainment Television. I don’t browse Perez Hilton. I wouldn’t recognize a Kardashian if I passed one on the street. And yet yesterday afternoon, I found myself in a swank department store in Melrose Arch, elbowing photographers and trying to get a decent shot of actress/supermodel/tabloid darling Elizabeth Hurley (I’ve seen Austin Powers so I was able to recognize her) at an appearance for Estée Lauder. I didn’t mean to do it — I swear! It just happened.
Yesterday I took another jaunt with the Joburg Photowalkers, a group that organizes walks around different parts of town for photographers, amateur camera enthusiasts, and people who just want to explore. (Read about the last photowalk I attended in Hillbrow.) Monday’s walk covered a few different areas on the eastern side of downtown: Troyeville, Bertrams, Ellis Park, and the 12 Decades Hotel. It’s difficult to summarize everything we did in a coherent blog post; I think my photos tell a slightly disjointed story. But here goes. We started our walk at the Troyeville Hotel, which is actually not a hotel but a restaurant. Troyeville is a historically poor white neighborhood on the edge of downtown. The Troyeville Hotel is famous for its quirkiness and delicious Portuguese-Mozambican food. I’ll have to write a longer post about it someday in the future.
A few months ago I attended my first cricket match and learned that cricket is not a game for sissies. Yesterday I discovered rugby is not for sissies, either. I’ve watched rugby on TV before, and I’ve seen Invictus. But nothing prepared me for the moment after the whistle blew, when I watched a guy catch the ball, run for a few seconds, and get slammed to the turf by a 1500-pound mob of muscle. Without pads or a helmet. My sports photography leaves a lot to be desired, but you get the idea.
I’ve been looking for an excuse to hang out at the sprawling outdoor market in Fordsburg — Joburg’s “Little India” — on a Saturday night. The market, called “the Square,” is where Fordsburg residents go to see and be seen on Saturdays. It’s also a great place to buy clothes, DVDs, spices, jewelry, and tasty Indian and Pakistani street food. Spices, packets of Indian food, and popcorn for sale at a stall in the Square.
Last night I attended another cricket match — a one-day match between South Africa and India at the historic Wanderers Stadium in Joburg. Unlike the test match I attended a few weeks ago, which lasted for five days, this one began at 2:30 in the afternoon and ended around 10:00. The final score says it all: India 190, South Africa 189. This photo was taken when it looked like South Africa would win. In the end, the home team came up one painful run short. I don’t have time to write much about the match so I’ll just share a few photos.
I love sports. I’ve attended countless professional baseball, football, soccer, ice hockey, and basketball games. I also love traveling and have done lots of it. But as of three days ago, I had never attended a professional sporting event outside the United States. I made my debut as an international sports fan this weekend. Joe is covering a cricket test match between South Africa and India and I went along. The match started on Thursday and will probably last through Monday. It poured with rain on Thursday so I delayed my debut until Friday. Cricket at SuperSport Park.
This blog was supposed to be about cricket. Joe is covering a test match between South Africa and India today, and I had planned to go with him as I’ve never seen cricket before. But instead, I am sitting at home and Joe is sitting at the stadium, not photographing cricket. Because it’s raining. Rain in the front yard.