Sunday, February 20, 2011

Man About Town

Busy busy busy...

Started the day with a tour hosted by the ArcSoc and learnt a lot about one of the oldest parts of Jozi. It was awesome, we found a cool shop that sells Shweshwe material... but one of the main reasons that this shop in particular is so awesome is because they owners and staff are the coolest people... offering the entire tour party, of 40 + people, free food and drinks... now one must note that this was not an arranged visit to the shop and the owners and staff were not expecting us to arrive... but with the influx of clearly out of place people, they sprang into action and acquired some of the best pastry snacks and samoosa's I have ever had... a bit ashamed to say that I did not hesitate to go back for more...

Please, if anyone is in the area, they should pay these guys a visit and support a small local company!! (Located at 253 Market Str)

After this tour, we rushed off down to Arts on Main and Main Street Life. The reason for this is that the Weekend Culture Club, lead by Mark Straw, are running a cool initiative...

Inspired by the 12 Decades Hotel located at Main Street Life, a few photog's have banded together to interpret the city according to the 12 decades it has been in existence, the end of which these photographs will be exhibited at the hotel itself.

This hotel itself is a living and breathing piece of art. A boutique hotel, it has rooms specifically dedicated to specific decades. These have been interpreted by leading local and international artists where they were given carte blanche to do with the rooms as they pleased, and lets just say that these are some of the coolest hotel rooms I have ever seen. Long gone are the days of generic, dull and uninspired rooms when one travels... well at least here.


Not one for the 'oasis in they city' vibe, I can honestly say that the guys down there have done something special. It is a must see and the manager is an awesome guide happy to showcase his awesome establishment.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The End of an Era is Nigh!

As many of you may know, the loss of all our drive-in theatre's, bar one, (and I say one because Menlyn does not count) is a tragedy that cannot go without at least minor protest... even if this is the only minor protest out there!

The night before last myself and the joburgtourguide (follow her here on blogspot) decided it was high time we went through and watched a couple of flicks at the drive-in... and for those of you who are not in the know, the last of these glorious relics is Velskoen in Randburg off Malibongwe! And what an awesome place to go and relax, and forget your problems for a few hours.

To our surprise, our dear friend who joined us on our outing had never once in her 28 years been to the drive-in cinema. Now this in itself is a real shame in a sense because, in my opinion, she has missed out on a real childhood experience. I still to this day remember going with my folks when I was a wee lad to go watch 'Fifel Goes West', cracking the window in the car and placing the '1950's two-way-radio' shaped speaker on the window, drinking my overly sized slushy and eating my freshly made popcorn... and those nights in matric when we could take the folks car with a bunch of friends, a bottle of crackling and a few secret smokes, and more recently at varsity, the freezing winter nights spent with our canadian friend, jackets and sleeping bags and most importantly a hot cup of coffee!

These are defining moments that I cherish and it makes me sad that this type of experience is on its way out, as marked by the closing of TopStar, a truly Jhb landmark. Shouldn't we be more concerned by this, or are we a lonely few who feel this way about the drive-in and what it has to offer?

Discovering Liliesleaf...

Watching CNBC Africa a few months back, we came across a documentary focusing on the role the farm Liliesleaf and the people associated with it had on the struggle... and we were intrigued.

Most people don't know the significance of this place in our history, but most people would have heard about the trial it is associated with... the Rivonia Trial!

To satisfy our curiosity, we went through to Rivonia to go and have a look at this historic place to see what it is all about, and lets just say that I was blown away! It is actually one of the most amazing places one can visit. The compound comprises of the original house and outhouses, the famous "Secret Safari" truck, and new interpretive centre and restaurant.

It is in this location that all of the Rivonia trialists, excluding Nelson, were captured in 1961. It delves into the history of the banning of political parties like the ANC and the Communist Party, and the collapse of peaceful resistance.

This is a must see and if you have not gone to see it then you must question your loyalty to Joburg and the country as a whole. With amazing guides, and modern, interactive displays, this is easily one of the most interesting and important attractions one could visit.

It only cost R35.00 for the entrance to the venue, then you have the choice of getting a guide at no extra cost (which I recommend) or walking through the house and out-houses on your own.

Trust me on this one, it is a MUST SEE!