Had a crazy weekend in the city, so much so that it has taken me until today to muster up the strength to write about it.
Firstly, let me just say that Braamfontein has never been more alive, and we can attribute this to our dear old friend LIQUOR! Yes, I said it, liquor... and why would I say that you ask? Well, it has finally happened, South Point have been fortunate enough to be blessed with their liquor license, meaning that the streets are running a muck with students running between the various bars now open for business in the city. And this is just what we saw on Friday!
The afternoon was filled with excitement, just having had an awesome meeting with the guys from South Point, we were amped for our City Open Bus Tour for the Spaces and Places Book Launch. The first stop, Lamunu Hotel, situated in the heart of the student village known as Braamfontein on De Korte and Melle, it is the flagship hotel of South Point. For those that have been around Braamfontein recently, it is the colourful building with the big screen outside. You cant miss it, and if you do, you must be colourblind.
Our tour took us through the newly established hotel, looking at the conference rooms, and some of the hotel rooms that they had to offer. And let just say that it is an awesome place to stay if you busy in the city. It also has a bar, with an outside area where when the cricket is playing, like on Friday, you can sit with an ice cold beer and cheer on your team. (Never mind we actually lost on Friday)
After our walk through of the hotel we all jumped on the bus and were swept through the city. Now most of these places we are pretty familiar with, but it was nice just chilling in the open and being taken around good ol Jozi. Stopping at Main Street Life, we ran into one of Jo's family friends who is working in the area renovating some of the buildings, so we broke away from the group and took a private tour of his latest project, and what a surprise when we found the most awesome graffiti... Only to discover that some of it was done by our very good friend BIAS...
After the other guests were done exploring Main Street Life, we hopped back on the bus and away we went to the mining district, and the weather was taking a turn for the worse. So to the Ashanti Hotel we go when it starts spitting with rain, and before we know it, the heavens open and one of the most intense downpours in the history of Joburg begins. So off the rooftop we go and try to take shelter in Darkie Cafe (Thats the name of the place - located on Anderson next to the Ashanti Hotel). What a cool place. If you get there early enough to get a table, it is actually a very cool, trendy, upmarket establishment for one to acquire some beverages. Alas, we did not have a place to sit, so reliable Roses Taxi was called to ferry us across the bridge back to our vehicles. If it was not raining, we would have just walked it, and as it turns out, walking it would have been quicker, because due to the rain, we got stuck in the worst traffic jam... A trip that should take no longer than 10 minutes took us just over an hour... needless to say that we all got know each other a little better after that trip...
Once we finally arrived we took a walk through Braamfontein to go check out South Points Skybar. This is a venue, not a bar, and is referred to by the people in the know as the 'Little Randlords'. It is an outside area on the roof of one of South Points buildings with the most awesome view of the Nelson Mandela Bridge. It is an inspiring space, and the more affordable when comparing it to Randlords (also owned by South Point).
So, it sum it up, Friday was a day of discovery, finding new places in Braamfontein and experiencing the vibe that goes with student living. It is something that all Joburgers have to experience, some authentic city living.