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The JCTA weekend in the city continues…

Day 2 of the JCTA weekend in the city was by far the very busiest.  If you missed how we kicked off on day one, you can read all about it here. The aim of this event was to showcase Jozi’s CBD & surrounds to the media ahead of the Joburg City festival happening 25th – 31st August 2013 (post soon) celebrating the inner city & all it has to offer…

Back to day 2…We split up into a few groups for the morning and headed off on our various activities. My group had an 8am start, walking the streets of Braamfontein for a graffiti tour lead by Past Experiences. Whoever said they need coffee 1st thing in the morning obviously has not met the early morning Jozi Autumn chill!

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Making our way along De Korte Street…

De Korte Street by the way is the same road that Randlords is on. We didn’t go there as part of this weekend but you have got to check it out. The view blew my mind! It’s a really tough one to beat…

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On De Korte Street

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The graffiti walking tour was more interesting than I’d imagined it would be. Our guide was very passionate, talking us through the different types of graffiti, tagging (when the artist marks their name) and some of the more well-known local and international artists and their characteristic styles. Yup that’s right we have international graffiti artists coming all the way to SA – who knew?

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70 Juta Street

We also got to talking about the “but is it art?” debate around graffiti whereby its often seen as a kind of vandalism and not appreciated/supported. I wouldn’t say I didn’t notice graffiti in the city before but I will say that I won’t just gloss over it the way I have in the past. Now I find myself stopping to have a good look & wishing I knew who the artist was & what the story is behind the piece…

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Even breakfast needs dessert 🙂

With our morning exercise done, it was time to fill our tummies & I can’t begin to tell you how much mine smiled when I found out our brekkie would be at Daleahs. We huddled inside & Daleah herself was there to get us comfy & warmed up. I honestly could dedicate this post to their salmon scramble but I’ll just let you read my review instead.

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The bustling Neighbourgoods market

We headed to the Neighbourgoods Market to walk off Daleahs. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t done a post about Neighbourgoods yet. Probably because I imagined everyone, like me had been there a gazillion times but I’m really shocked when I meet people who haven’t (‘fess up, you know who you are!).

Born in September 2011 & by the same people who bring us the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town, Neighbourgoods runs every Saturday morning from 9am to 3pm and brings hundreds of people into what was once an old parking lot. Go early, dress warm & comfy & arrive hungry!

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Designgoods is the new dedicated fashion & décor section of Neighbourgoods (that used to be upstairs).

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SewAfrica fashion show at Fashion Kapitol

We met up with the rest of the groups at Fashion Kapitol on Pritchard Street where 1st year students put on a very impressive fashion show. The students had amazing support not just from the crowds watching but also from each other, cheering from the side lines. I loved that the models were all different shapes and sizes & they even put on a show of maternity wear. It was incredible to think they were only in 1st year (& we’re only in May!). I had a quick look around the market and some of the handbags really caught my eye…

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Then we made our way to the  glorious Parktonian Hotel for Mexican themed sundowners…

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The entertainment…

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The food…

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…& that view.

The Parktonian was an amazing discovery of the weekend & the rooftop is high on my list to bring friends by to show off the city…

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The bar at The Turbine Hall (source)

The last stop of the day was the Turbine Hall, in Newtown. To really appreciate this venue, I have to tell you a bit about the journey that it’s been on. An old power station from the 1920’s, it simply couldn’t keep with the burgeoning demands of the city growth through the gold rush and was replaced by Orlando power station, remaining eventually only to function as a back up.

It operated as such into the 70’s when it became inefficient to run and with the degradation of the city, with many businesses following the route of a mass exodus to Sandton & it shut down altogether. As recently as the early 2000’s, the building stood derelict in the midst of an ownership squabble & was home to over 300 squatters.

It’s simply unfathomable when you look at what The Turbine Hall, now home of AngloGold Ashanti is today…

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We enjoyed an illustrious 3 course dinner (felt like 10 courses!)

I’d been to the venue before, once for a conference and then a fashion show so I had a pretty good idea that it was going to be ahmazing. Still, my jaw dropped a little again, seeing just how they’d transformed the venue this time. Dinner consisted of duck, salmon, chicken curry & even my favourite crème brulee (I don’t know how they knew but they must have!) amongst the 20+ items on our dinner menu. With their “farm to table” ethos (everything we ate was harvested in a 15km radius), it was easy to see just why they’d recently won an international award for catering in Las Vegas.

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These macaroon lollies stole the show at the dessert buffet.

You can join in their underground dinners feasts on the last Friday of every month and also pop in for the Turbine Art Fair that runs 26th to the 28th of July.

A telling sign of my age (and the previous night’s antics that I hadn’t quite shaken) was that I decidedly made my way to the 1st available shuttle back to my hotel. I crept into the huge bed at The Bannister Hotel that night (just a mere 1km from my own bed at home) exhausted but exhilarated & so proud of my city, thinking through the highlights of the day in m head.

I really, really, really, heart this city!

Yes, of course there’s more! Part 3 soon!

W

Update: you can see how the weekend ended with my day 3 update here.

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