Recently, I was asked on Facebook to list my ten favourite things that I like about Jozi. This is what I came up with. Yes, there are a lot of omissions but I feel as if this list is very ME and are the elements I will miss when I move out of this exquisite city. What are your ten?
1. The Carlton Centre
Once upon a time, this was the Sandton City of Jozi. Even though business has moved north, this is still an amazing mall. The view from the top is pure magic.
2. Sunninghill: Corner of Maxwell and Van Der Bijl
As random as this location is, the sunsets from this point are probably the best in Jozi. The real gem is a few hundred metres away at the helipad inside Megawatt Park. Wow…
3. Rivonia McDonalds
How did the blandest chain in South Africa land up on this list? I should be more specific and say that this is best enjoyed on a Saturday morning around 10am after a heavy night out. I had a ritual a while back where I would get some breakfast and read the property section of the Saturday Star. I still go there except I don’t really read the property section. Also, if it is a Saturday morning, get the orange juice. It will do you good.
4. Emmarentia Dam
The gardens around the dam are a pleasure all year around. However, autumn brings a little more to it as the leaves brown and leave a glow that just makes you happy.
5. The avenues of Old Jozi
I think I am the only person that remembers the series “Avenues” that played on SABC 3 for like two episodes or so. It was widely touted as the worst piece of television ever made in this country. That is not why I like the avenues of Jozi. The avenues are this sea of glorious green. In spring, these transform as the jacarandas bloom. I cannot explain this as you just need to see it.
6. Cocktails in Melville
I’ve previously touched on the marvels that this bohemian (yes, I used the word yet again) suburb possesses but the coolest thing is the half price cocktail specials at many of the bistros on the strip. Sixes have a legendary selection of cocktails that are half priced till 19h00. Then you move across the street to <insert bar name here as I have no freaking clue what the name is> and you keep the night going. The taxi fare back will hurt but it is totally worth it.
7. Food in Fordsburg
Tikka chicken (or Shayona’s if you’re vegetarian) and a visit to Hanover Bakery are all you need to live a content life.
8. Jozi CBD on a Saturday morning
Granted I’ve not been there much but there is something about a bustling city centre that moves you. When I make my way to Durban, I love just taking a walk through the old Grey Street complex and up and down West Street and Smith Street. You feel something. You also get some seriously good food and some GREAT bargains. Jozi CBD on a Saturday morning is that on some heavily banned steroids.
9. 44 Stanley
This is undoubtedly my favourite place in Jozi.
10. A braai at a townhouse
Modern Jozi lives in townhouses stacked three high. These townhouses number in the millions, possibly billions or maybe even hundreds of trillions. As monotonous as these are, you cannot beat a braai on the balcony of one of these in the company of good friends.