Friday, June 02, 2006

Park Station

Well, I have been a bit quiet over the last week or so. I fear that this near silence will continue for a couple of weeks as I have some serious “deliverables” to prepare. But I am accumulating much thought and news on my experiences on being in the CBD for the first time since I worked a vac job at the JSE (when the JSE was in the CBD!).

This is the view from one of the offices I’m in at present. Hell this city is alive. Not yet sure whether it is a good form of life though - there seems to be a slightly sinister grubby underbelly. But I have had a good aerial view of a couple of Cosatu protests so far & I’m sure there are many to come. There is also something unique about the drive out of town, the dirty brown sunsets viewed over the rusted rooftops of industry and the flashing concrete pillars of the M2.
Watch this space for more, but probably not everyday. Those damned deliverables!

11 comments:

VallyP said...

Aaah Joeys...you describe it so well, even down to the grubby underbelly. Arriving in Commissioner Street feels like putting on an old, worn, but rather comfortable coat. Thanks for this

Third World Ant said...

I can relate on the deliverables side, got chucked in the deep end on a 2-month project starting today!

What I love about Jozi is that it's a real African city - the hustle and bustle of a developing nation is a really present feeling here (I seldom get that feeling in Cape Town, it's more like a piece of Europe stuck on the bottom of Africa). Keep on exploring, but never give the impression of being a tourist - keen beady eyes aplenty will perceive it :)

One day I should post a picture of my view of the city from my office window. Random innocent question: what is the view from your normal office window? Sandton? Illovo?

ATW said...

I agree that there is a great hustle & bustle here. I have found myself being more vigilant than I usually am. It's damn hard to navigate these streets incognito with suit & laptop. Maybe it's my pale tan that gives me away?

Ant. You'll have to make your fishing expedition a little more subtle:). As you may have noted from a pvs post - my normal office is nowhere near a window as the windows are for more important people.

Third World Ant said...

Question well skirted! My bad...

Peas on Toast said...

I fell in love with Joburg very soon after I moved here. But to the point where I'd drag Ant along to interesting parts of the city, like Hillbrow and Yeoville to take photos and freelance stories.

I really think, if one looks beyond the dirt, it really is a beautiful city with the most incredible buildings. Give it five years, and it'll be a premier African city once again.

ATW said...

Peas, agreed on the awesome buildings etc. Wish I had the cash to buy & fix up myself. I'm not yet entirley convinced that we have a New York on our hands yet (even one with a strong African twist). I want it to happen, but in places the decay is overwhelming. On the other hand, the Carlton Centre - which was boarded up only a few years ago is now a fully let & thriving shoppers paradise -(well for those of you that can put shop & paradise in the same sentence without being ill). So there is hope , but I'm not completely convinced on the 5 year plan.

Third World Ant said...

Interestingly, Joburg CBD was used as the location for the shooting of one of Faithless' videos (I might be wrong, but I think the track is 'Tarantula') precisely because it it considered to look like the New York of the 1970's... so watch this space, in a couple of years, Jozi will join the 21st century!!!

Peas on Toast said...

Wit, I'm a regular at the Carlton (and not just to submit my dreaded tax returns at SARS). The view from the top convinces me outright that JHB is one of the most beuatiful, raw, unaesthetically beuatiful skylines in the world. I am mesmerised by it, also because it's not perfect.
The mind wonders what is going on in the denseness of Hillbrow below. But that for me makes it even more exciting.

Given the world cup, it had better be a five year plan. We have no other choice. The bad parts of the city have to be cleaned up. Hopefully the Gauteng legislature hears my pleas...

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