Tag Archives: joburg

A-Z Challenge: B Is For Buildings

A late afternoon drive down Harrison Street in the Johannesburg inner city helped me appreciate the beauty of the buildings that have been there since the 19th century.

©2016 Regina Martins
©2016 Regina Martins

Some buildings may look bedraggled and rundown but their beauty is still evident.

I don’t know which building is captured in the photos below, I searched the web and came up with nothing. I’m not sure if it’s Victorian or Edwardian architecture. It appears to be undergoing renovation. Che seems to this that it’s the City Hall but that is on Rissik Street.

Victory House (below) on the corner of Harrison and Fox Streets is a building “of great historical and architectural significance and is famous for having Johannesburg’s first ever lift…which had crowds gaping for weeks” and has stood since 1897.

“The lift was a technological marvel, complete with a safety apparatus; it also boasted a polished oak cage and an upholstered seat. The lift was supplied by R Waygood of England. An early letter to the lift firm references the employment of a caretaker and the purchase of a bag of coal to operate the boiler which worked the hydraulic lift. The total cost of the original lift, boiler and engine was 1020 pounds. The staircase was made of cast iron, also made in England it was the first fireproof staircase in Johannesburg” (Wikipedia).

©2016 Regina Martins
The Classical Colonial architectural style, designed and built by WH Stucke ©2016 Regina Martins

88 Fox Street – I searched for information on this building and found a reference to it being the Equity Building but I’m not able to verify this right now. All I know is that it is in very good condition and the men’s outfitters, Lightbody’s, still occupies the ground floor. Che used to buy his pipe band gear there when he was in high school. This goes back a while, so Lightbody’s has been there, at least, since the 1980s if not longer.

©2016 Regina Martins
©2016 Regina Martins
©2016 Regina Martins
©2016 Regina Martins

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and is the economic hub of the country. It was established in 1886 when gold was discovered on the farm. It’s also affectionally known as Jozi, Jo’burg, Egoli, and Joeys to us locals.

This is the city I grew up in, live in and at different times, worked in, so I have a soft spot for it. When I was at university I used to get off the bus at the start of the inner city and walk all the way to the bus terminus square where I caught another bus home, just so that I could absorb the city’s energy.

The population of Joburg is currently over 4 million people and growing each year.

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Legacy Of Old Joburg

How apt that I took this photo yesterday and it fits today’s one-word prompt so well – Legacy.

It was taken from the 4th floor of the building I was in downtown Joburg. I found the preserved facade of the old building that used to stand there quite beautiful, contrasting with the glass and steel of the modern building which took its place.

Continue reading Legacy Of Old Joburg

Strange City

This article on Women24 caught my eye. It’s humorous at the same time as being realistic. I find myself not wanting to go out for similar reasons.

It’s entitled “Why Joburg is the strangest city”. She starts off by saying:

In most big cities, one drives to the dry cleaners, parks, runs in, picks up the clothes, and runs out again. In Jozi - not so much.

The writer tells of wanting to pick up a dress at the dry cleaners, and on the way, of having to deal with vendors at traffic lights wanting to wash her car’s windows, sell counterfeit DVDs and homeless magazines.

At the end of it all she got home with a whole lot of goods she didn’t need, a bunch of homeless magazines and no dress from the dry cleaners.

I don’t want anyone washing my car windows at traffic lights so I normally give the window washer an apple or a sandwich from my lunch. I don’t buy goods simply because my purse is in the boot of the car – on account of all the smash and grabs that can happen, nothing is visible in the car.

It is for the same reason that I dont buy homeless magazines, even though I would be helping a homeless person.

Living in this city is amazing and it is also amazingly complex.

Read the whole article here.

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Weekly photo challenge: Space and limits

I love white spaces, spaces that you can do anything with. A white space can look different every day.

One of my favourite white spaces is in the Wanderers Building at the Dimension Data Campus in Bryanston where The Forum conference facility is located. I unfortunately don’t have photos of that space.

The photos I’m showcasing today is of the space at the Standard Bank Gallery in the Joburg city centre. In September last year they exhibited Justin Fiske’s kinetic sculptures. They are astonishing, how they just hang, move or come to a standstill. Or just stand still yet seem as though they are in movement.

As the observer physically interacts with the sculpture they become simultaneously the observed. I love that, something so quantum about it.

The gallery also represents a space without boundaries, where each artist makes it their own, yet at the same time it is contained by walls –  the incongruity of space and limits. Or is it space vs. limits?

Space and limits - Standard Bank Gallery
Space and limits – Standard Bank Gallery
Space and limits - Standard Bank Gallery
Space and limits – Standard Bank Gallery


WordPress's weekly photo challenge this week is Room.  Like a few other English wordsRoom means two contradictory things. It can be the four walls that enclose us, giving us shelter and comfort but also limiting our movement. It’s also the limitless space into which we can wander and which we can fill — or try to (think about that expression, “room to grow”).

Check out more interpretations of the this week's theme here:

Desensitization – cops 1 robbers 0

There was a shooting (cops 1 and robbers 0) on Rivonia Road by Morningside this afternoon. As a result this main arterial that crosses Sandton from South to North was closed until well into the evening.

As the company I work for is situated on the busiest intersection on Rivonia Road, it took me 30 minutes to travel less than 500m. Traffic backed up into level 2 of the parking garage.

The intersection with Rivonia was gridlocked as cars kept on moving even after the red light came on, effectively blocking those of us trying to get across.

I must say that surprisingly, there was very little hooting and road rage.

Traffic police were nowhere to be seen. No surprise there! No gesticulating traffic cops shouting at motorists this time. No slapstick in the afternoon.

We’ve become desensitized in this city – listening to the news on the radio about the shooting and being caught in the resultant traffic chaos – all  could think of was that I needed to get across the intersection to fill up with petrol so that I didn’t have to leave home earlier in the morning to do so.