consciously soak in moments. turn them into movies, into stills. don’t ever forget the seconds that make life soft and beautiful. collect them. review them in your dreams.
A Celebration of Imperfection: Isn’t it amazing how beautiful people are? Look at anyone and study them. Admire their features: how their lips tort and eyes glisten, how their hair falls or sticks or lays. How their eyebrows flex and the way their arms fold and how expressive their hands are. The way their body moves and how their chest rises and falls so subtly with their pulse. People are beautiful even if we don’t find them attractive. The fact that they’re a living being is unbelievably magnificent.
Hello Beautiful People
I hope this post finds you in good health and with a joyful heart, soul and mind. I am incredibly excited for today’s post and to be able to share a few photographs of special moments captured here in South Africa, Johannesburg on my family and I’s very last weekend here before the sixth of August when we pack up our last few bits and bobs, hop on a plane, travel seven hours and arrive in Dubai, our new home country + adventure of note.
We celebrated our last Saturday doing something we as a family love most, exploring the hidden gems of Jozi, seeing new things, eating amazing food, laughing plenty, meeting new people (and bumping into a few familiar faces in the process) but most of all, having a good time. We did this by visiting two of the very best markets in all of Johannesburg, the first being The Neighbourgood’s Market and the second, 44 on Stanley.
Both of these fantastic places have such a unique, authentic, rustic yet modern feel wrapped within their their interiors. The happiness that people feel is the very first impression you get as you walk into these two places where you are greeted with the smells of fresh coffee beans being roasted, delicious curry, paella, burgers, pizza (almost every kind of food you could ever think of) being made as well as the phenomenal buzz of different people with different cultures, backgrounds, religions and opinions mixing and spending time with one another.
Taking in all of this is at first may be rather overwhelming, however, once you adjust to the sheer brilliant madness of these two places, you’ll feel right at home. I personally feel that Braamfontein (where these two wonderful places are situated) is an oasis of peace and joy with its perfect imperfections. The area of Braamfontein is a place where every kind of person, regardless of the restraints the ‘outside world’ places on them, is accepted and you are free to express yourself freely; this incredible phenomena is, undoubtly, infectious and makes me proud to be South African. There is no single word aside from wonderful to sum Johannesburg and all of its hidden gems that I’ll be sharing with you in this post today up with one big beautiful bow.
So, in the pursuit of making this momentous weekend even more special I decided to capture, to the very best of my ability, the splendour of both The Neighbourgood’s Market as well as 44 on Stanley through the lens of my trusty friend, my camera.
Let’s Finally Blog
First of all, The Neighbourgood’s Market.
Your first greeting as you arrive in Braamfontein is an amazing wall mural made entirely out of cool drink bottle tops, this astonishing spectacle never ceases to amaze us.
The second rather amazing, happy face of Nelson Mandela shines brightly in the clear blue skies of Braamies.
The city centre
The Neighbourgood’s Market
The entrance and sign into the market has become, quite frankly, one of the most photographed places in all of Jo’burg and why not? The sign is understandably perfect.
As previously stated, the market sells fantastic food, however, it doesn’t stop there, the market sells clothes, jewelry, shoes, bags, you name it, they’ve got it. These items are all uniquely designed and often thrifted which I believe gives the market a special dynamic and angle as opposed to everyday shopping malls.
Here’s a little peek into what exactly the inside of the food market looks like and what is on sale. The market itself is situated in an old three story parking lot where, obviously cars no longer park and where nifty stores are placed.
The top floor of the market is mainly an area where people sit down on make-shift seating and enjoy their food and drinks and socialize. This area has amazing views of Jo’burg and amazing modern-styled buildings surrounding it.
Including a better view of the legend, that is Nelson Mandela, smiling down on all of Braamfontein.
After our morning fun at the market we took a short walk to the best little coffee shop in town, Father Coffee.
It’s minimalist style and hipster feel makes it the perfect place to grab a coffee, take a seat and enjoy yourself. It will forever be one of my all time favourite places.
My father (and is broken collarbone) standing under the infamous Father sign at Father Coffee.
44 on Stanley
After just a short drive of blasting Justin Bieber through the streets of Braamfontein (on request from Hannah, my sister) we traveled from The Neighbourgood’s Market and arrived at the one & only, 44 on Stanley.
One of the main features of this market is that it has amazing rooftop walkways that allow you to see Jozi from a whole new perspective & light. For me, walking around 44 on Stanley is therapeutic.
An aerial shot of the entrance into the market (taken from one of the many rooftop walkways you are able to explore.)
In order to access the rooftop you’ll have to climb up a series of metal staircases which is, admittedly, exhausting, however the view and experience is totally, without a doubt worth the effort.
Now for the shopping. 44 on Stanley is renowned for it’s unique boutique stores for clothing, food, house decor and many, many more.
The drama queen / fashionista of the family, Hannah, enjoyed trying on endless dresses and accessories during our explorations, quite obviously, this was the aspect of the trip she enjoyed the most.
Something a little more unique, the store Lunar, always brings a great big smile to my face every time we visit it. The beautiful, whimsical dresses makes me feel like a princess in a timeless fairy tale.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the store Anatomy will be the place I buy all of my dream home decor, I simply love the minimal, simplistic and understated look of all the furniture and other bits and bobs Anatomy has on sale.
It wasn’t long before all our exploring caught up with us and we had to stop at one of the very best Italian restaurants in Braamfontein for a pizza, or two, or three…
More rooftop exploring…
After lunch we decided to have our dessert at Bean There, a special gem hidden in the heart of 44 on Stanley.
Bean There, done that.
Behind the cafe itself, there is a sweet little seating area for the more introverted soul to grab a coffee and re-cooperate.
The final few snaps of the day.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post and its inspired enough to grab your camera, head on out to your nearest market and soak up the sun, absorb the festivities of your surroundings and capture the beauty in the small things you may come across much like I intended to do through my explorations in the world’s very best city + my home, Johannesburg.
This should be one of my last posts here in South Africa before I move to Dubai so be sure to stay in touch and keep an eye out for all of exciting new posts, experiences and stories I intend to share on this blog of mine.
Wishing you all of the very best for the week ahead.