Joburg walkabout – JDA announces Halala Awards nominations

Much like the kid in that movie Australia (although I could never claim to be that cute; and in my defence I watched it on a plane and it convinced me of the effects of altitude on cultivating one’s taste for schmaltzy movies) I too enjoy going walkabout. Never more so than in my own city. So Wednesday was a treat. A chance to walk across the inner city with the Johannesburg Development Agency team. The occasion was the opening of nominations for the 2012 Halala Awards.

City view from Main Street - West

The Awards are in their fifth year and they recognise the people and projects that are making the sometimes neglected, and often maligned inner city the place to be. Sharon Lewis, Executive Manager for Planning and Strategy, spoke about investment being a key driver in the realization of the vision of Joburg as a world-class city. She mentioned an impact study conducted that found “for every R1-million invested in the city by the city, the public sector responded with R19-million”. These are critical partnerships.

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Cappuccinos I have known and loved

Left one rainy city for another for an Easter break near that imposing mountain. Cape Town has toyed with us. One sunny day, one rainy day, one sunny day, one cold day, and so on. Saturday morning led us to Long Street in a city that really seems to work for itself. Long Street ties it all together with its appeal to the cosmo-hippie-boho-bergie-Euro set. The antiques arcade – a real find – and Clarke’s awesome bookstore with its incredible selection of local literature sit side by side with a bar carrying huge signs advertising R10 a shooter (visions are conjured, and they are nor pretty), surf shops, a German barber and my latest find, Yours Truly, home of the artistic cappuccino. Or at least home to Sakky, the guy behind the counter that ended my search for cappuccino art. Definitively.
For the past few months I have taken to photographing my daily cup. Continue reading

Obama won and we won

#60. Celebrate. The mood is great. Everybody’s talking. We love Barack Obama. In Australia they are saying it’s the realisation of Martin Luther King’s dream. In Kenya tomorrow has been declared a public holiday in honour of Obama’s “Kenyan-ness”.

Obama didn’t forget anyone in his acceptance speech — he was gracious, inspiring, and even made Jesse Jackson cry. Not since Nelson Mandela has the world had such a “leader”. A man who embraces ideals as he speaks, who talks to everyone, who refers not to “I” but to “we” — as in “we, the people”.

And now for the questions this all raises. Where’s the photo of George Bush leaving the White House with his pot plant from the Oval Office and cardboard box filled with love letters to Condi. What breed of puppy with Obama’s kids choose (I have a spare 3-month-old German Shepherd who prefers Business Day to The Times as a morning meal) and who would probably thrive on some international travel. And then there’s that other question. Can it still be called the White House?