Saturday, November 29, 2008

Inner City Living

PIC: Room with a view - The Joburg inner city from Calum Stevenson's apartment (by Bram Lammers)
It is dusk and the sun's light reflects against the windows of Johannesburg's office buildings that stretch towards the sky. The effect is one of a bejewelled city, basking in the light of the sun's last rays. Metres below, cars and taxis work their way through the maze-like pattern of the city's roads, their actions punctuated by the sound of hooting horns.  Men, women, students and children mingle about the streets enjoying the late afternoon reprieve from the day's heat. And buses and trains carrying tired travellers and weary workers slowly manoeuvre their way from Johannesburg's Park Station.

Leaning against the balustrade of a seventh floor apartment in Wolmarans Street on the southern edge of Braamfontein, these are some of the stories that unfold below me.

Perhaps I am just recovering from a long day but there seems to be a relative calm in the city at this time that makes the hustle, bustle and flow of activity seem like a well orchestrated piece of music. It's a catchy tune and it makes me want to tap my feet as my host, who calls this seventh floor apartment home, says, "If you're going to be in the city, you have to live in the city." 

Callum Stevenson's two-bedroom, upmarket New York-style apartment is enviably cool. Complete with wooden floors and granite table tops, modern light fittings, big windows and an overall creative use of space, inner city living has certainly come to represent the best in urban living if Callum's apartment is anything to go by.  

To top it all off, his corner flat gives him a 180 degree view of Johannesburg - a fantastic spot from which to witness the changing face of this captivating city.  From up here the era of urban decay that defined Johannesburg's inner city for about two decades is truly reversing itself.

As we look towards the Gautrain crane in the distance, Callum says, "Joburg is without a doubt on its up cycle. You can already see it. The streets are clean, there is police visibility, beautiful public artworks, stunning buildings and new apartments coming up all the time."
To read the rest of this article by Lindy Mtongana :
With credit: "South Africa: The Good News:

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