This week marks my one year anniversary in Johannesburg and after one year, I haven’t sufficiently explored my adopted city. This post marks the first installment entitled exploring Jozi. I had a free Sunday afternoon and I returned to one of my favorite spots, Market on Main at Arts on Main in the up and coming Maboneng precinct. The market is open every Sunday from 10:00am – 3:00pm and in addition to the art galleries and stores that occupy the space, numerous food vendors and design stalls pop up on Sunday. People at the market come from all walks of life and it feels like one of the few places in Johannesburg where people of all nationalities, ages, and races intermingle for a few hours. Take a taxi or go with a friend as the drive there is through some seedy parts of town and even the streets surrounding the market shouldn’t be traversed alone.
Americans living abroad often crave Mexican food, but I crave Ethiopian. While there is plenty of Ethiopian food in the CBD, it isn’t in a safe area of town. Upon arriving at the market, I headed directly to Little Addis for a platter of Ethiopian food. Share the platter with a friend, as they dish out a heaping combo of veggies and meat (cabbage, lentils, potatoes, spinach, pumpkin, beetroot, chicken, lamb, and beef) all for 70 Rand. It almost made me feel like I was at my favorite Ethiopian spot, Lalibela, in Washington, DC. All that was missing was my friends and the two block walk home to my studio apartment.
After stuffing myself, I headed over to Smack! Republic Brewing Co. to grab a Hillbrow Honey – a beer brewed with honey and rooibos. I enjoyed my beer sitting on the steps of the David Krut Print Workshop while people observing. There are a number of galleries at Arts on Main, one of my favorite being Nirox Projects which currently has an interesting exhibit by Bevan de Wit. After browsing, I indulged in a miktart ice cream sandwich by Private Chefs. My last two visits ended with me gobbling down an ice cream sandwich from Private Chefs, which given the amount of sweet options available is a solid endorsement.
From Market on Main, I headed to the Wits Art Museum (WAM) in Braamfontein where I was the only person visiting the museum. The museum is on the campus of Wits University and is open 10:00am – 4:00pm Wednesday through Sunday. The exhibit, Doing Hair: Art and Hair in Africa, was a social commentary on the importance of hair and identity. It’s a small museum that can easily be navigated in under an hour. If you are touring one of the other sites in the area, it’s worth a visit.