south africa

copenhagen + bicycles

if you’ve ever been to copenhagen, you’d understand. on my first day there i stood on a street corner for about 5 minutes watching the hordes of people on bicycles – thinking there was some kind of biking rally going on (in the middle of winter). no, that’s just how you get around in copenhagen. and it’s AWESOME.

coming from a university town, there are a fair share of people who use bikes to get around – but mostly students. and even with that considered, most people walk rather than bike because the roads aren’t really that safe for casual cyclists (or even professional cyclists, let’s be honest).  this isn’t just because our roads are ill equipped (no dedicated bike lanes), but car users and cyclists themselves aren’t really that great at dealing with eachother (not adhering to proper road rules, not using road/hand signals, impatience etc etc)

wouldn’t it be great if  a town like stellenbosch or even cities like cape town could become more bike friendly? i sympathise with people who have to drive kilometres to get to work, but even that’s doable by bike. peeps in norway have been at it for decades. think about the positive effects it would have on traffic congestion, your health & not to mention your wallet. and, did you know that denmark is the happiest nation in the world, statistically? i bet it’s all that biking, blood pumping and so on.

anyway, i think we can do it. look at a city like portland, which has pretty recently become super bike friendly – bicycle use in portland has nearly tripled since 2001 due to improved facilities. so nothing is impossible, right?

the fact that they look cool while doing it doesn’t hurt either. all pics courtesy of copenhagen cycle chic

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bunny chow

the-quarter

the-quarter-2

Identity for a new concept eatery which recently opened on Long Street (Cape Town). The name, The Quarter, takes it’s lead from the colloquial term for bunny chow – a South African street food which originated in Durban in the 1940’s. The term is a slang description for a hollowed out loaf of bread (usually a quarter loaf) filled with curry.

words, images & design via katherine botes at anything goes

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snow, glorious snow

these were taken by my brother in august of 2003 (on film! it’s very sound of music, no? fa la la). in and around stellenbosch, franschhoek, villiersdorp/caledon area + ceres. i wonder if we’ll have snow like this again this year? right now we’re experiencing those cold yet sunny days, i guess autumn is prettaaay awesome.

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stellenbosch before & after

stellenbosch is well know for its beautiful historic buildings (ranging from the cape dutch through to the victorian town houses). what i find unbelievable is how many of them were torn down in the sixties & seventies to build flats, office blocks and the like. here’s a small retrospective of some of the bad (and some not so bad) before and afters.

(now with google street view! woop!)

Corner Bird & Church Street

corner of bird & church streets (luckily there’s a Vida here now, instead of a Mr. Video)

Corner of Andringa & Bird Street

corner of andringa & plein streets

Cluver Markotter building

corner of mill/bird/church streets – the entire block to the right of the present building (above) was torn down (and subsequently replaced by a supermarket). i’m having trouble finding pictures of the original buildings that were in this area, but i know that it was known as Mill Square.

Corner Church & Ryneveld Street

this is a bit more difficult to see, but the right hand corner of the original photo is where the new building stands today

Corner Plein & Bird Street (Joernings)

in the before, the victorian building on the right was torn down & replaced with the brownish building 2nd from the corner (the original corner building is not visible in the before picture)

Corner Plein & Ryneveld Street

1901 vs now

Corner Plein & Ryneveld Street (ABSA bank)

on the right hand side of the corner of ryneveld & plein streets is the ABSA building as it stands today. the original building was torn down in the fourties (second picture), then on top of that they built a men’s res for the university sometimes in the sixties (third picture). that was subsequently torn down  and a new building was built in 1995 – emulating the original facade.

Herte Street

Herte Street has always been one of the prettiest streets in stellenbosch (for me) – except that someone decided it was a good idea to replace one of the the original cape dutch buildings with this block of flats that now sits inbetween a victorian town house & the cape dutch slave cottages that run down to the corner.

Corner Market & Dorp Street

the original building was torn down in the seventies because the town council & someengineers decided it was a good idea to widen Market street in order to help with traffic congestion. luckily they stopped with the street widening about 800 metres down the road, just before they were supposed to tear into some more historical buildings (you can still see where the street immediately becomes narrower again, next to the Stumble Inn Backpackers). unfortunately the original old building was a victim, and now they’re using the site for a builder’s warehouse.

Plein Street Church / Anglo African building

probably the saddest example, the little church they tore down to build that huge office block (in plein street).

sometimes progress isn’t progress at all.

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lucky pony / girl

shane & angie's wedding

talking about weddings, shane (the lead singer of one of my favourite south african bands desmond and the tutus) got married to his lovely girlfriend angie sometime last year, and she posted some rad shots of the do on her blog lucky pony. they also got married in clarens, probably the prettiest town in the free state. they are prettaaaay cool. check out the photos here.

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alan aubry

i was searching for pics of Orania on flickr when i came across Alan Aubry‘s photography. he has an entire set of Orania photos, and another set of rad self portraits taken at various spots in the Cape. initially i assumed he was south african, but he is actually french. and again i am ashamed to think that a foreigner has seen more of SA than I have (specifically, Orania – a trip needs to be planned!). if you don’t know what Orania is all about, read up.

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