After 29 hours I am in Jo’burg when is dark. My destination is Maboneng Precinct, the coolest quote in in town. This inner-city district (also known as City and Suburban) has been converted from industrial warehouses and factories to a happening lifestyle playground. Street art is a big feature here, along with an eclectic selection of restaurants and stores. The pioneer development is Arts on Main, where one of South Africa’s most famous contemporary artists, William Kentridge, has his studios. It’s also home to the inner-city’s major Sunday Market on Main, the Museum of African Design, a cinema, theatre, trendy apartments, restaurants, coffee shops, a culinary institute, the 12 Decades Hotel, Curiocity Backpackers and even a spa. The list just keeps on growing. Maboneng is a Sotho word meaning ‘place of light’.
The night I stay in the Relay (Situations Space Program), a light house forms part of Curiocity Backpackers located on top of The Main Change Building, a former industrial building converted into offices, retail and cultural spaces. It’s like sleep in an art installation and it’s not a problem the shower on the terrace outdoor any protections from voyeurs. From there I can see the east side of Johannesburg CBD. Maboneng is home to several independent retail, restaurants and entertainment venues as well as loft apartments, offices, hotel, a museum and creative factory spaces in an urban landscape.
The day after I visit the the Sunday Market on Main and the numerous art gallery on the quarter. Just before to take the 24 hour trip to Dublin (including a 7 hours stop in Istanbul where I have my second breakfast).