Maboneng – Jozi’s jewel
The next time you visit Johannesburg, whether is it on business or to see family, do yourself a favour and head downtown to the Maboneng district for a dose of pop culture, fine art and good food.
When it was established in 2009 many were sceptical of its success but now as the precinct celebrates its first decade both locals and tourists still enjoy the relaxed urban street atmosphere and it remains the place where they get their shot of culture.
At the heart of Maboneng is Arts On Main which is a converted industrial building which now houses artists’ studios, galleries, eateries and retail outlets. This formed the catalyst for the development of the surrounding area which today truly has something for everyone.
If you are a foodie you are guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds at one of the many restaurants, cafes and bars. The CHE Argentine Grill, as its name suggests, is a steak house which offers fine food in a rustic yet formal atmosphere.
Looking for something a little stronger? The Time Anchor distillery may be for you. They offer Gin tastings, and in April are doing an Easter Gin & Chocolate event. Lenin’s Vodka Bar is also worth a visit.
If you collect books or vinyl, the Collectors Treasury is a must. Said to be the largest second-hand book store in the hemisphere you are bound to find what you are looking for on their shelves which claim to house over one million books. And their vinyl offering isn’t too shabby either.
The galleries and studios offer a selection of works by established artists like Mikhael Subotzky and Kim Lieberman. If you are on a budget and have an eye for a masterpiece you can buy work from some of the many young up and coming artists who show their work there. Who knows, it may be worth a fortune in the future?
You can walk, or hire a bicycle, and explore the area and take in the public art and murals, support the street traders and get your own shot of urban African culture.
Maboneng, is a seSotho word meaning “place of light”, a fitting name for a district that has fast become a centre of creative energy for Johannesburg’s urban artists which drives Johannesburg tourism within the local and international tourist markets
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