Over the years, I’ve written countless blog posts on cool Durban spots but still find myself compiling a messy list of links and websites every time someone new asks me “So, what’s there to do ’round here?”.
Not your average thriftshop.
Cereal fa’real! Maybe my new favourite breakfast spot.
Wanna win your own set of 3D Lash Extensions?
Here’s how to enter without even batting an eyelid!
Some of my favourite people are back at it again with one killa exhibition.
Ok, so I actually need to do a little copy + paste here, because their press release is hella funny!
“Fox and the Rabbit in partnership with BOS Ice Tea will be hosting their second art exhibition at Spiga on Florida road on March 26th, 2015.
Fox and the Rabbit is the creation of two friends, Charlene and Karla. After attending (many) exhibitions, organising (a lot) of events and then finally joining forces to host their own, (Apocalypse Meow – 2012 held at The Upstairs, Durban) they kind of went into hiding for a while, cause you know, adult life. But with 2015 looming and plenty of fresh meat on the art slopes, they already have a jam-packed calendar of events and collaborations in the pipeline.
First up, in the very near future is FUTURAMA: 2999 which features over 20 artists, ranging in various mediums from abstract to illustrations to photography and even cross-stitching. Artists will visually interpret their version of the year 2999 on earth. Catch the likes of Fiance Knowles (CT), Maxeroo (UK), Damn Vandal (DBN), Tokyo Go Go (DBN), Mykildos (DBN) and many more. You can also enjoy a sweet visual show by VJ Cataract and music by DJ Jol Stransky.
Fox and Rabbit events are all about giving back, so each event is tied up with a local initiative.
FUTURAMA 2999 will take place at The Secret Corner, (back of Spiga – Florida Rd) on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 6pm. Entrance is R20 and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Thula Thula Rhino Fund.
In true futuristic fashion, the exhibition will mutate into a second version of itself as part of a colab with Open Plan Studio in TRACKSIDES – an urban art event taking place on 28 March in Station Drive. For more info, visit their facebook page.”
See you babes there!
FB Page: Fox and the Rabbit
Event: FUTURAMA 2999
A friend recently celebrated her 30th in the most unique way.
NOTE: Those of you who say “there’s nothing to do in Durban” are sorely mistaken.
While this concept may have been old news for this particular group of friends, it was a completely unique and novel idea to me. Basically we hit up a parkade in Durban town, paid the 12 bucks to get in and partied on the roof!
We set up fairy lights and a picnic and drank and feasted above the bustling inner city until the sun went down and we all felt sleepy from the warmth radiating from the concrete underneath us.
We had focaccia, artichokes, salted caramel cake, wine and all those good things and the background music was all thanks to a taxi below blaring some sort of gospel into the empty parking lot across the road.
It’s always a wonderful feeling to see your city through new eyes, or at least from a new vantage point. I’m sure we are hardly the first pioneers of a parkade party, and yes the jol could have been cut short should security have done their rounds, but I think the point is that there is a consistent amount of fun and adventure if you’re up for looking for it and stepping out of your familiar comfort zone.
Sometimes it’s about revisiting the most obvious places – setting up a picnic in the park you pass on the way to work everyday, trying out the old beach arcade or finding an empty parking lot to party in. There’s really no excuse to feel bored because there are always new ways to discover your city if you have a few good friends and a decent bottle of Merlot.
Basically, just get out there, gadammit!
I was invited to sit Jose Cuervo side for Passenger in the park this past Valentines weekend. Te amo? Nah, more like Te QUILA!
Here’s what went down…besides shots. Obvi.
Lemme keep it real with you – I’ve never been to a concert in Botanical Gardens. To put it bluntly, it’s normally cheese-central and a line-up of over-saturated acts that I have absolutely no interest in. But, I may have been missing out on something because hot damn, did it make for a beautiful venue.
There was something about everyone sitting on picnic blankets in front of an intimate stage set up, with the palm trees silhouetted against the evening sky and the frogs singing along in the lake. Basically, pure fvcking poetry man!
I took along a friend of mine who was also up for a few margaritas and we headed to the VIP Jose Cuervo tent where we were greeted by energetic barmen and promo girls. 5 minutes later and we’d already tried tequila with orange and coffee, tequila with Tabasco and then a salt-rimmed margarita.
Passenger was a really great act. One man, one guitar and an audience obsessed. Everyone was enamoured with this humble Brit, lapping up every word coming out of his mouth – the sound was crystal clear and his voice like honey. Charlene and I knocked back the tequila and lemonades while swaying like women possessed to his melancholic acoustic set. I may or may not have proposed to him via Twitter.
It turned out to be an extremely festive and educational night. I pretty much consider myself a tequila pro after experiencing all those combos and didn’t even feel half as bad as a I should have on Saturday morning.
Thanks for the jol, Jose!
As most of you know, Durban and RedEye go way back. The multi-genre arts and performance festival has been running for some time but only recently made its way back on the current 031 events list. I hit up my first RedEye last Friday at City Hall and here’s (some of) what went down…
Admittedly, while I am reluctant to comment too heavily on the event itself because I only arrived after 8pm (it kicked off at 6) and seemed to have missed a few acts (according to my Instagram feed), it will still always be a spectacle to jol at City Hall – instant cool points for organisers using a fairly underrated venue in Durbs.
Man, I just love that building – whenever there’s a party there it feels like you’re in High School getting up to mischief at your first gig. I can’t explain it, there’s something about the vibe that gives me that same excited nostalgia. Everything is easily amplified by the sheer magnificence of the architecture and original décor and I didn’t even mind paying the pinch of the hunned bucks entrance fee to wander up and down in between the floors, ogling at the stained glass windows or city view from the main balcony.
It’s safe to say that I definitely appreciated the music line-up. It was cool to see some versatility – watching Strage melt faces downstairs in the sweaty engine room and then cramming onto the balcony upstairs jamming to hip-hop. There was a range of traditional Zulu dancers, painters, aerial acrobatics, poets etcetera etcetera on the entertainment bill too.
The event also carried on despite load shedding (kudos RedEye, kudos) although the ladies bathroom lights flickered on and off, prompting a random girl to assure me that “it was normal and that I wasn’t going to get murdered while I pee”.*
*Why did I include this part of my evening in my review? Well, I found this simply hilarious at the time and in my drunken state made a cellphone note to include it in this post. Just humour Drunk Jenna for a sec ok? Thank you.
These days, it seems that an event is not complete without live tattoo art – and not just some small eternity symbols for drunk BFFs, but full on body-width pieces. I couldn’t help but stare at the girl getting an owl inked across her ribcage in the dim lighting, next to the bar. You go on with your bad self, honey!
On yet another unrelated note, my highlight was definitely sneaking into the auditorium, getting reprimanded by an unidentified man (overly infuriated by all these damn youths) and then returning again like giggling naughty teenagers. We kicked back on the gallery seats, trying not to echo in this eerily silent and overwhelming space and just drank in the beauty. There was just something beautiful about that moment that had nothing to do with the event happening below.
I do feel it could have been marketed a little better because while DIY tweeted, blogged and Facebooked up a storm and the graffiti wall next to my flat was done up to advertise the event, many clued-up kids were blissfully unawares about the vibe until the day before. Something of that size needs a few old school posters and not just a word-of-mouth approach. Perhaps there were flyers and posters and Facebook ads galore, but I just didn’t see any and was surprised by the relatively small crowd dispersing, so early on a Friday night. I’m all for telling Durbs to buck up their support, but sometimes the peoples need a little hand-holding when it comes to upcoming vibes.
As it happens, I have had a few people asking me what do to over the holidays as they introduce friends/family/partners to their beloved home city. It’s a difficult thing – showing someone the place you grew up in and trying to get them to fall in love with it that same way you have.How do you take the essence of a place and get another person to understand it when they only have a few days with you – whether they’ve traveled from abroad or even just from the other side of the country?
While there are no doubt many impressive places in the 031, here’s some of my first choices that I took a certain individual to for “Durban’s Best Date Ever."
We kicked off the morning at Bike and Bean along the beachfront. The promenade is best in the earlier hours of the morning – there’s just the right balance of still, ocean tranquility and the day bursting into life with surfers, joggers and skaters on the go.
After we felt sufficiently caffeinated, we headed to Warwick Junction for a guided tour through the 9 markets. Warwick really is the heartbeat of Durban, with over 460 000 people passing through the stalls and station daily. This kids, is Durban at its most honest and raw. (BTW FYI, I did a full post on the tour a while back – read it here.)
We also got to check out the Faith47 murals up close, which is something I’ve been dying to do since blurry snaps taken through car windows flooded my Instagram feed. These portraits represent prominent members from each of the markets and really are a sight to see, reminding us of the city’s intense history and diversity. Try to hold back those tears now folks.
Two hours of walking through the crazy bustle of a Monday morning warranted some decent chow, so I swopped out my usual lunching spots for a gem in the CBD called Little Gujarat. This tiny vegetarian restaurant pumps at lunchtime and our whole bill came to a grand total of R96. The food was ridiculously delicious and we didn’t even make a dent in all the selections of curries, sambals and rotis that we got with our two veg thalis.
The Durban Natural Sciences Museum is possibly one of my favourite places, no matter how old I get or how many times I see it. I still get stoked to meander in between the animal displays and mummy replicas and of course, checking out what art exhibitions are on rotation upstairs. And guys, it’s mahala.
My little un-airconditioned car was well over the crazy CBD traffic and relentless sun by 2pm so we headed out of the city towards Mitchell Park Zoo for an ice-cream and walk through the gardens. Most of their animals are rescues and all the grounds and enclosures are kept impressively immaculate. It’s only but R10 to get in and check out monkeys, parrots, meerkats and over-enthusiastic toddlers. And me talking to the guinea pigs like I’m Doctor Doolittle reincarnate. True story.
We had some time to kill before the final destinations so we hit up Bay of Plenty for a quick swim. Even in the Christmas chaos, our beaches shine. At about 3pm the water is perfect, the sun glints off of the Elangeni and the skaters regroup at the skate park to take advantage of the afternoon shade. You’re just waiting for Ludacris to pop out and film another music video.
Even in all its predicable cheese, the Roma Revolving is still something to show 031 newcomers (or even just individuals you are trying to woo). The view, the history, the kitschy décor that has been untouched since the 80’s – it’s all worth hitting up the bar for a whiskey to watch Durban spin as the sun sets over our harbor.
I had left dinner plans open, not knowing how we would be feeling after a day of feasting and festivities, so we chose to make the most of the exquisite summer’s evening and chowed down on Blue Dolphin’s famous pizzas.
Durban ya little show-off!