Tag Archives: city bowl


City and the bay

When I was younger I used to love doing jigsaw puzzles during the school holidays. The puzzle pictures that I liked most were the ones that evoked a sense of place. I liked pictures of city streets, or quaint alpine wooden houses with window boxes full of flowers, or horses grazing lazily in a field somewhere. I wasn't much into baskets of kittens, or underwater scenes featuring dolphins.

I think that what I enjoyed most about putting these puzzles together was the way that I got drawn into the scene; it was escapism, just like reading a really good book. There's something about this photo that makes me feel the same way - I could stare at it for hours. Now if only someone would make it into a jigsaw puzzle for me. ;)

Let the party begin!

2010 football sign

Tomorrow is a beeeeg day in Cape Town. Just in case you didn't know, South Africa is hosting the FIFA World Cup next year. Yes... of course you knew that. :) Have a look at the banner on the building to the left - it's one of a number of banners put up by Cape Town Tourism to promote Cape Town as one of the 2010 World Cup host cities.

Anyhow, tomorrow is when we'll have our first glimpse of what we can expect come June next year. The final draw to determine the tournament groupings is taking place tomorrow in Cape Town, and the city is gearing up for quite a party. People have been hearing helicopters and fighter jets overhead for a few days now; someone spotted David Beckham having dinner at the One & Only Hotel this evening; and apparently Charlize Theron is in town. I don't think it would be melodramatic to say that there's a real sense of excitement and expectation hanging in the air.

Tomorrow evening a whole lot of VIPs and media will be gathering at the Convention Centre for the official draw, while the rest of the plebs party it up at the special party venue being prepared in Long Street. An estimated 700 million people are expected to watch the draw live on television tomorrow, in 200 countries all across the world. If you're one of them, keep an eye out for us. We'll be in Long Street with all the other plebs. :D

Enjoying the sun

Enjoy the sun

This is one of my favourite photos from Paul's Photowalk set. I love the facial expressions, the composition, the way these people were taking advantage of Saturday's summery weather to warm themselves up, the inclusion of the "Happy Birthday Madiba" poster to the left of the group, and the selection of photos on the wall just behind their heads.

If you're wondering about those photos on the wall (and I certainly was), Paul shot this scene just outside the offices of the Cape Argus, and presumably those are some of their recent or most popular press shots. I guess that makes this another example of meta-photography. :)

Worldwide Photo Walk, Cape Town

Nelson Mandela

As many of you will probably know, today is Nelson Mandela's ninety-first birthday. Co-incidentally, it's also the day on which groups of photographers took to the streets of their towns and cities armed with cameras, to take part in the second global Worldwide Photo Walk.

After our late night at Wakame, I momentarily regretted signing up for the walk, as it meant getting up in time to meet the rest of the group near the planetarium in Cape Town at 8am. But somehow I dragged myself out of bed, drove through to town, and met up with a group of about 20 photographers. We spent the next two to three hours walking the streets of Cape Town, spending quite some time in the well-known open-air St George's Mall. In retrospect I was glad that I didn't bail on the outing - the weather was fantastic, the other photographers were friendly and fun, and there were almost too many great opportunities for photos.

We'll be posting more of the photos from the walk over the next few days; but for now, let me close by wishing you, Madiba, a happy birthday and brilliant next year!

The rain in Cape Town

Shortmarket Street in Cape Town

... falls mainly on Greenmarket Square. Well, not actually. The rain in Cape Town has been falling pretty much everywhere over the last day or two, and in rather large quantities too.

We had to go into the city for a friend's birthday party, and both wondered at times whether it wouldn't have been better to take a motorboat or canoe instead of our car. There's been flooding in quite a few areas, including Camps Bay, Newlands and Somerset West. Fortunately our neighbourhood seems to have escaped with a bit less rain than everywhere else, so we weren't affected in any way (apart from getting a bit wet walking from our car to the restaurant from which this photo was taken).

Of course, the great thing about Cape Town's winter is that we get all the cold, rainy weather in a few short, intense bursts, and for the rest of the time it's sunny and clear. ;-)

Charter a chopper – see her splendour

Table Mountain and the Table Bay

This will be the third and last daily photo from my spectacular-spectacular helicopter trip over Cape Town's Table Bay. Shot while we were coming in to land, what you can see in this photo is (obviously) Table Mountain in all her splendour, and right in the middle the well-known Table Bay Hotel.

What struck me as interesting in this photo is how large Devil's Peak (to the left) appears to be when compared to Table Mountain. At 1 kilometre in height, it's only 87 metres shorter than Table Mountain, making it a fair-sized piece of rock! Visit the Wikipedia page about Devil's Peak - they have an awesome panoramic photo taken from the peak's summit.

P.S. After my little helicopter expedition I've decided to make a concerted effort to do more aerial photography around Cape Town, so if you want to pay someone to fly around the Cape, you know who to call. ;)

Cannonfire at the Castle

Half-pounder Canon
A friend of mine, Bennie Vivier, belongs to the Tygerberg Photography Society; the society members visited the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town on an outing - an educational opportunity and a chance to capture some extraordinary photos.

Bennie managed to snap this photo when a member of the Cannon Society fired this half-pounder cannon. I'm surprised not to see the cannonball floating in mid air! :)

Some time ago cannons fell under the Firearms Act, which meant that they were governed by the same restrictions applying to modern firearms. The Cannon Society petitioned the authorities, and to satisfy the South African Police they drew up an official safety handbook, set up a code of conduct, and agreed to training courses for gunners. Today cannons and antique muzzle-loaded firearms have been deregulated and no longer fall under the Firearms Act (although a competency certificate obtained through proper training is required).

Whisky tasting at Sinn’s Restaurant

BenRiach whisky tasting glasses
I mentioned in yesterday's post that we spent a great evening tasting BenRiach whisky, but I didn't tell you that the event was held at Sinn's Restaurant at Wembley Square. (You might recall us blogging about Sinn's in the past).

It was the first time we'd eaten a meal at the restaurant - previously we'd only been there for snacks and drinks (very good snacks and drinks they were, though!).

Our food was absolutely excellent (French onion soup, filled chicken breasts on a bed of mushrooms, and malva pudding with koeksuster/Amarula ice cream were a few of the options on our set menu), and the service was great. The waiters were incredibly polite and very efficient, and the portions of food were impressively generous.

If you're a fan of value for money, then don't miss their winter specials - R99 for a 2-course meal or R125 for a 3-course meal, both including a glass of wine. If you're looking for a cosy but stylish spot for dinner, I can definitely recommend Sinn's.

I'm sure it will amuse you to know that when we were leaving Kerry-Anne and I spent five minutes trying to work out why on earth the pay-on-foot parking machine wouldn't take our parking ticket, till we realised simultaneously that I was, in fact, trying to put the parking ticket into the automatic teller machine, conveniently located next to the pay-on-foot machine. And I can't even blame the whisky - its effects had long since worn off. :D

It’s the little things that count

Detailed railing

One of the great things about publishing this blog is that it really forces us to pay attention to the details around us. When you've lived in a place for a reasonable length of time, it's easy to miss all the small things that make it beautiful. Sure, you'll probably marvel at the tablecloth hanging over our gorgeous mountain, or spend time watching the sun setting over the ocean, but you're quite likely to miss the ornate doorway, the cheeky graffiti, the quaint cobblestones, the handwritten sign in a shop window, or the weathered old church-bell.

Part of our aim here at Cape Town Daily Photo is to draw your attention to these tiny facets of the city's character, whether you live in Cape Town or not. It's not always about the big landscapes, the bold architecture, the famous landmarks - sometimes the beauty of this city lies merely in the juxtaposition of a shiny wrought-iron railing with an old church's faded brickwork.

Don’t forget to pay for your parking

Parking signs

We used to have parking meters in the city, but now we have real, living human-beings to receive our parking money and make sure that we don't stay longer than we should. Which is much better, I think, because, try as I might, I could never get a smile out of those parking meters...

If you come to the city and hire a car, look out for people wearing bright yellow bibs, and carrying hand-held parking machines and bags of change. They'll tell you how much you need to pay, depending on how long you plan to park for. Oh, and do be nice to them - they're out there on their feet all day, every day, and I suspect they have to deal with a lot of grumpy, unfriendly people. ;-)

The 2009 UCT RAG float parade

UCT RAG Float Parade

Remember and Give, RAG for short, is an 84-year-old tradition of raising money for charity. At the beginning of each year students from the University of Cape Town publish and sell a student magazine called SAX Appeal, and then towards the end of March they gather for a float parade in Cape Town's Adderley Street.

All profits from the sale of the magazines and all donations collected at the float parade are given to SHAWCO, a student-run organisation whose mission is to improve the lives of developing communities in the Cape Town area. Approximately 1,200 volunteers make up SHAWCO, and they run 15 health and education projects in the area.

We drove through to the city centre today to snap some shots of the parading students. It was a colourful and entertaining affair, as always, with hundreds of dressed-up and decorated students walking, dancing and singing through the streets. Take a browse through today's photo album, but I have to warn you, ladies, that in addition to the one above you will come across several more photos of topless young students. :D

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Glaceau Vitaminwater spotted in Loop Street


I first heard about Glaceau Vitaminwater a few weeks ago, when one after the other my Twitter friends began saying that they'd received these promotional suitcases from the company. Look, I'm not going to lie to you - we were pretty envious. I watched at the window day after day, wondering when my suitcase full of (apparently awesome) vitaminwater would arrive. But alas, it never did. The life of a B-list blogger is filled with disappointment. ;-)

I have to say though, their stealthy launch campaign has been really well-executed and clearly very effective. I was visiting one of my clients in Loop Street yesterday, when someone in the office spied this truck downstairs, offloading crates and crates and crates of something liquidy. As soon as I saw the truck, I exclaimed, "Glaceau Vitaminwater!" with perhaps a bit toooo much excitement, considering I haven't even tasted it yet. :) It turns out their store/office/temporary home is right next to my client's offices, on the corner of Loop and Bloem Streets, and they were preparing for their launch party.

Don’t even think about stopping

No-stopping sign

In the background of this photo you can see the arches of the Provincial Legislature Building, which houses the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. The building is located in Wale Street, more or less opposite Mandela Rhodes Place.

If you see a sign like the one in the foreground, it means that you cannot stop your vehicle at the side of the road - even if it's just to pick someone up or drop someone off. This particular sign is a temporary one (they were doing some work at the side of the road and presumably didn't want anyone stopping while they were busy), but the markings on a permanently mounted No Stopping sign would be identical.

Mandela Rhodes Place

Mandela Rhodes Place

Mandela Rhodes Place is an upmarket mixed-use development located in one of the oldest parts of the city (very close to the Company's Garden, in fact).

About four or five years ago the idea of inner-city living began to regain some popularity in Cape Town, and one of the most notable developments that originated during that period was Mandela Rhodes Place. The developers, Eurocape, restored several old buildings on the corner of Wale Street and Burg Street, the idea being to preserve the facades and historical architecture of these buildings, while entirely revamping the interiors.

Mandela Rhodes Place was launched in November 2006, and now houses a number of luxury apartments, a 5-star hotel, a winery, retail stores, restaurants, cocktail bars and coffee shops. I've only been there twice (at night on both occasions), but I must say, I love the atmosphere inside - it's quiet and stylish, with a real feeling of spaciousness.

Black Day, a contrast to Valentine’s Day

Lingerie Shop

Yesterday had most of Cape Town celebrating Valentine's Day - restaurants were fully booked, and parties all over Cape Town were buzzing. While we were driving to the friend's party that I spoke of yesterday, Kerry-Anne spotted this lingerie shop in Kloofnek Road. Isn't it an awesome display?

To get back to the title of this post - and for the sake of those who are single - did you know that in South Korea there's a tradition that on Black Day (14 April) single people get together for a meal of noodles with black bean sauce? That sounds like an awesome idea! Just imagine, a room full of single people... a room full of possibility. :)