Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Melrose Arch, here I come

Tonight I went to Melrose Arch for the first time. I'd never bothered to go there before simply because what I'd read and heard about it just didn't interest me, but I thought it was really nice, and I'll definately go hang out there every now and again. I guess that saying "no expectations, no regrets" came into play. Aesthetically speaking - interesting contemporary architecure and design, and excellent use of space to create an urban leisure and entertainment area. Similar concept to the development on Stanley Avenue in Milpark but obviously one with a completely different vibe and feel.

Firstly I was struck by a feeling of dislocation, of being in a completely different South Africa, secondly the thought occured to me that it felt almost bizarre to be in a space that just screamed out elitism and wealth in a country that is afflicted with so much poverty, and thirdly was just a feeling of "aha" so this is where the rich come to play, this is what this space is all about. I never saw so many fancy cars in one place in South Africa in all my life, and I saw somebody who looked suspiciously like Patrice Motsepe sitting at one of the outside coffee tables. I almost felt like I had arrived in life just by dint of being there. All in all, a vibey relaxed atmosphere to while away a warm South African evening.

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