Archive for the ‘sea point’ Category

Who is the elephant wo/man?

September 12, 2013

Santiago Canyon is sort of urban greening… A walkway and bike track along a dry, polluted river bed.

I don’t walk it for it’s natural beauty, I walk it because there are no stop signs or traffic lights. And sometimes for the graffiti – like this.


See the elephant. Middle, slightly to th eleft? Above it, the cars roar along the freeway. In the magic hour sun, it has a weird, messed up beauty.

Are you the artist? Every time I see a new elephant I wonder how I could meet you. Maybe I’ll paint my own…


Kids come here to smoke weed and other stuff. It the recent drought has dried up all the mucky water and it smells like rotting algae.

This is my favorite.


See the new one? One the storage unit. It’s Red, which is new. The others were all blue.

God. I miss Sea Point promenade.


I know this looks pretty in the picture but it’s not, not really. The water is rancid. Even the ducks seem to have left for greener pastures. The river was dammed years ago so it doesn’t flow anymore.

Sea Point Promenade’s latest greatest things for me, and a touch of ennui.

January 8, 2012

In between my existential crisis, aka “when will America’s consulate allow me to get on with my life” and my attempt to make a short film while I’m still here – if that’s not forever – and my various visits to my past and my many reunions with loved ones, I squeezed in a walk on the Sea Point Promenade today. Isn’t it beautiful? One of my favourite places on earth.

Messages on the sea wall for Mandela's birthday in 2010.

The most beautiful park I've ever seen.

An outdoor gallery - this series of sculptures has lasted a year, despite some vandalism and weather damage.

It’s Cape Town’s Central Park, although most people in Cape Town don’t get the chance to live anywhere near it and have to drive or bus in. (I’m all for low cost housing in the area where I own property to solve that problem. Bring it on.)

The latest trends are public art and open air gyms.

It's a rocking horse...

... it's a rocking horse that talks out of its arse. And its mouth. Kids love this and have looooong conversations with each other through the mouth to ass telephones.

Here's how it works.

The outdoor public gym: Designed for adults, but mostly used as a jungle gym by kids in between swims in the sea.

The rules. No this, no that. I'm pretty sure someone's breaking them as I type this, and getting away with it. Ya South Africa.

Still standing here, in what used to my home, I felt sad. I don’t really have a purpose here right now. I can’t get a sim card without my father showing up with his ID cause my apartment is rented out so I don’t have an address. I am all about work – it makes me who I amĀ  and I have nothing much to DO, really. Limbo feels more limbo-like now that everybody I know has gone back to work and winter term has started without me, and I am still here, staring at the perfect sea view.

I know I sound ungrateful. But I can’t help it. Though it’s amazing here, there’s only so much great steak you can eat. Only so many times you can swim in a perfect blue ocean. Only so many times you can hug your friends before you wonder… when can I go back to the torture and pure hell of making movies?

This holiday needs to end. ASAP, hunnybunnies.

Oh but first, a quick #PSA.

Dear America. THIS is a hamburger. As the lolcat said "IF I KAN HAZ CHEEZBURGER CAN I HAZ ZIS ONE PLEEZ"?

Thousands of miles and I’m all the way home again

February 27, 2011

Santa Monica is like one layer of the social layer cake (or should that be fruitcake) that was my previous home: Sea Point in Cape Town. In Sea Point, Millionaires live side by side or on top of Middle class yuppies, Congelese refugees sharing a room among five, waiters, models, “models” (the sexy kind), restaurantuers above the shop their family’s clung to for years, old folks who remember when the area had more bagel places and fewer cracklords, well-shod cracklords, trendies, families, single-moms in one-beds, street kids and homeless people… icafes, corner cafes, malls, shelters, churches, bars, whore-houses, schools, late night barber shops, early morning yoga clubs… tumbling over one another for your attention.

Two hundred feet from my (former) poorly-serviced Sea Point apartment with perfect 180 degree sea views... this beach.

Santa Monica just seems to house the super-rich and not-so-much house the super-poor, who trundled their trolleys to their doorways, wrapped themselves in plastic and blanket cocoons and passed out by the time the sun set and I emerged from Dinner #1 of sushi for a walk on the promenade before Dinner #2 at a jazz club.

This picture's for you, Joey and Ben, in honour of all those nights I crashed in your dinasaur room.

Oh, and this one too. Just remember, God only put it there to trick you.

Virgin Mary stars in the Christian Money-Shot

Speed Rabbit (a “jazz” trio whose shared credits include playing with Bright Eyes and er… the UK’s Duffy) sounded bit more like ‘Lude Rabbit most of the time. They mostly seemed to be bored or faking it as they noodled and doodled and jammed their way through their dinner set to a happy and talkative crowd. The food at Angels Piano Bar (a “boasy” place, apparently) was decent though (fresh herbs on a freshly-cooked flat-bread go a long way in this culture of instant cheap food), and my date and I had a cool time time imagining their life – a sort of jazz version of Flight of the Concords. I can be mean that way.

Cancer, how quaint? One day we'll be preserving the shitty tags that are now all over this sign. Humanity never stops being weird as hell.

Santa Monica is a careless mix of perfectly clean, perfectly manicured things and the kind of decay only rampant capitalism breeds. The streets are paved with gold, but if you’ve ever tried to pick up a gold paving stone and run away with it when the cops are approaching, you’ll know how useful THAT is.

In 1928 this wasn't quaint, it was just a shop. Still I doubt this graffiti really deserves to be there. It's not exactly Banksy. It's not even those puffy letters that, while monotonous, are at least hard to do.

The cops, by the way, drive WHITE cars there. In Orange (and I think in LA) they drive black ones. It’s important to know these things. Specially if you’re planning to light up a cigarette which is illegal in most of the city. Go cops!

Blast from the past: RIP, old South Africa

August 7, 2010

“You live een South Africa? Because I don’t mean to comment but… your skeen ees very light?” said a Mexican-American cab driver to me yesterday. It was weird – I keep wanting to pinch myself when people talk… the squeeky co-ed valleygirl behind the Starbucks counter, the super-helpful geeky white-guy at Bestbuy, the truculent chinese hotel owner with the “from Bejing” name tag, who looked at me like it was MY fault the bed bugs bit me… Anyhow, I explained to the Snr Driver that I was third generation – fourth if you counted my Afrikaans great gran from Zim. It was cool to be able to talk about South Africa, say that things have changed a lot in the last 20 years, and be proud that I have only one passport (although of course, I wish my passport did the PASSING part a bit more effectively, and South Africa’s rainbow is a little muckier than I tend to tell foreigners).

sea point beach

It was pure fluke that on the day I went to photograph this natural gravestone, someone in blue shorts, and an orange T-Shirt was tossing kelp for a white dog...

So some genius saw this stone that looked exactly like a gravestone, and painted the old SA flag on it. I loved walking past it on Sea Point promenade. Sadly the council decided just before the FIFA 2010 World Cup that it was potentially controversial, and painted over it in black.

Of course, this is wishful thinking. The past will never rest in peace, although sometimes time can wash the pain of it away and leave the good memories we tend to cling to.

I wonder if anyone has blogged yet about the weird South African chick, who’s covered in bed bug bites and talks all funny.

Blast from the past: Die, lady.

July 28, 2010

Every day, on my way to work, or out, or out again – Sea Point is like a village or an African New York, so you walk everywhere and everything you need day to day is within 100 metres – I see this sign on the ladies toilet.

I’ll miss the way this sign has helped me track my personal changes. Once, years ago when I first moved in to share a flat for two months with a lovely lady, it seemed to say “just die.” Now, it’s just funny, and part of my life at Shelbourne – a slightly run-down old-style Sea Point block in which one of the lifts is always “under maintenance” for a week or two, the parque floor tiles clatter as you tip-toe, and thank god, because all this keeps the rent down. It’s also the block in which the famous South African Afrikaans poet Ingrid Jonker lived (not sure which flat) when she walked into the sea and drowned herself; deliberately, or drunkenly by accident.

I have years of archived signs on my letterdash blog, so will be collecting them here.