The face of the travel and tourism industry is changing rapidly, not only in the way that people access information on their holiday destinations, but also the kind of travelers and the experiences they are looking for. According to Google, 19% of hotel queries came through mobiles in 2012 , and it is predicted that more people will access the web through their tablets or phones than from desktops or laptops in 2013.
Also the profile of travelers is changing. A new report released by the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG): The new kinship economy: from travel experiences to travel relationships, identifies changing trends. The report (cited by Tourism Update 13 March 2013) identifies new emerging categories of travellers:
Liz at Lancaster has just received a new batch of house wine: a cabernet sauvignon/merlot red from Stellenbosch and a Chenin blanc white. These are very drinkable wines at reasonable prices R52 a bottle for the red and R45 for the white.
Recently, we had guests who were off to Kruger after staying here and asked if they could take a bottle of our house wine when they left. Of course we were delighted to oblige. We didn’t know how the story would end though. We had guests who arrived some time afterwards having come from Kruger. When they saw our house wines they beamed and said ‘You won’t guess what happened to us . We opened a rubbish bin when we arrived at the Kruger exit to throw away all the stuff that had accumulated in the car and there on the top was a bottle (empty!) of Liz at Lancaster’s house wine. As you were our next stop, we felt this was a sign.!’
We are delighted that our house wines are so well travelled!
Clustered around the lower Rosebank/Parkwood border on Jan Smuts Ave is a number of galleries which offer an exciting range of exhibitions http://www.rosebank.co.za/view/index/rosebank_joburgs_art_destination/62/1/153 Tessa Cuncliffe includes 3 of them in her top 5 galleries ‘for the not so arty’ http://www.jhblive.com/kultcha/features/the_top_5_jozi_galleries_for_the_not_so_arty/136012
Showing at Everard Read from 11th April to 4th May are Pappetti’s large scale canvases depicting industrial landscapes, interiors and human figures. Also on at Everard Read from 18th April is a collection of 10 of John Meyer’s landscapes. There will be a walkabout of this exhibition at 10 for 10.30 on Saturday 20th April.
A group exhibition of various artists entitled Property of a Gentleman , including the work of Simon Stone (whose gentle whimsy I love), is showing at Circa on Jellicoe from 6th April to 18th May.
An exhibition of Robert Hodgins work (canvases in his studio at the time of his death is showing at the Goodman Gallery.
David Krut is showing Mine a solo exhibition of Mary Wafer’s work. These paintings comprise a personal reflection on the tragic events at Marikana in August 2012. The exhibition closes on 25th May.
At Gallery Momo there is a group show of Works on Paper opening on 24th April and running until 27th May.
Slightly further afield but still in the Parks region is In Toto in Birdhaven where an exciting group photographic show Exposure runs until 20th May. The exhibition features works by a variety of well known South African photographers including Michael Meyersfeld (who also curated the exhibition), Francki Burger, Lien Botha, Bob Choops, Vivian Van Blerk, Sally Gaule, St.John Fuller, Stephen Hobbs, Marcus Neustetter and Paul Gaffney.
At 44 Stanley Ave at AOP, Wopko Jensma is showing at a solo exhibition entitled Possessing tools/Professing artistry. The show runs until 4th May.
Another major player in the Joburg art scene is the Wits Art Museum in Braamfontein. Showing currently is an exhibition Izilwane/Diphologol Animals and Art in Africa which runs until 12 May. Not to be missed is the retrospective exhibition of Sekoto’s works entitled Song for Sekoto 1913 – 2013 which opens on the 26th April and runs until the 2nd June.
While in Braamfontein browse the galleries around 70 Juta St : Michael Stevenson, Kalashnikov, Room amongst others. And finally in central Joburg CBD at the Standard Bank Gallery Mikhael Subotsky’s photographic exhibition entitled Retinal Shift runs from Wednesday 17th April to 15th June.
Although it’s on until the 30th June make sure that you aren’t lulled into a lack of urgency to see this amazing exhibition, waking up at the end of its run to realize that you have to rush to see it in time before it ends. Dr Gunther von Hagens’ plastinated bodies provide an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the amazing workings of our bodies. I saw Body Worlds when it was showing in Cape Town at the Waterfront and will definitely be going again to see it here in Joburg. Showing at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown (Cnr President and Miriam Makeba Sts), it is not a cheap outing – but worth every cent. Tickets cost R140 for adults, R110 for seniors and students, R90 for kids between the ages of 6 and 17 and R400 for a family booking (two kids, two adults). For more images of the bodies on display look at http://www.jhblive.com/reviews/events/dead_bodies_everywhere/136952
The Grace hotel in Rosebank started as part of the Brand’s family-owned and run group of hotels. The first of these hotels was the Mount Grace in the Magaliesberg. In 1983 Chippy Brand and his wife, Cynthia, with no training in the hospitality industry, transformed the venue from a run-down church camp into a popular country-style hotel renowned for its personal service and chamber music festival. Chippy remembers Mount Grace as Fawlty Towers in those early years, and soon, what started out as an expensive hobby, became an all- consuming vocation for the Brand family, forcing Chippy to sell his engineering business and embrace what he regarded as ‘the crazy hospitality business.’ They then expanded into the urban hotel market, opening two further hotels in 1996: the R78-million Cape Grace at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in 1996 which was run by their oldest son, Charles, who had spent several years working at Southern Sun and The Grace in Rosebank. Stuart, the Brand’s second son, continued to manage Mount Grace. In 2004 Brand sold The Grace in Rosebank to Hyprop Investments, who in turn brought in African Sun Hotels as operating managers. After over-extending during the 2010 World Cup and with the post 2010 slump in the hospitality industry, African Sun exited its operating agreement and the doors of The Grace closed in August 2011. For more see http://mg.co.za/article/2011-09-02-saying-goodbye-to-grace. It was not long before Southern Sun Hotels took over the management and less than a year later the doors of The Grace opened again. And so a proud tradition, which started with excellent personal service and a family owned enterprise, has been transformed into 5 star service from a world-renowned chain. The Grace is back in business in a big way. See http://www.rosebank.co.za/view/index/getaway_to_your_city_54_on_bath/62/1/154
“White Man Walking” is a project which combines three of my pet hobby horses: the amazingly creative and innovative projects that come out of the Goethe Institut; the problem of pavements which deny pedestrian access and force people to walk in the streets; and alternative ways of experiencing the city. The project arose out of an artists in residence programme at the Goethe Institut when two Stuttgart-base artists, Susanne Kudielka and Kaspar Wimberley, came to Johannesburg with the intention of exploring issues around security. They began walking the streets looking at how different neighbourhoods managed their public spaces. And the initiative soon began to ‘investigate how public pedestrian sidewalks have gradually disappeared, replaced by landscaped garden extensions and driveway walls’. (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151438030982893.1073741827.55684872892&type=1) Laurice Taitz writes a great blog on her experience of ‘taking a car for a walk’ through Parkwood : http://todoinjoburg.co.za/2013/04/suburban-walking-in-joburg/.
In November last year, parts of the Johannesburg Parks region were hit by a devastating hail storm - large hail stones fell with a ferocious intensity. They shredded leaves of agapanthus and arums, as well large robust trees, and reduced every impatience and begonia plant to a bruised and damaged lone green stalk. Of course the Pollyannas/’every- cloud-has-a-silver-lining’- chirpers all said ‘But hail has so many nutrients it will all come back’. Cynical as ever I muttered under my breath ‘Yeah right’. But, yet again I had to eat humble pie. The flowers have all come back with a vengeance and have provided an amazing display in Liz at Lancaster’s garden and potted plant areas. Alick, Liz at Lancaster’s wonderful gardener said to Liz rather bashfully: ‘I talked to them’. Well Alick – it worked! Thank you Alick and thank you hail!
Guests at Liz at Lancaster have a small (completely adorable) 2 year old. He is very sociable and wants to socialize with persons who have the same interests (like us all!) and because his parents are only here in SA for 2 months or so, they cannot enroll him in a creche. While there is lots around Liz at Lancaster for young children, much happens in the afternoon after school. Little David has however got to enjoy times at Green Genes at 39 St Albans Ave, about 5 blocks from Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse. Green Genes is a ‘one-stop centre’ for mothers and children. Providing child-minders for child care, (as well as ballet, swimming and art lessons) there are many facilities for Mums to get a break and to catch up on their life. These include internet access, a library, a spa, a gym, and a pool . 011 501 4740 www.greengenes.co.za Last week Be Sharp Beetles (what a fabulous name) ran a music session for littlies and he loved it. See www.besharpbeetles.co.za for more information.
Elena and Martin also found their way to Bambanini in 85 4th Ave Melville which provided the answer to expenditure-of-child- energy concurrent with parent-peace-while-eating! If you check www.bambanani.biz/things-to-do/ you can see why both parents and child had a happy outing.
Other options for creative activities include Smudge, a children’s art centre in nearby Valley shopping centre. Built around a central art room, Smudge also offers an interactive music room, children’s book lounge, fantasy dress-up area, party room and a coffee shop. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm & Sunday 10am-1pm. Entrance is R100 for the first hour and R50 for every hour thereafter inclusive of all art materials. The children take home everything they make. 21A, Valley Centre, 396 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park. Tel: 011 501 0234 www.smudgeart.co.za Creative workshops for children are run at Seedpod Studio in 4th Ave, cr 11th St, Parkhurst www.seedpod.com 011 447-006.
Then there are outings like the Zoo, the Zoo Lake and the Bird Garden at Monte Casino which has shows twice a day at 11 am and 3 pm 011 511 1864 www.montecasino.co.za
At Hedgehog Lane there is a fairground open 9-5 every day. Lots of activities include a ferris wheel, merry-go-round, sandpit, trampolines, a miniature Hedgehog Express train, and a mini bike track. There are also workshops with arts and crafts activities during school holidays. And there is a kid’s hairdresser on site. 278 Main Road Bryanston 011 463 8692 www.hedgehoglane.co.za
Necklaces are my thing … so when Joni Brenner started working with Marigold Bead Collective and brought their wonderful products down to South Africa from Zimbabwe, I was in heaven. Joni, a well known Johannesburg-based artist, has a fine eye for the aesthetic and the exquisite and when her eye for the beautiful met the Marigold women’s beading skill and ability, things really took off. The Marigold Bead Collective was founded in 1992 in Bulawayo. Over the next 20 years the women battled to find a market for their work and their output dwindled. That was until Joni recognized their amazing skill and started working with the women, developing designs as well as selecting and buying the beads and thread – the beading is hand woven on a loom. From a few women, the collective has grown to over 12 women who now develop their own colour combinations, with Joni still buying the beads and thread and directing the shifts in design.
These necklaces are addictive. Their colour combinations are exquisite and their design is so simple, elegant and sophisticated. The variances that happen when the same bead is woven with a different thread, is extraordinarily subtle and beautiful. The skill and commitment is extraordinary: each strand takes a full working day to complete and contains approximately 3000 seed beads. For more wonderful images see http://www.marigoldbeads.com/GalleryA.html
But no image does the real thing justice - you have to see and feel these beaded necklaces to understand why they are so addictive. Marigold beads are stocked at Kim Sacks Art Gallery in Parkwood and vary from R220 a strand for the thin strands (4 beads across), to R275 for the standard strands (8 beads across), to R1375 for the very long strands (12 beads across). I think these are the prices .. but don’t hold me to it if they vary slightly! They are also available through Lisa Espi-Sanchez by appointment in Cape Town. You can get her on email@example.com Joni occasionally does pop-up shops where the extraordinary strands are laid out in all their glorious combinations.
The artistic and aesthetic value of these necklaces has been recognized internationally and the necklaces are now stocked in the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. What an amazing achievement for the Marigold Bead Collective and all that have made it possible.