Johannesburg, and especially the CBD, has been my home, my stamping ground and my cultural foundation.
The nightclubs of Newtown and Braamfontein, street-side sellers from Park Station to Newtown and the bustling hustle of Fordsburg have struggled through the lockdowns, confusion and withdrawal from our social lives.
However, stepping into Juta Street last Saturday and being dwarfed by the iconic stonework Eduardo Villa façade brought me back to carefree pre-Covid days and re-elicited the ambitions and joy once throbbing through the coffee shops, bars and sneaker stores of Braamfontein.
Previously known as Neighbourgoods, The Playground is the new iteration of the hugely successful market-cum-heart of Johannesburg. Taking place every Saturday, The Playground is a fest of crafts, clothes and culinary delights and a cultural hotpot celebrating the diversity of our country, food, music and style.
The open air venue is packed with more than 30 food traders, improved seating areas and a purpose-built stage for a rotating line-up of local live music. There was a feeling of respite and hope was as strong in the air as the rich aromas of freshly pressed waffles, home-made cordials and the best Korean fried chicken.