Isn’t it weird how we become complacent in our own cities and lust after others? Travellers and friends alike overlook often Jo’burg as boring or uneventful in an aside to me, and I absolutely love to prove them wrong. That being said, I always tend to look for action in the city itself or south of that, never in the direction of Fourways.
If I’m honest, I’ve often said that there isn’t much to do past Hyde Park and that anything north of that could be described as the desert, nothing to see. I realise now though, that perhaps I’m guilty of doing what I hate travellers doing to my city, and thinking there’s nothing worth seeing or visiting. The launch of a new book however, is about to change all of that!
I was lucky enough to attend the book launch for the latest Spaces & Places book SandtonPlaces recently. The series of books were born in the imagination of Gerald Garner and in this latest offering, contributions from Brian Unstead and one of my favourite bloggers, Heather Mason, have been included.
The books are great in that they give a historic chronological history of the areas they focus on. SandtonPlaces is no different and the insight into the Jo’burg’s northern area proves that Sandton is beyond soulless glass skyscrapers. In fact, the history is rich and well worth telling to those willing to listen. The story is kept succinct in the sense that it’s a great amount of detail for somebody who wants to know the basics, but doesn’t want to be bored by too many small details, my kind of history lesson at that.
In addition to the stories of the areas included in the new SandtonPlaces, there is a great overview of Sandton itself and surrounding suburbs, breaking down all of the places to see, visit, and munch your way through and explore. You think you know what’s what in this city, until you see what else is out there.
The map in the back of the book is a great extra. Simple enough to read, yet detailed enough to help you find wherever it is you may need to get to! The photos also made me look at a lot of familiar sites in an entirely different light. The layout and design of the book are so classy, and so different to a lot of travel guide I’ve seen. I think this unique identity for the series is a massive selling point.
Now all that’s left for me to figure out is whether I work my way through the places to visit in page order, or whether I cross off the ones I have done and start with a ‘process of elimination’ game to get them all covered…