Monday, February 28, 2011

Goodbye Summer

Today was the last official day of summer. Goodbye summer, we shall miss thee. 
(Although, I have a sneaky suspicion that Durban hasn't seen the last of the hot days).

{Image: We Heart It}

I Heart Durban

Durban, (pronounced "Debben" by some) is a homely little city nestled in the Kingdom of the Zulus, who's residents are responsible for soaking up the vast majority of the South African sunlight. Home to endless horizons of sugar-cane fields and the worst drivers that South Africa has to offer, Durban is uniquely it's own.
Okay, so we all know that Johannesburg is where the money is, Cape Town is where the trendy are, but Durban (nickname: Durbs) is where the vibe is.

I am proudly Durbanite, it's in my DNA. I was born at Parklands hospital ('the place to be born' if you are a  90's kid,) and toddled along the beachfront in my nappy whilst my dad surfed the Gunston 500 and my mom worked on her tan. I had many birthday parties at Mitchell Park and used to spin in the gigantic teacups at the July funfair. I was a Waterworld local and always wore a sunburn and a smile. I remember being mesmerised by the lights display at The Workshop every Christmas eve, and can clearly recall when the first Maccas opened up in Town. Speaking of town, I remember shopping in the heart of the city back when it wasn't a war zone and you could engage in some retail therapy and make it home fairly unscathed.
Durban and I go way back, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I am grateful to this city for allowing me to live 'the good life.' Growing up, this city kept me outdoors, on the beach and in the sunshine, preventing me from steering towards the dismal life of a "mall-rat playstation junkie" (no offense Joburgers). I learnt to surf on Durban waves, learnt to drive on Durban roads and have made life-long friends and unforgettable memories on Durban soil. Excuse me while I shed a tear of gratitude for my hometown.

Why the sudden surge of nostalgia and 'patriotism' you may ask? Well, for the past few weeks, my little city has been rolling out the red carpet of good times, and I thought it only fitting that I should give credit where credit is absolutely due. I've been learning to fall in love with my hometown all over again as I have been on a little trip of rediscovering why 'home is where my heart is'.

Seems as though Cape Town's greener and more cosmopolotain pastures have stolen some of our local folk, but that hasn't stopped Durbs from showing us what the good life really looks like, and it has been throwing some hell-of-a-fun weekends at us. So, in keeping with the spirit,  here's a list of my latest Debben loves:

Tucked away at the foot of the Stamford-Hill buildings lies Unit 11. From the dodgey alleyway, this place looks likes just another joe-average spot, but my dear friend, never let appearances allude you, for this is Durban's best kept secret. Two weekends ago, Unit 11 hosted the pop 'n roll kwela disco punk band 'Desmond and the Tutu's' and this sweaty jam-fest put Unit on the map in a big way. Seeing over 300 people with their hands in the air doing the 'Desmond Claw' and dancing like raving maniacs, was quite a sight to behold! Whilst driving home from that gig, I can guarantee you everyone was thinking "Durban, you have outdone yourself yet again," and judging by the influx of Facebook statuses the following day, anyone that had even the slightest bit of indifference towards this city was silenced forever more. Can I get a hip-hip-hooray for Unit 11 and local music?

Next on my list we have I Heart Market.  When it comes to flea-markets, Durban has been starving for one that sells decent, hand-made odds and ends while simultaneously showcasing local creative talent. I am all for markets, but most of the ones we've had in the past have had the odd nice thing lost in a sea of kitsch. Not an ideal situation, and sifting through junk gets tedious after a whole. So, since the launch of I Heart Market in 2009, there has been a smile on every avid thrifter's dile, and now, on the first Saturday of every month, there is an event to look forward to and a perfect excuse to spend money on something other than petrol. I Heart Market boasts an array of gorgeous hand-made thingies that range from jewellery and local clothing to food and stationery, and will provide all those that are creatively minded with a hit of inspiration that we all need at lease once a month. 

On the topic of markets, living on the North Coast as I do, I recently visited The Litchi Orchard Market in Salt Rock which is occasionally converted into a night-market, and just fell in love with the atmosphere and all the delcious farmer's produce sold right on my doorstep. This market takes place under a canopy of Litchi trees and between the cafe and the food stalls you are guaranteed to eat and drink your fill. With such pretty scenery and such tasty smells wafting around, your senses feel like they've been to Brookdale Spa when you leave the place. Definitely worth the drive out North. 

Then, there's Corner Cafe. I'm not talking about a little corner tearoom owned by a fat greek man and his loud-mouth wife, I'm talking about a cafe off Davenport Road in Glenwood that serves interesting and tasty food-blends and is a typically 'Durban' cafe experience. Corner cafe is not trying to be 'the next best thing' but just oozes chill, style and Durban trend. I love the decor, I love the inside and outside seating and I love the fact that whilst you wait for your food to be prepared you can plan your next haircut at the hairdresser on the premisis or browse through second-hand clothing treasures at the Bonnie & Clyde store. If you come on the right day, you may even have the pleasure of listening to a live acoustic set by performed by up-and-coming local talent whilst you munch. 

And last, but absolutely not least is my beloved Florida road which is about as trendy as Durban gets. I've always loved the roadside dining experience that has taken 'overseas' by storm, hence the reason a night on Florida road is always a good one. Lined with deeevine restaurants and the occasional mellow dancefloor, Florida road is converted into a little hub of activity and entertainment as soon as the sun dips behind the hills. Personal favourites of mine are Spiga d'Ouro (a little piece of Italy on our shores), Mo's Noodles (The kind of tasty Asian food that you find yourself daydreaming about) and of course Taco Zulu (Mexican food with a Durban twist). Then there's Sunrise house of curries for the bunny chow lovers out there, Europa, Butcher Boys, Ocean Basket, Bangkok Wok, Capello and Deluxe Burger Bar. So much choice, such nice vibes, Florida Road for the win. 

So, when it comes to Durban, it's all about the vibe. The reasons that I love this city are too many to fill just one blog post, but some of the best parts of this place include:
World class waves that break on stunning beaches. Being able to walk around barefooted without receiving dirty looks. Rocking casual attire whenever you want wherever you want. Wearing winter clothes for fashion purposes rather than out of necessity. Being able to hit the beach and catch a tan all year around. Salt of the earth, genuine people. 

Well if you weren't a proud Durbanite before, I hope that after reading this, you are sitting back on your chair, with your arms crossed nodding and saying "mmmm, we do live a good life here in Durban don't we." Mission accomplished.  
Me as a toddler strutting along Durban's beachfront
Chels and I playing barbies at the RCI Night Surfing event

by matthew knight
(Images by Matthew Knight on the Unit 11 website)
{Click on images for source}

To market, to market...

Time flies. It's already been a month since the last I Heart Market, what a freakout!
I unfortunately wont be there as I am working on a promotion at the Idols Auditions, but please go and support our local crafters : )

Monday, February 21, 2011

Durban Bloggers Get-together

Calling all Durban Bloggers, this coming Saturday (26th of February) there will be a little get-together where everyone can meet everyone and put a face to the blog. It's at corner cafe and should be a lovely time. Here's the invitation designed by Candice MacNicol of Playplay Creations {pretty isn't it?}..
See you there...

Friday, February 18, 2011


Happy girls are the prettiest

{Images: We Heart It}

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Let's run away and drink milkshakes all day...'

There is a Cape Town based singer named Matthew Mole, that plays the most beautiful Folk/Indie tunes that my ears have heard in a long time. For me, his music is the melodic equivalent of Prozac, it just makes me so very happy. Whenever I put his CD on, it always gets my head bopping and my toes tapping. A huge thumbs up to amazing local talent.
Rumor has it that Matthew will be doing a gig at Unit 11 on Thursday the 24th of Feb. Guess who is going to be in the front row singing along? ME!

Below are the lyrics to one of my favourite songs from the Matthew Mole album:

Roses are red
And your eyes are blue
And you know that I don't
Have the slightest of clues
But let's run away
And drink milkshakes all day
And I'll sing you this song
From my heart
From the start

You'll close your eyes
And I'll close mine too
When sharing a pillow is something we do
And I'll take your hand
And we'll both understand

Love is made of helpless butterflies
Let's fall in to the moments they provide
I'm unfolding my heart for you

I only wish that you'd think of me too
When the days we'll grow old
'Cause I'll still think of you
And there's so much to say
And though I'm kind of shy
I'll sing you this song
From my heart

Love is made of helpless butterflies
Let's fall in to the moments they provide
I'm unfolding my heart for you

And I fear that you'll never really hear
This song I wrote for you
So I'll leave my heart upon my sleeve
And I'll hope you feel it too

Love is made of helpless butterflies
All the more to look into your eyes

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bonjour Mademoiselle...

My lovely friend Emma from Australia had her 21st birthday party on Saturday night, and when she added the pictures onto Facebook, I practically started hyperventilating due to how stunning they turned out!
Her dad, John Montesi (click here to visit his blog) was the photographer that so amazingly captured the event, and her mom Tracy was the official decorator. I am booking Trace for my 21st, no doubt about it!
Don't these pictures just make you want to throw a party?
 {The birthday girl (left) and her best friend (right) }

{All images: John Montesi}

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Music Monday

  1. Paper Aeroplane - Angus and Julia Stone
  2. Jesus Loves Me - Matthew Mole
  3. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
  4. Gotta Have You - The Weepies
  5. Banjo and Violin - The Audreys
  6. Modern Nature - Sondre Lerche and Lillian Samdal
  7. Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? - She and Him
  8. You Make Me Happy - Lindsay Ray
  9. L'Amour - Carla Bruni
  10. Piazza New York Catcher - Belle and Sebastian

{Images - We Heart It}

Valentine's Day Pudding Party

A few of my friends and I decided that this Valentine's Day we would not sit at home alone and join the ranks of love-haters. So, we decided to throw a little pudding party as a celebration of all things love-ly.
I was in charge of the table decor, and I baked a cheesecake, and all the other ladies brought a delish pudding of their choice.
All in all, it was a stunning evening filled with all things pink and pretty, and we had a spread of more sugary delights than we knew what to do with. Heaven on earth.
Today I have a sugar hangover of ultimate proportion, Mayday.
I had the best the Valentine's Day of my life, and although I couldn't be with my 'valentine,' he very romantically got 12 cupcakes and a card delivered to my house. Ah bless.
I love 'love'...

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