(Rr-ew land) The trick is in perfecting the street name…
Step 1: Take a deep breath in. Start by slowly releasing the air through your mouth arched in a pout-like shape to pronounce the letter R … so “Rreeew”
Step 2: For optimized pronunciation please remember to squint your eyes into a cat-like smize, tilt your head slightly. Now that is how you activate a Roeland Street sexy!
With my guidance I will help you unlock the ultimate, seasoned element of spiciness that Roeland Street has to offer. But first we need to start at the bottom…
Imagine that Roeland is a naked canvass. Yes… comparing tar and concrete to a whole canvas, does kind of seem careless but what I am trying to emphasize is the ability this street has to bring together a kaleidoscope of people, and still be able to cater individually for them. In essence allowing the paint to be the painter, compared to Long street that is well known solely for its night life joviality. Roeland is versatile; varying from rug stores to design art-rooms for the creatives to work their magic. Of course this is a very vague description of Roeland but hopefully throughout this post, the metaphor will be interpreted clearer.
The birth of Roeland street, begins at the bottom of Parliament where St. John’s Road and Plein Street meet. Roeland functions as the motherboard of the eastern precinct within the Cape Town CBD vicinity, stretching up all the way into Brandweer street where the Roeland Street Fire Station is located.
Personally before this, Roeland existed only for three purposes; academia, printing and Kimberly hotel student specials (Kimberly which I will mention a latter stage) beyond that…for 365 days I probably walked around the street with blinkers. Upon realizing that the street has actual life, I was exasperated at my own arrogance and more so at how I had taken Roeland for granted.
Walking up from Parliament I am greet by the statue of Louis Botha, a constant reminder of why one, I cannot afford to live on this side of the city and two this is why I prefer to rather take my shady shortcuts so I do not have to keep on bumping it a frozen-in-time Louis Botha. Continuing up this road, on the opposite side between St. John’s Road and Hope Street lies St. Mary’s Cathedral, mind you I have not been to church in eons so this only added to the hoarded guilt.
Still remaining on the opposite side of the road, lies the 12-storey Ruskins House where Sunrise Court, Formula 1 technologies and Karate Fitness Dance& Modern Hip-hop studio (for those of us with two left feet) can be found. Moving further up this road is Varsity Collage, an institution where creatives are encouraged to flourish. Shop 34, at about 5 m away from Varsity Collage is Government Motor Transport, Mae Artisan rugs which is located opposite shop 34, which probably stocks some of thee most expensive rugs. To help you willow in your sorrow after over spending on rugs, head on over to the Craft beer and wine bottle store. If you’re not a wine person, then at about 10 meters from the bottle store is The book lounge, where I have captured a few of my own memories for a book launch.
Now my favourite part, food. I am a mean foodie and being constricted by a student budget has not stopped me from satisfying my taste buds, especially when there are eateries on Roeland street that accommodate my tight budget. Firstly I have only ever walked past the Raptor Room, East City Eatery, but the aromatic flavours always remind me of how I am yet to live my best life.
So I’ve resorted to Vida Café , Food lovers Market and The Design garage which is downstairs from my lecture room (also makes some of thee loveliest muffins and wraps).
Beyond the food, another advantage Roeland street has especially for aspiring journalist like myself are many archive houses; such as South African Heritage Resources Agency and Western Cape Archives and Records Service .
For young graphic designers Roeland Square which ism located in Wembley square, is the perfect spot to; pick up a camera, make photocopies, laminate documents and mingle with other creatives.
In conclusion. Reeew-land Street not only caters for the designers and creatives but also the historians, the writers, foodies (like myself) and much more!