Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Old Part Of Town - Quigney

Nearly every South-African city has older suburbs of great historical value. Most of the houses in these suburbs are built in the typical colonial style. When I arrived in this country a couple of years ago I had a car, a map of South-Africa and two aluminium boxes with personal things that had been shipped straight from Bamako in Westafrica to Johannesburg. I drove down all the way from Johannesburg to the Eastern Cape.
I knew not a single person in town. So I decided to move into a bed and breakfast for a couple of months until I would find a house for me and a suitable space to set up an office for the company I was working for.
I choose Quigney as my first home and was surprised to find out that most people I met disapproved of my choice. I had moved into so called " High Crime area" without knowing it.
I could talk about all the things that go wrong in South-Africa. I could talk about the high unemployment rate, the extremely high HIV rate, the crime and the political situation. But I chose not to.
I am writing about the things that are beautiful and good.
Beauty of course is in the eye of the beholder. So I am just writing about the things, people and places that have inherent beauty to me.

I lived in " old part of town" for several months and I was amazed by the beauty, elegance and grace of the old buildings. Many of the houses I do know very well because I have looked at them often. I don't know the families that live in them.
I just know their beautiful and striking exterior. It is true that many of the houses have been in a state of deterioration.
But beauty was still there, visible and undeniable

This old lady is my favourite. She has a verandah all around the house, big glass windows, some round stunning bay windows and is surrounded by palm trees as old as she is herself.

The entrance showing off with ease all the class and timeless elegance that she calls her own. Two years ago an urban renewal programme came into implementation allowing owners tax reductions if they renovated their houses. And I am delighted to say it works. More and more houses are restored to their former glory.

A look up the street. The old lady has a corner stand. Her rooms are big and the ceilings are high.

Many of the old houses seem like to be "glued" together and they have tiny courtyards with a little piece of green lawn. And there are still many iron and wood houses.

The vegetation in this suburb is old. 
The sky is blue most of the year but there are many windy and stromy days.

A look down another street. 
Many of the alleys lead down to the sea.

So much character..

An old iron fence and a delicate turquoise color for the bay window, there is individual expression everywhere.

This house accomodates the salvation army.

Color is obligatory. 
I found living here pleasant because not only the houses are colorful but the people as well. 
It is not suburbia.

This is another gem and it has a dozen rooms and four balconys. 
All the rooms have been rented out individually.

Attention to detail

The Quigney Mansions

In all their pride

and glory

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