Friday, March 1, 2013

Neighborhood Goods Market, Johannesburg

Happy March! It's autumn (Southern Hemisphere) and spring (Northern Hemisphere)...two really great seasons, and my birthday month. I think it'll be a good month.

It feels like it's been a bit serious around here lately, so I thought I'd write about something that I've discovered recently that makes me oh so happy: the Neighborhood Goods Market, "in town" in Johannesburg.

Now, in most large cities, downtown is a happening, exciting, glamorous, and thriving place to be. (Don't you have Petula Clark's "Downtown" playing in your head already?) You've got the talents of theatre, the high prices (and bargains) of endless shopping, the world's largest businesses seeking great fortunes, and foods to satisfy every culinary desire. Not in Johannesburg. The CBD (central business district) of Johannesburg, and most of its immediate surrounding areas, are not where you want to be. They are worn down, smelly, dangerous, and will make you feel claustrophobic. There are meat shops with whole cow's heads, license plates being sold on the streets, and every time I have to go down there, I carry my tazer and my pepper spray close to me. (Yes, I own both of those. My husband bought them for when we were dating.) Until recently, I loathed going into downtown Johannesburg.

But recently, I was introduced to the most charming, delicious, reminds me of America market; a visual and culinary oasis in a desert of mono-culture and dilapidated buildings.

Neighborhood Goods Market.

Every Saturday morning, this market, filled with Etsy-style individuals selling culinary creations (and some crafts and thrifted clothing) gather in the first floor of a building that I can see serves no other purpose except to host this delightful, Saturday event. Everything from breads and sauces, to chocolate and cupcakes, to paella and homemade beer, to cheese and samosas (I could keep going) can be found, freshly made.

One of my best friends here, Nicole, introduced me to Neighborhood Goods; so we ventured out one Saturday with a new friend who moved here from the US. I fell in love so hard that I took my husband the next weekend. If you ever come visit, I will take you. If you have visited before: my apologies for not knowing of this sooner. Come back and I promise we'll go. :)

Love from the now autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere,

Handsome husband who is about to find that he'll be hooked too!

Right: Homemade beer. Husband loved it. I don't like beer and it didn't taste any different to me from any other beer. Sorry.

A live Jazz band plays on the roof top every Saturday. The music is stellar and the musician's dancing is pretty entertaining too. 

Thrifted jewelry at a really cool shop down the road from Neighborhood Goods.

Nicole and Monika: my city exploring friends. 


  1. I love when you find special little spots that make a place unique.

  2. Me too! It especially helps when you are so far away from home.


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