Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Capering about the Canal Walk

In the same way that you can't be considered a real designer until you have crafted at least one piece of furniture (I'm not sure who first made this rule, but it seems to have stuck), a city cannot consider itself a true population centre until it has at least one big shopping mall to flash at the world while squealing, “Oh looky me!”

Cape Town has Canal Walk , an interesting centre which is divided up into the approximate categories of 30% skater shop, 25% computer stores and 30% food court. The rest is made of hippie and random. And pretty walkways.

Impressive, but the lack of actual canals disappoints me.

I've heard that the shops at Canal Walk stay open for an impressively long time even during the week, which is a far cry from a lot of establishments in Pretoria and Johannesburg – surprising, in my opinion, as I'd consider any 'big' areas to have extended business hours as a sort of default.

How does Canal Walk compare otherwise to rivals such as Menlyn and Gateway ? It's alright, I reckon. Again, this is me being a bit of an architectual fancypansio, but I like the mall's style and commitment to the whole airy, canal-walky vibe. Check the above picture again and imagine walking along a gondola-strewn riverside in Venice or something (okay, perhaps a higher-res version would do better). It's a really pretty place.

Also, it has a food court. With food in it. Instant success.

The tables are covered in comic book panels. Stop on by and have a look if you don't believe me.

A word of advice: if you haven't yet tried a schwarma from Anat , do yourself a favour and find the nearest chapter in this franchise. I stumble across Anats only occasionally, and treat them much like a gamer would treat those coveted save checkpoints. Just replace the cool audiovisual feedback with unadulterated deliciousness.

Schwarmas are messy but incredible. I'd advise against eating them too often – they're a bit of a pocket dent if you're on a budget like mine – but they sure do reward your investment if you decide to indulge. I love this sort of cuisine – mainly because it has such a distinct taste when compared to, well, anything else. It reminds your tastebuds that they're sampling real food.

To round off this post, I present to you a poorly-taken picture from one of my window-shopping sessions:

Yeah, yeah. Glass + camera flash = failure. I'm a nooblet.

The image on the box is a skull. With a mohawk. The logistics of hair on skulls aside, the caption below was what really caught my eye.

“Because we care.”

I'm not quite sure how to comment on this. I was never brought up to link the concepts of 'caring' and 'skulls'. Apparently, most skulls are just misunderstood individuals who, like the rest of us, just want to love and be loved. And wear mohawks.

If you want a better version of this pic (probably taken by a real photographer, or at least not a complete dunce), then check it on this blog: it seems like the marketing boys at Diesel are sending their careskulls all over the globe. Their touching gesture fills me with warmth, hope and a million tiny teddybear skeletons.

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