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Get Chic With Nikki Temkin

Get Chic With Nikki Temkin

by Kim Garner                              Posted: 2010/08/02

Nikki Temkin is the author of Chic Jozi, one super-rad city guide you should definitely check out. https://bit.ly/2Y1n7xh

Tell us about writing the book...
I do a lot of research. I make an effort to try new things, and I'm interested in what people are doing. It took nine months to write. Either, I went to the places in the book myself, or some of my very close friends have gone and told me about them. My idea of "chic" is not elitist or elegant. It's just about what is good. Obviously it's personal about the things that I like, but include things that I think others will like too. Although, I only include places that are truly good at what they do, or have something special about them. One place might have the best cocktails but the worst food, and I'll let you know that. It may be my opinion, but everything in the book has a valid reason for being included.

 

 


Where is your favourite place in the city?
I like quaint areas. I like being in the Parkhurst village, 44 Stanley Avenue, or Arts on Main. I'm also a big fan of outdoor areas, much more so than, say, shopping malls. Delta Park is great, especially if you have kids. We're lucky to be in an urban environment that has these great green spaces in it as well. We have some of the best parks here.

Best spot for eating?
For Italian food, it has to be Le Bella Figura on Corlette Drive. Also, Assaggi in Illovo. It's quite expensive but it's very good. If you want Chinese food, it has to be The Red Chamber in Hyde Park. I get take-aways from there about once a week! I also love Moemas in Partown North for lunch, the Fishmonger in Illovo for great seafood, Yamato for the best sushi in Joburg, and Turn 'n Tender for the best meat dishes.

 

 

 

 


Best spot for dancing and drinking?
I'm much more of a bar person than a club person. I prefer smaller, intimate places that play alternative music. I love Kitcheners Carvery in Braamfontien. I also like to go to The Attic bar in Parkhurst. There is a new bar that has been opened at The Turbine Hall in town, and it's really great. I like to go to the poetry nights or jam sessions at House of Nsako and I like to go to The Alex to see live bands, like Goldfish. I saw them perform there once and they were amazing. If I do ever want to really dance though, I'd probably go to Moloko or Latinova in Rosebank.

Best spot for shopping?
I have to say that I buy a lot of my clothes from overseas. Joburg is starting to import great stuff, but it's prohibitively expensive. I like stores like international stores like Top Shop and H&M. I tend to just buy seasonal clothes. But there are some great local designers that I love, like Two, Marion and Lindi, and Black Coffee. I love to shop at Just in 44 Stanley Ave and I like to get vintage stuff from places like Reminiscence in Melville.

If everyone had to do one thing in Joburg, what would you tell them to do?
It's hard to pick just one. You absolutely have to walk the mile from Oxford Road down and through Rosebank and stop at al the art galleries along the way. And, it might sound cliché, but you have to go to the Cradle of Humankind. Mainly, you don't necessarily have to do anything, just be in the city and feel it. Talk to people, eat at restaurants, and go to the bars. The book says it: whatever you want, you can find it in Joburg. Posh clothes, quirky areas, good food, parks... we have it all. Well, all except a mountain and the sea.

 

 

 

 


Do you have any advice on how to live in this crazy city?
You have to give into the crazy, but you also have to set boundaries for yourself. Occasionally get out of the rat race and out of the city. Go to Haartebeesport for the day even, or just spend an entire weekend in your garden, away from the hustle and bustle outside. You have to take a break from this place for a while. Joburg is incredible but it's a hard city, it's gritty, it's real, it's filled with poverty that's right there in front of you. You can't get distracted by the beauty, because often, there is none. Sometimes you have to look away. And that's ok. That's not denial, that's a coping mechanism.

Nikki Temkin is the author of Chic Jozi, one super-rad city guide you should definitely check out. https://bit.ly/2Y1n7xh

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