06 April 2012

at home

Film shoot on Chiappini Street

I was about to get in the car and drive to the mall to exchange some plates for our new house, when I remembered what I said about keeping busy instead of enjoying the moments of quiet, of stillness.

We spent the past week in Stellenbosch with Andrew's parents. It's beautiful out there - the sky is big and open, and the sun rises over the mountains in the east and sets in the west over the Atlantic. The dogs play in the garden, and Lucy the cat explores and stalks birds and mice and moths. One of my favorite things about staying out there is the drama of the morning light. The early morning sun dances on the reeds that line the highway as I drive to work as Table Mountain comes into view in the distance. Faced with that kind of natural beauty, you can't help but remember God.

We are back at 118 Chiappini now. We'll be here for the next week before we pack up and move to our new place. This house really is adorable, and I'm grateful to have spent our first months in Cape Town here. The light is beautiful - the high ceilings and big sash windows let in the bright African sunlight throughout the day, a real treat in these old homes. And the street is so alive: with tourists, vegetable sellers, kids playing cricket, and drunks stumbling home in the middle of the night. Someone told my mom (when she was here) that it reminded her of Brooklyn. I had never thought that myself, but I see it - it has that same vibe, the lively street culture, of many parts of Brooklyn. Especially those parts that have not been as severely gentrified, allowing them to retain some of their original liveliness. (No offense to middle class white people).

The Bo Kaap is a stunning neighborhood. The houses are bright, the streets cobblestone, and the views of Table Mountain breathtaking. On top of that you have a truly authentic urban culture that goes back over a century. And it's a stone's throw from everything.

That being said, our new place will do just fine. It is high up the mountain and has views of the harbor in the distance. We will have a garden out back where the dogs can play, the rooms are spacious, there is a cozy fireplace for chilly winter nights, and the front stoop and back deck will be wonderful places to relax in the shade on warm summer days. Let's face it: In Cape Town there are few places that are really unpleasant to live in. Coming from the cramped 1-bedroom-apartment life of NYC, there's really nothing to complain about in Bo Kaap, Upper Woodstock, or anywhere else that Andrew & I would consider calling home. 

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