Sunday, July 30, 2006

Eloff Street and Others II

Above: Apartments, Commissioner Street on the Jeppe side.
Above: Corner President and Mooi Streets.
Above: Corner Bree and Twist Streets
Above and below: Bezuidenhout Street, now called Miriam Mebeka Street, which runs on the western side of the Johannesburg Magistrates' Court.

34 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

who was the brave person who 'went in' to take these photos? Was it you Real? If so, nice to have you still with us...

10:45 AM  
Blogger The Real Realist said...

Yes, it was me, but I couldn't have done it without my friend E, who drove the car and kept a lookout while I, quite literally, ran out to snap the pics. I figured that if I ran all the time, the locals wouldn't have the time to gather their wits to see that a mad Whitey was running amok amongst them with a R7000 digital camera. It seemed to have worked.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mirian Makeba Street ?! I wonder if Ms Makeba is brave enough to visit it.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

screw bungy jumping. if you want the rush of adrenalin where your life is on the edge, drive through JHB. I went there to defend myself against a bogus traffic violation charge against me in court. i thought i wouldnt make it out that place alive as i had left my gun at home, knowing i would have to enter a lousy gun free zone. i had a panic attack.

7:51 AM  
Blogger waMatt said...

haha you guys are living in another world, come chillout in capetown

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Tito said...

very sad indeed ..

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess it is people that live in these neighborhoods, actual people, that is. or no? people who go and go out and have a life, just like you. you sound like you went "in" to a lion's den, but you know, it is people that live in these neighborhoods, so, perhaps you all ought to get a life and drop some of this crap you're still carrying over from so long ago. and if you can't live it up, then, too bad for you. a R7000 digital camera isn't actually worth much. some of us have stuff worth a lot more, i'm sure you'd be surprised to discover.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess it is people that live in these neighborhoods, actual people, that is. or no? people who go and go out and have a life, just like you. you sound like you went "in" to a lion's den, but you know, it is people that live in these neighborhoods, so, perhaps you all ought to get a life and drop some of this crap you're still carrying over from so long ago. and if you can't live it up, then, too bad for you. a R7000 digital camera isn't actually worth much. some of us have stuff worth a lot more, i'm sure you'd be surprised to discover.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think all whites must group together in one spot, say Cape Town and defend it at all costs.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this filth and squalor, but is'nt that where Africans feel themselves best at home? We are now an African Nation, no longer an outpost of Western Civilisation in Africa.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read somewhere the other day that Africans are living in the Garden of Eden but still manage to make it a desert.
Having known downtown Joburg in the fifties I cannot help to make comparison between then and now. Joburg was never a beautiful city but reasonably clean and organised. It was not considered as safe as e.g. Pretoria but I never felt threatened even late at night as I walked through Elof Street after a fliek. If anyone had predicted then that the streets I walked then would look like this I would not have believed it.
The whole thing makes me sad and angry.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous qynch said...

Eloff St South used to be Dorkay House, Lazz and Art mecca, then around anderson was Motortown including Clows for Autin and Pugeots[?] , Ericsons for Ford, got GM's later CArgo for MBs
HIs Majesty's on Commisioner for live shows, opposite was the original Carlton Hotel and Publix, Katz and Lourie for Gems and watches,
Derbers for furs; OK, Levinsons, McCullagh Bothwell for school uniforms, off Eloff was Thrupps, later the Coffee chain began
and on the north end was the Johannnesburg Station and the President Hotel, dare you walk in nowadays?

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy from cape town who we whites should band together that would be fine but we have traitors in our ranks called Lefties those guys who suppotred the country to go this way.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you post a couple of pics of Cape Town as well?

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are such crackers. I've lived in "colorful" parts of America all my life. Given this is in America but like anon said there are real people there just going about their business. Unless you act like an opie you are not going to get messed with.

The worst I ever had happen is some guy yelling "HEY WHITE BOY" at me.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the sign welcoming all to Jhb should read WELCOME TO HELL . To the person who said some own more than a R7000 digital camera, YOU could be murdered for LESS than that,eg your cellphone!!! Be poor but for heavens sake have pride in their somewhere !!!!Squat in an unused building but DONT break the windows !! Dont vandalise the place...unless it comes naturally I suppose !!!

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad to read and see all of this. I worked in Braamfontein for a couple of years and photos of the surrounding area does not look well either. Just sad that I cannot afford to move all of the family out of there. Realism tells me that it will get worse before maybe better?

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have stumbled across this site today (a link from the crime expo site) This is the reality of today what will it be like tommorrow? OK guys who is at the demonstrations at sandton? Do we still have men who act like men in South Africa.

Viva Cesa

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with the problems of Johannesburg. Why has it deteriorated into such a shit hole?
Were the white people run out of town?

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes - how I remember these places! I used to work at the "German Bookshop" corner Kerk and Loveday Streets in the early Seventies as a young girl from Germany! I lived in a flat in Bree Street and walked to work every day. The city was so safe and I remember the "East African Pavillion", the many tea rooms everywhere, "Waldorf delicatessen" in Bree Street and the "Café Echo".... The big department stores with the white ladies in the lifts shouting "Going up - Going down".... I wanted to show t my children the Johannesburg I had known, but our organized Walking Tour was limited to the SA Brewery's Museum, Market Theatre etc. and a lot of places I didn't recognize anymore..... In the meantime I have been told it is quite safe to visit downtown again, so next time we visit South Africa I will make another attempt to trace the steps of my youth - it would be just too sad if it wouldn't be possible anymore....

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lived in Joburg in the late 70s and this is such a shame. Why do we whites always get the shit end of everything these days. Isnt it time we fought as hard for our rights and beliefs as the others

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these pictures are very sad and disturbing. Nevertheless they shall not erase my fond memories of ALL the people (black, coloured and white) I had the pleasure to associate and work with at the PRESIDENT HOTEL at corner Eloff/Plain Streets in the late 60's and I wonder what has happened to this once only 5* hotel in S.A.??

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended Art School at the Wits Technical College on Eloff Street in the late '50s. I dont think it exists anymore. It was block or so from Union station with its lovely murals that made me want to travel. Do they still exist?
My aunt worked at John Orr's also on Eloff Street, I think. An elegant store, in a passably elegant street.
I loved Jo'burg - it was the big city to me, exciting and busy and rich and sophisticated.
Since I moved to Paris in 1962, I lost track of it and these photos shocked me deeply, especially as I recently spoke to an old friend who told me that the city was just the same as any other major city in the world, no more dangerous and functioning just like Los Angeles or London or Paris.
LA, London and Paris have their problems but they don't look anything like these photos, run down and filthy. What happened to simple city services like sanitation, street cleaning? Surely people need the work and surely the country is rich enough to pay cleaners? Equality is a wonderful thing but poverty and destruction for all is not.
How long before the farms are taken over and the country starves?
What a shame and a disgrace.

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of these pictures seem to have been taken on a Sunday hence all the buildings have been boarded up.

Having worked in the city centre from 1979 to the early nineties, I witnessed the gradual decline of the City Centre. Nevertheless, these pictures are a real shock to the system.

6:50 PM  
Blogger JouMa said...

NSA has well and truly turned into kaffirland! Well done TM!

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a while I stayed at the Springbok hotel in Joubert Street . Later i n life I frequently walked from JoBurg Station to Joubert park.I lived in a flat in Pretoria street Hillbrow....Part of me dies when I see these pictures.I hope these pictures and comments lasts longer than JoBurg

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It took a lot of guts to drive around and take these photos.

Thanks for showing us what the controlled world media will not.

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad , I used to jol in JHB in the 80's and spent all my weekends going( usually driving ) from club to club. I also used to be a policeman for Diepkloof Riot unit and it is so sad to see these pictures as I used to patrol them as well. I live in Ireland now and I cant explain to people what it was like in the old days. We had graet times shopping here and going to the Doors and Le Club and the Dome then. It was a little risky but so is every city. Sadly a close friend Liam Whelan was murdered outside Alcatraz and it mad me emigrate to here. But I thought things would change. I even voted for things to change in 1992. But I cant help to think I did the right thing to leave for my kids sake. But they will never see Jhb and that is sad. The future looks grim for the poor souls that live there. We were suburbians that went into the city to drink and dance and have a good time. But I feel sorry for the people that live there now. Its the council and government that needs to " catch a wake up". I still think of all the good times and how the people of JHB were proud of a great city once. God help Africa .

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to get a copy of my matric certificate at the Dept of Edukashun in Commissioner Street so I could emigrate. I was in a lift with about ten people and no fucking lights total darkness -very exciting like reverse bungy jumping...finding parking was a breeze just like it is in Hillbrow. I remember the Fridays when we parked a car during the day so that we had parking after the Jol in the 'Brow...

7:47 AM  
Blogger optixit said...

Hi Realist - I left SA for Portugal some 6 months ago. I sat here last night having to swallow tears of what my eyes saw.
I want to ask you if its OK if I use your photos to make a video with music. Full credit to you with a link to your site will be given.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Hillbrow and Berea. I worked at the Highpoint...What a sad state of affairs to see such a wonderful place looking like a war zone....

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I lived and worked in JHB (Berea, Helderberg flats) in the 80's then moved to Bryanston early 90's. Left for the UK in 94. My predictions were right. Have had two ex-military friends from the 70's (Angola & Rundu duty) killed in their homes in 2005 and 2006. These pics should be on the world press stage.

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you people are really making a HUGE thing out of nothing. Yes i do agree that town is bad and it's not the safest place to be but I'm a girl and can drive to those parts by myself and pull out my R7000 digital camera and still drive home to tell the tale. you speak as if these people who live there are monsters and all they know is to rob people. please stop being ignorant. it's not as safe as it used to be but come on. stop hiding behind your "fear" for town and just be real.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody remember an old boarding house that young people used to live in in Berea called The Oddessey. This was back in 1971. I lived there when I was 17. I would like to know if the building is still there. Anon from Australia

7:40 AM  

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