Running the streets of Rio

[this article first appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper] ‘This is cassava,” I shouted, trying to make myself heard over the music. “What? Who’s Cassandra?” We were sitting at a table at Carioca da Gema (Avenida Mem de Sá 79; barcariocadagema.com.br), drinking Brahma beer and eating thick pieces of aipim frita — fried cassava […]

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Occupy Johannesburg

<this story first appeared in the Sunday Times newspaper> Nechama Brodie on why the city has such a troubled relationship with its past.   Johannesburg was never considered a city with a future. It’s one of the reasons the city has always been incredibly bad at preserving its past. When public diggings were proclaimed in […]

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Voodoo Child

[this article first appeared in the Sunday Times in June 2010. the picture is from May 2011, and was taken by Toby Shapshak] When William Gibson, the award-winning author of Neuromancer and the man who introduced us to the phrase “cyberspace” back in 1982, made the finishing touches to the manuscript for his book Zero […]

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Going Deeper Underground

[this story first appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper] A city is as good a place as any to search for buried treasure and Jo’burg has plenty to offer in the way of treasures from another time. Our quest started with a message from journalist Gus Silber: “Have you heard about or seen the […]

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Marcus Neustetter’s Star Stamps

 To see the stars clearly, you must not look at them directly — you have to look past them, to train your eyes to stare into infinite distances where shiny points are separated by light years. The amateur astronomers who set up their telescopes next to the Johannesburg Observatory say it takes about 30 minutes […]

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Love & Dragons

 Shakespeare did it with a wherefore; Dion and the Belmonts said it with oohs and waahs: “Each night I ask the stars up above, why must I be a teenager in love?” It’s an age-old truth that, when you’re growing up, love sucks, love bites, and love stinks. Especially if you’re in love with a […]

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