On the corner of Melle and Juta street, in a little courtyard called The Grove, is where I have been spending most of my mornings and some afternoons for the past year. I live smack bang in the middle of Braamfontein and as a student I don’t really have the luxury in my pocket to travel too far in search of fun or just a place to chill. My favourite spot, Velo, a cosy coffee shop is five minutes away from my varsity, a street away from work and two blocks from my flat. Braamfontein has been going through some serious changes over the past few years- in fact Joburg city as a whole. The city which used to be a no-go zone for many is now the place where all the cool kids spend their days. Old buildings have been turned into vintage shops, pubs and cafes.
I love Velo for it’s chilled vibe and the variety of people you find there on any good day. On the one hand you will find those suited up professionals who work in the nearby offices as well as the creative types who use it as an office away from their offices. I like the fact that this coffee shop is not elitist and as a student I don’t feel uncomfortable looking at the menu and wondering if the change in my pocket will be enough. Free Wifi is an obvious bonus. When I get tired of sitting in my room or the school library I usually go to Velo and pretend to be busy while I people watch.
I love that this coffee shop is also used as an exhibition space , where different artists can display their work. I love art but sometimes galleries make me uncomfortable with their exclusiveness and all the creative types that use art jargon that I don’t understand. Sometimes, I just want to look at pretty pictures and nothing too deep. I love that Mercy and Patience, the two beautiful waitress who work there know my name and they know how I like my tea. I love hearing stories about their children. I love that this is the place where I fell in love almost a year ago.