Forbes has declared Johannesburg’s Maboneng and Cape Town’s Kalk Bay among the 12 coolest neighbourhoods in the world.
Meanwhile, better-known havens of coolness in New York (such as Manhattan and Brooklyn’s hipster hub, Williamsburg) and London (which boasts trendy Soho, among others) were nowhere to be found on the list.
Maboneng is a hip culture, business and lifestyle hub. Kalk Bay is a sleepy fishing town along Cape Town’s False Bay coastline.
The two areas can now proudly take their place alongside Holland’s Amsterdam Noord, Greece’s Keramikos in Athens, South Korea’s Seongsu-dong in Seoul, Saints in Barcelona, Navy Yard in Washington DC, Getsemani in Cartagena, Plekhanov in Tbilisi, Casco Viejo in Panama City, District 5 in Saigon and Pilsen in Chicago.
Maboneng is no stranger to being fashionable. Vogue has published a list of places to go within the precinct, David Beckham was spotted there and Germany’s Deutsche Welle called it “die Hipster-Insel von Johannesburg”, or the hipster haven of Johannesburg.
Kalk Bay is a little less used to the acclaim, but the charming seaside village does boast its own laid-back atmosphere, its own theatre and one of South Africa’s best fish and chip joints in the form of the legendary Kalky’s.
After the publication of the Forbes’s list of the world’s 12 hippest neighbourhoods, Kalk Bay residents should not be surprised if it ends up hosting more tourists than its accustomed to.