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  • It's the last suburb before you drive into before the city itself. If you drive along Main Road, which stretches from one end of Cape Town to the other, you'll drive straight into it. And when you do, you're reminded, quite harshly if you're not expecting it, that you're in Africa. This is something easily forgotten in Cape Town. The sidewalk cafes, the promenade, the wine route and the other tourist hotspots are all so unAfrican, so European, so Western.

    Woodstock is noisy. Woodstock smells. The pavements are dirty and crowded with hawkers selling avocados, pirated DVDs and multivitamins. The accents are Nigerian, Congolese, Somali and Zimbabwean. Golden Arrow buses and minibus taxis held together by prayers and dinner forks blare Xhosa gospel music as they scream down Main Road, overtaking at random, screeching and grinding to halt in front of flailing passengers.

    It lies under the shadow of Table Mountain on the slopes of Devil's Peak. It's an old suburb, it used to be called Papendorp after the farmer on whose land it was built. Like every suburb of every city in every country, its popularity waxes and wanes. In the 1860s it was a seaside resort, a little Brighton. When land was reclaimed to create Cape Town's foreshore, the beach disappeared. Woodstock's status went out with the tide. Now it's back. Artists, designers, animators, photographers and writers are moving in. We're moving in mostly because the rent is cheap, but also because it feels different. There's an energy, a lust, an earthy sort of exuberance that reminds us that despite everything, anything is possible.

    Woodstock is home.
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