WORDS: BETSIE LOOCK-VAN DER MERWE IMAGES: RENE WALKER
Since its proclamation about 120 years ago, the suburb of Brooklyn in Pretoria has never stopped developing and reinventing itself.
This beautiful neighbourhood lying just east of the CBD and bordered by its partner Old East suburbs like Lynnwood, Menlo Park and Waterkloof, offers the best of three worlds: quiet living spaces, lots of breathing room in its older residential area, as well as contemporary and compact apartment living for today’s big-city generation.
Combined with a pulsating commercial and entertainment hub, Brooklyn is the ideal neighbourhood to live your dream life, whether it’s slow and relaxed or energetic and robust.
“What I love most about the ’hood is its distinctive character,” says Brooklyn resident Fergi de Sousa. “Many of the residences are well preserved or renovated and have that romantic historic and sophisticated look and feel about them. It creates a tranquil and familiar atmosphere to which the lovely old trees, established gardens and landmarks like the notorious Brooklyn Circle contribute to. Yet the place has developed and there’s a modern vibe in the air as well. The Brooklyn of today is a multicultural, modern cosmos appealing to the young and upcoming as well as established families and professionals.
Brooklyn is a place for all… artists, academics, students, businesspeople, professionals – and ordinary people!”
Dining out or relaxing over a sundowner or cup of coffee is a most enjoyable way to salve a busy week’s tensions, and Jacaranda City residents from all over are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants and hangouts in Brooklyn.
There are scores of eateries and several award-winning restaurants located around every corner and in popular malls like Brooklyn Mall, Brooklyn Design Square and Brooklyn Bridge. These centres offer an enormous amount of retail therapy opportunities, as well as the latest movies, art exhibitions, antique markets and art movies.
The many sports clubs in Brooklyn cater to an active and healthy community – from young to old. The suburb homes a couple of tennis clubs, a bowling club, Run/Walk for Life, several top gyms, as well as training facilities for soccer, tennis, swimming, cricket, baseball, soft ball, rugby, athletics, hockey and any other sport one can imagine.
Brooklyn is located within quick access of both Pretoria Country Club and Waterkloof Golf Club, as well as Harlequins Rugby Club, while many residents enjoy watching their favourite rugby team in action at the nearby Loftus Versfeld Rugby Stadium on Saturdays.
Mumbai Barber opened its doors five years ago at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre in Fehrsen Street, Brooklyn. Says owner Jacques Botha, “We offer real value-for-money grooming services for men and women. Besides normal haircuts, skin fades and undercuts, we offer eyebrow threading (ages-old Middle Eastern technique using cotton thread to shape eyebrows and remove fine facial hair) and cut-throat shaves using the traditional Minora blade, as well as waxing to remove unwanted nose and ear hair.”
Mumbai Barber, which has Hunny Singh as manager, opened in Brooklyn because they saw an opportunity to bring affordable barbering and grooming services to this area. “We have many learners, students, office workers and professionals who need a quick clean up before an important meeting or event.”
Brooklyn is home to a pleasant cosmopolitan community and this has not changed; however, “customers became more focussed on total men’s grooming, where before they would come just for a haircut, they will now come for a whole grooming session including a full facial and facial hair waxing,” says Jacques.
Brooklyn is one of the older, established suburbs, so it has an old-times feel. At the same time, it has kept pace with modern developments which, together with the many students in the area, give the neighbourhood a lively modern spirit. FERGI DE SOUSA, RESIDENT
- Geet Indian Restaurant: contemporary, Indian cuisine
- Capeesh: authentic Italian
- Kream Brooklyn: continental fine dining
- Mythos Brooklyn: as Greek as it gets
- Moo Moo Brooklyn: relaxed wine bar, with tasty food
- Brooklyn Mall & Plaza
- Brooklyn Design Square
- Cherry Lane Shopping Centre
- Brooklyn Bridge Centre
- Waterkloof Corner Shopping Centre