Introducing East City Corridor
East of the City Bowl are a string of working-class and industrial suburbs that are regenerating and partly gentrifying. The process is a patchy, controversial one and has long been so – this is where you’ll find the empty lots of District Six, a multicultural area destroyed during apartheid.
Closest to the city, the area dubbed ‘The Fringe’ is set to be a showcase hub of Cape Town’s successful bid to become World Design Capital 2014. Moving eastwards, Woodstock and Salt River continue their upwardly mobile trajectory, with the Woodstock Industrial Centre, the Woodstock Foundry and Salt Circle Arcade among the latest big redevelopments following in the wake of the phenomenal Old Biscuit Mill. The opening of several major and minor Cape Town galleries, joining pioneers such as Greatmore Studios, has put the region on the art-lovers’ map; it’s also the canvas for the city’s most striking street.
Further east is Observatory, named after the first Royal Observatory established nearby in 1820; the site remains the headquarters of the South African Astronomical Observatory. Commonly known as ‘Obs’, the suburb has long been a bohemian, racially mixed area, even during apartheid. It’s popular with students attending the nearby University of Cape Town and the Medical School at Groote Schuur Hospital. Several good backpacker hostels and lively, inexpensive restaurants make it a ‘good base for budget travellers.