WEST JAKARTA ATTRACTION: MORE THAN JUST OLD TOWN
When it comes to a short stay in Jakarta, especially in the west side of Indonesia’s capital, The Old Town (Kota Tua) and Chinatown, where both are situated nearby, are the most visited destinations for tourists.
Nonetheless, West Jakarta is quite a big piece, stretching about 129.54 km2 (50.02 sq mi) and consisting of 8 sub-districts, thus historical sites are not the only ones defining the identity of the west. The growing population over the years in “newer” areas also contributes today’s culture and lifestyle.
Not to mention the spreading of big shopping malls in several areas and districts in West Jakarta since the end of 1990’s, that were once only located in South and Central Jakarta.
The presence of shopping malls in Jakarta is more than just about shopping. They actually apply the concept of superblock, catering the needs and wants under one roof. Various facilities are available at a stone’s throw away without leaving the complex, from department stores, hair salons, restaurants, banks, ATM centers, fitness centers until English course and community church. It saves a lot of time to commute without facing a traffic jam from one place to another.
It’s no surprise to see a (Jakarta) citizen does a grocery, cuts one’s hair, withdraws money, eats out, takes a gym class and a shower in a fitness centre and when one gets home or a condo adjacent to the mall, what one needs to do left is to sleep.
In tourists’ point of view, visiting a shopping mall could be the last option or a “spare” attraction, which is totally understandable.
CITYSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY: ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITY?
There’s one activity in West Jakarta I had not thought of until I joined one of the events held by Gallery Photography Indonesia community: a cityscape photography to capture bird’s eye view of Central Park Mall and surroundings after the sun goes down from 2 different locations: the rooftop of Alaina Tower at Central Park Residences and Royal Mediteranea Garden.
The Central Park cityscape hunting is actually not something new. Nonetheless, a couple years ago, someone did a suicide by jumping off from a tower next to Alaina tower that caused the management of Central Park Residences prohibited any photography activities from their towers.
Therefore, last November 2016 marks the return of this activity and my first time ever to gather with other amateur and experienced photo enthousiast members to learn and excel low light photography.
CENTRAL PARK CITYSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM VARIOUS ANGLES
Central Park Mall is a shopping mall that has been launching since 2009 by Agung Podomoro Land in Grogol Petamburan subdistrict, West Jakarta. The mall is adjacent with Central Park Residences, Tribeca Park, Agung Podomoro University, Pullman Hotel and Neo Soho, the latest shopping mall developed by the same developer.
The most eye-catching part of this West Jakarta superblock is the sky bridge linking Central Park and Neo Soho, which is accessible from the 1st floor of Neo Soho.
I’m happy enough that my “old” Fuji XA-1 manage to capture the cityscape, although it’s not as sophisticated as its sister products (Fuji XA-2, XT-1 and so on).
Central Park (right) and Neo Soho (left) at 5 pm after the rain, from Alaina Tower
Nothing much to capture unless the lights shine at night. A few days earlier, the unoccupied residential building of Neo Soho was on fire, whose remains were still visible during the day. The sky was rather dark and capturing the sunset was something no one could do on that day.
Central Park and Neo Soho after the sun goes down, from Alaina Tower
Apartemen Taman Anggrek (Taman Anggrek Apartment), the competitor, from Alaina Tower
Like Central Park Mall, this apartment is connected to Taman Anggrek Mall. It has been operating a few years earlier than Central Park Mall, but nowadays Central Park Mall has much more traffic than Taman Anggrek Mall.
The “bowl” of Tribeca Park, from Alaina Tower
A few minutes before leaving the rooftop, I spotted this spectacular view of Central Park Mall I had never seen in my life. The angle is actually against the mall façade, but Tribeca Park is in the limelight of this picture.
Pullman Hotel, from Royal Mediteranea Garden
Tribeca Park, from Royal Mediteranea Garden
The main entrance, from Royal Mediteranea Garden
The sky bridge in focus, from Royal Mediteranea Garden
Pedestrians on the sky bridge
Zooming the details of the sky bridge
Tribeca Park with Pullman Hotel background in the month of Christmas
It displays the same Christmas tree every year. It’s appealing at first, but after 4 years?? It needs to refresh!
Tribeca Park, from the sky bridge
Perhaps, what I did with Gallery Photography Indonesia community could be something inspiring for an alternative place of interest and activity in West Jakarta, especially for photo enthousiasts. Why not?
However, tourists cannot access the rooftops I visited since they are residential areas. Alternatively, both Neo Soho and Central Park have balconies somewhere, which are accessible for public and provide nice views and angles for photography.
HOW TO GO TO CENTRAL PARK MALL WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
By bus: Take a Transjakarta Bus, get off at Grogol 1 Bus Terminal. Then, walk along the bridge to Grogol 2 Bus Terminal for a transfer. From there, you can take any Transjakarta bus and get off at the first stop, which is S. Parman Bus Terminal.
By Taxi: Alternatively, you can take a conventional taxi (so far, the safest is Blue Bird) or online transportations, such as Uber, GrabCar and GoCar. Generally speaking, everybody knows where Central Park Mall is.