Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Red Square ?... #160

The square pole sculpture, urban art installation in front of the New Zealand Stock Exchange ... Taranaki Wharf

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Country Town ... #159

Not a very awe inspiring photo but this is one of those mental experiences we have that transport us back in time. I was brought up on a sheep and cattle farm in South Auckland ... experiencing the seasonal cycles and all those things which are part and parcel of the agricultural scene.

So when I came across this vehicle .. and not initially by sight .. but through the nostrils!!! it brought back many memories. That dusty smell of fresh sheep shit and the ammonia odour of urine mixed with the dirt and grass smells ... it almost sounds like the connoisseur describing a fovourite wine ... YEAH RIGHT. Well if we had olfaction technology via the web you would be able to sense the whole experience.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Friends & Food ... #158

Sunday was a great day .. sunny summer almost ... this is a group of people two doors down the road ... getting together to enjoy each others company ... cranking up the barbie ... no pretentiousness ... just family, friends and good honest food ... not a lot of salad... plenty of meat ... a few drinks .. some Watties Red (tomato sauce) ... the recipe for a great Sunday afternoon .. and the delightful aromas from the barbecue were quite distracting for the neighbours.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Urban Jungle ... #157

How appropriate !! for the inner city & urban jungle .... YEAH RIGHT ... but how about the spare wheel cover. The Toyota Landcruiser is covered in a vinyl image of gorse, bracken and scrub.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fountain of Youth ... #156

The fountain at Midland Park provides an interesting wet playgound... coffee drinkers in the background at Astoria Cafe

Friday, October 26, 2007

Not the 9 o'clock News ... #155

Lambton Quay afternoon .. another breaking (in both senses of the word!) political story

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wharf Walkers ... #154

Early morning walkers working their walking way to the week's work
Along the wharf from the northern end of Taranaki Street ... the whitish building in the centre distance isthe Post Office Tower and Mat Kau Kau behind the clouds ... and the crane on the right is the Hikitia floating crane.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rainbow on Taupo ... #153

NO this is not Wellington ... actually its about 350km north in the centre of the North Island... but a photo taken by a Wellintonian of a rainbow over Lake Taupo .. so it sort of qualifies. One has to venture out of the city sometimes !!.
This was taken on NZ Labour Day which this year was Monday 22 October.

Labour Day is an annual holiday celebrated all over the world that resulted from efforts of the labour union movement, to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers.

The celebration of Labour Day has its origins in the eight hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. On 21 April 1900 Stonemasons and building workers on building sites around Melbourne, Australia, stopped work and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an eight hour day. Their direct action protest was a success, and they are noted as the first organized workers in the world to achieve an eight hour day with no loss of pay, which subsequently inspired the celebration of Labour Day and May Day.

PS: thank you the Ladies of ZeaYou, Taupo.. our dinner at The Bantry, Taupo was great

Monday, October 22, 2007

Poles Apart ... #152

Lunch among the square profile wooden poles in front of the NZ Stock Exchange on the wharf ... a simple palette of colours mixed with shapes, textures, light and shadow

Flat Out ... #151

Taking it very easy on the city to sea bridge between the Civic Square and the Lagoon

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Max-imum Exposure ... #150

The Max fashion stores use some awesome quirky images in their advertising campaigns .. this is a new take on some of the classic New York scyscrapper photos showing workers sitting or standing on the steel girders way up above the ground. The yellow Wellington bus adds some impact to the overall effect ... Good on ya Max!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Summer ... #149

Does this mean that summer is expected soon ... and notice the small print .. the service is 'unisex' ... well the spray on tan shops are into advertising mode !! I think that is a good thing, given our high rates of skin cancer.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bandanna Day ... #148

CanTeen was established to ensure that no young person in New Zealand living with cancer should ever have to feel alone ... but as Canteeners say "We’re not a cafeteria! We’re not just about bandannas! We’re not all bald!" but we do sell bandannas at this time of the year to raise funds for our organisation.

These photos are of me yesterday, experiencing the harsh life of a street salesman, on a cold windy afternoon outside Farmers department store on Lambton Quay. Special thanks to Vinh Vu who took the photos and was also helping out despite going through some hard times himself.

My daughter Anna is a member of Canteen and designed the pohutukawa flower bandanna ... maybe it should called an "AnnaBandanna". It reminded her of Kiwi summers at the beach and good times shared with family and friends. Anna joined CanTeen as her older brother, Scott died when he was two after a year long fight with Neuroblastoma. Through CanTeen, Anna has learnt a lot about herself and met some very inspirational people.

The Pōhutukawa flowers from November to January with a peak in mid to late December (the southern hemisphere summer), with brilliant crimson flowers covering the tree, hence the nickname New Zealand Christmas Tree. There is variation between individual trees in the timing of flowering, and in the shade and brightness of the flowers. In isolated populations genetic drift has resulted in local variation: many of the trees growing around the Rotorua lakes produce pink-shaded flowers, and the yellow-flowered cultivar "Aurea" descends from a pair discovered in 1940 on Mōtiti Island in the Bay of Plenty.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Shells ... #147

The Shells sculpture by Jeff Thomson.
Shells Dimensions: H 3m x W 3m
Location: Cnr Waring Taylor & Lambton Quay
Materials: Concrete
Date of installation: 2002

Artists comment ... "I collect a lot of shells from all over New Zealand. I just looked into a little bit of the history of that area and I had been dabbling a little bit and playing around with concrete. It's something suggesting what was once there."

Jeff's sculptures are all over New Zealand and his most iconic use the ubiquitous corrugated iron .. just check out the article on Jeff by clicking on his name link above. Also check out some of the other Wellington sculptures

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kafe Kindy ... #146

Wellington has become a real cafe society ... cafes at 10 metre centres throughout the city interspersed with hole in the wall mini cafes .. you don't have to walk far for a long black or a flat white. This is a serious business ... so serious that we must train our children in the art of the cafe .. so now we have Kafe Kindergarten ... YEAH RIGHT !!!

Actually this photo was taken in Astoria, the cafe on Midland Park where the skate boarders were photographed. They provide great food, snacks and most coffees and teas imaginable. A great place to sit in the sun and read the morning paper while sipping your first latte of the day... and as you can see it is children friendly !!

A Tourist Review "Astoria is a large European style cafe on Lambton Quay, in the heart of Wellington's CBD. Opening out onto Midland Park, Astoria is the perfect place to sit outside and enjoy the sun. Serving both menu and counter food throughout the day, Astoria is fully licensed and offers an extensive winelist as well as beer and spirits. Coffee is roasted daily on the premises and freshly roasted beans are available for purchase"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Midland Masters .... #145

These young kids were having a ball but the retailers around the park weren't so happy with the skate boarders and the coffee drinkers clashing .. oh well a public park is a park for the public .. all of us !!... One of the delightful ironies was that they were listening to the Beatles "Please Please Me", "I want to hold your hand" blasting out on small speakers from the prerequisite iPod. They looked at me a tad bewildered when I said that I was as old as the songs ... cause they thought the songs weren't that old .. anyhow I feel like 21 sometimes ... YEAH RIGHT

Other daily photos from Midland Park include New Green; WOW; Cold pigeons; nga-korerorero

Monday, October 15, 2007

More of the Great Wall ... #144

The great wall of plastic continues ... "Our Tireless Guardians of Health & Safety" meanders on around Lambton Quay

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Let it rain ... #143

This is Rain Bar one of Wellington's night clubs on the Courtenay Palce strip (74 Courtenay Place). At Rain, the main bar has a capacity of 300 and the back bar can host a private party for up to 50 persons. On Wednesday and Thursday nights you can enjoy two drinks at one price including House Spirits and Tequila. If you look too young, make sure to carry an ID. Free entry into bar.

And if your halfway across the world you may like to have a drink at the Rain Bar at 323 23rd Steet, Miami Beach. The two bars are not related.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Beary Wet ... #142

It was so wet that even the large teddy bear in the doorway at the Teddy Bear House in Woodward Street had to put his bright yellow rain coat on

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bus Education ...#141

Well school holidays are over and it's back to school . This photo is in front of the old Government Building .. now part of Victoria University and shows The Scots College (dark red) and the Wellington College (black) boys waiting for the school bus. behind the photographer is the Beehive and Parliament Buildings

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Green ... #140

Looking across Lambton Quay from Woodward Street towards the Vodafone Building on Midland Park .. the winter undressed trees are slowly changing with a new coat of fresh green. Early morning with minimal activity. The summer and the city slowly awakes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Angry Cones ... #139

The northern end of Lambton Quay is a bit of a construction zone at present with half the road and the footpath ripped up for repairs and rebuilding. The pedestrians are guided to alternative temporary routes to navigate their way around the Golden Mile ( as Lambton Quay is often called).

Thankfully the construction workers have great supplies of the the "fluro-orange guardians" and cans of white spray paint ... BUT I am unsure as to whether I should walk here or perhaps have a hissy fit !!!. Constrained places for anger may be a useful public amenity.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Street Worker ... #138

Well this Lambton Quay, city image covers a lot of angles

... someone has found a use for a redundant All Black promo sign

... using a mobile phone in the street is so last year

... Wellington is really becoming a wireless "wired" city .

.. the city is my office

... I am a classy street worker in a pin stripe suit

Monday, October 8, 2007

Need a Lift ... #137

well after the big game .. and it is only a game !! .. it doesn't matter if you win or lose ...UNTIL you lose ... YEAH RIGHT,

This image shows all the work going on in Victoria St over the weekend ... the Chews Lane Precint between Willis St and Victoria St is under reconstruction ... new shops, apartments, bars, cafes etc. The tall balck building on the right is the BNZ Tower now renamed the State Insurance Building. On the left with the sky reflecting in the windows is the Central Police Station. All this rebuilding will add some more vibrancy to the central city.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sacre Bleu ... #136

Historical Nightmare continues: ABs fried by French
RugbyHeaven 09:50am We drink their wine and they eat us !!!
New Zealand's World Cup nightmare carries on after Graham Henry's All Blacks were beaten 20-18 by France in their quarterfinal in Cardiff. France have stunned the tournament favourites just a couple of hours after defending champions England had eliminated Australia. The public has been left shattered as yet another chance to bring the Rugby World Cup home slipped from the All Black's grasp. Wellington Sports Cafe manager Nick Matthews said everyone at his bar this morning was subdued as the final minutes of the match played out.
"It was a little bit tense to be honest. Everyone was sitting on their drinks and not saying much. Everyone accept my French bar staff that is. "I've got one France staff member and they were sitting at the end of the bar cheering." Wellington man Tom Cardy, also at the bar for the game, said he was shattered and gutted by the result. "It was like going to a funeral service ... I've never seen so many stunned mullets in my whole life."

PS These are NOT my words or my photo as I was not there .. however a very special thanks to the DominionPost, RugbyHeaven, Reuters .. on a sad sad day in our history.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Friday Night... #135

This is Carl Webley of UncleMonkey ... but first the story behind the image ....

Friday was a "marketing startegy" day with our business development team ... so whenwe finished we did some R&R in and around the city ... starting with indoor go-karting ( great adrenalin rush) .. then indoor bowling at Lanes ( fantastic setup that place)... then cruised a few bars ... Molly's, can't remember the next ones ... then some malay at the Noodle Cafe and finally onto JJ Murhpy's for some good music by UncleMonkey and another beer !!! A great band ... Sam Hyde vocals bass, Carl Webley vocals guitar and Steve Carlin vocals, drums ... to finish off an awesome day.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Look Again ... #134

A large, raised platform has been erected at the corner of Aitken and Molesworth Streets, with a series of illustrated exhibition panels on rusty sheets of steel, highlighting the many government buildings in the vicinity. People can walk up onto the platform and take a fresh look around at the buildings and spaces of national importance. These include Parliament Buildings (to the right of the Beehive), the Court of Appeal (foreground, left of Beehive), the National Library of New Zealand (behind the photographer), Archives New Zealand (down Aitken St to the left) and the Beehive which can be seen between the steel panels in this photo.

Together they hold innumerable treasures that tell of our development as New Zealanders from the earliest days of settlement. Capital cities are the symbolic showcase of a nation. They are recognised as the place to experience the heritage, culture and achievements of a country. Yet New Zealand is out of step with the international trend that promotes national identity. At present, Wellington’s role as the capital of New Zealand is not formally managed and, as a result, is neither well portrayed nor celebrated. LOOK Again highlights what is currently an underwhelming urban space, and questions how it could be turned into a more visitor-friendly zone, indeed the heart of an inspired new Capital Centre.

One point to note is that over the last week during the creation of this installation the steel panels were standing upright & vertical .. however Sunday night was extremely windy and you will now note that some of the panels look like Wellingtonians on a windy day ... bent over by the gentle zephyr breezes we have ... YEAH RIGHT !! and the latest chapter in this story is that we had gale force winds yesterday and the sculpture installation was considered a safety hazard to the public so the City Council workers came along and with the help of a crane lifted the steel sheet panels out and took them away.

So maybe the bare dirt installation really is a stronger metaphor for this barren underwhelming urban space, and is a plea to create a more visitor-friendly zone. YES PLEASE I say !

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Taxin' Park ... #133

How many taxi drivers does it take to get a parking coupon .. I would have thought none, as they have there own FREE taxi ranks ... however this picture proves otherwise. (apologies to my ex brother -in-law Noel who is the nearest taxi driver with the moustache !!!!)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

VOTE4ME ... #132

At this time of the year .. every three years our environment becomes littered with all manner of billboards and hoardings promoting candidates for City Councillers, Mayors, Regional Authorities, Hospital Boards etc .. and each night many are the target for destruction and the next day they are the subject for repair. I personally feel they add nothing and at best very little to the election process or the city environment. I suppose the sign makers make some money !!

This year's local body election will be held on Saturday 13 October 2007.The elections are meant to be your chance to have a say in decisions the City Council makes that affect us all.Elections for all local body authorities in New Zealand are held every three years. Wellington City Council uses the postal voting method.

The elections are conducted under the Local Electoral Act 2001, the Local Electoral Regulations 2001 and the Local Government Act 2002.In addition to voting for Wellington City Council, electors in Wellington city may also be eligible to vote for the following:Tawa Community Board, Makara/Ohariu Community Board, Greater Wellington Regional Council & the Capital and Coast District Health Board

An excerpt from the "Council Policy on Election Hoardings" for your entertainment... SMILE
Approval to use these sites for the purpose of political advertising is subject to the following conditions:
(a) The hoardings must be:
• soundly constructed
• not exceed 1.2 x 2.4 metres
• securely fixed and braced in place clear of mown areas.
(b) Road signs and street nameplates must not be obscured.
(c) Candidates should check with utility companies for any underground services, which may be in the vicinity of their hoardings. A list of Utility Companies is available from the Council’s Manager Property and Parking Services.
(d) Signs must be sited so as not to distract or obstruct driver or pedestrian visibility.
(e) Signs must not be placed closer than six metres from an intersection and must be placed at a greater distance if visibility for pedestrians or drivers is obscured.
(f) Unless otherwise stated signs may not be placed closer than 1.5 metres from the edge of the carriageway and must be clear of all pedestrian routes and accessways.
(g) Any signs erected on private property must be kept within the confines of the property and must comply with District Plan requirements. For further information please contact Building Consents and Licensing Services on 499 4444.
(h) Signs and hoardings must not be erected earlier than six weeks (42 days) prior to election day (1 September 2007). Signs must be removed from all sites the day prior to election day (i.e. by midnight on Friday 12 October 2007).
(i) Should any sign or hoarding suffer damage it must be repaired immediately or removed from the site.
(j) A bond deposit of $200 is to be forwarded to the Council’s Manager Property and Parking Services, together with contact name, address and telephone number; prior to placing any advertising material on approved Council sites.
(k) It is an offence against the Wellington Consolidated Bylaw 1991; Roads and Public Places, Part 17, 17.3.1 (a), (b) and (c) (Posters and Notices), to place posters on any servicing equipment or facility. A copy of this bylaw is available on request (to the Council’s Manager Property and Parking Services).

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Stationary Kowhai .... #131

This photo is a closer view of the kowhai [pronounced ko-fye] tree just out of shot to the left beside the rubbish bin in the crossing photo. The old brick building is the western side of the Wellington Railway Station The yellow of the fallen flowers was a natural soft touch to the rigid yellow markings for the NO PARKING - TOWAWAY AREA !!!

The Kowhai (Sophora microphylla) flower is NZ's national flower turning on the most spectacular display in spring. The flowers are a golden sulphur yellow, and appear in hanging clusters. The word 'kowhai' means yellow in Maori. Apparently native birds like tuis and kereru (wood pigeons) love the nectar. The early Maori had many uses for its hard durable wood and also made ointments and poultices from it. Graceful , with decorative fern like foliage and spring canopy of golden yellow flowers, the Kowhai is ideal for a corner situation in a smaller garden or specimen plant in a larger one.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Founders of the City ... #130

Lipman LEVY died in 1880. In addition to importing boots, Lipman was one of the earliest members of the Wellington Philosophical Society. he was also involved in Wellington's gold rush of the 1860s, opening a mine called "Erin Go Bragh" at South Makara (1869-1871). During a hard currancy shortage, he minted coins that bore this Irish phrase. Two streets on Mt Victoria, Lipman St and Levy St, mark the site of his large house and garden.

Erin Go Bragh (also commonly seen: Erin Go Braugh) is the Anglicization of a Gaelic phrase used to express allegiance to Ireland. It is most often translated as "Ireland Forever".

For more information on jewish history in Wellington and for some key facts about the Bolton St Cemetery refer to map of significant sites

Bolton Street Memorial Park in central Wellington, New Zealand, contains the city's original burial ground commonly known previously as Bolton Street Cemetery. It commemorates many early pioneers and important historical figures from the 19th Century. The Friends of Bolton Street Memorial Park is a voluntary society which works closely with the Wellington City Council to preserve, protect and develop the heritage aspects of this cemetery park. Bolton Street Memorial Park, newly named in 1978, is an excellent example of a colonial cemetery, using imported and local stone, iron and wood. Its iron memorials, wooden tablets, picket fences and wrought iron surrounds are particularly significant and comparatively rare in New Zealand.

The Chapel information centre on Bolton Street, open from 10 am to 4 pm daily (see Location Map), contains exhibits and has a full burial list of the 8,679 people interred in the cemetery. Situated alongside is the Sexton's Cottage (not open to the public) which is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Wellington.
It is a peaceful sanctuary of cultivated and forested open space. Over 1,300 carved and worn monuments are distributed throughout the Park that straddles the motorway. A nationally important collection of heritage roses, some dating from the colonial era, inter-twine with other early plantings amongst picket fences and wrought iron surrounds. Walkways offer a unique stroll between the city centre and the formal Rose Garden of the Botanic Gardens. Memorial Trail pamphlets at each entrance enable visitors to learn of the notable people who are remembered within the Park. If you in Wellington it is well worth a quiet wander.

List of Theme Day participants
St. Louis (MO), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Hyde, UK - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Toulouse, France - Arradon, France - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Joplin (MO), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Seattle (WA), USA - Baziège, France - Baltimore (MD), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Grenoble, France - Seoul, South Korea - Greenville (SC), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Nashville (TN), USA - Tenerife, Spain - Manila, Philippines - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Jacksonville (FL), USA - River Falls (WI), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Lubbock (TX), USA - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Moscow, Russia - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Minneapolis (MN), USA - New Orleans (LA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Toruń, Poland - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - London, England - Paderborn, Germany - The Hague, Netherlands - Selma (AL), USA - Sunderland, UK - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Stavanger, Norway - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Forks (WA), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Wellington, New Zealand - Montpellier, France - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Evry, France - Saarbrücken, Germany - New York City (NY), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - North Bay (ON), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cypress (TX), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Paris, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA