Saturday, February 28, 2009

#636 ... A Wet Day

Crofton Downs .. the small suburb next to Ngaio ... on the road into the city ... you can see the Crofton Downs station in the left foreground ... and the Johnsonville railway line ... and the television mast on Mt KauKau on the skyline. Ngaio is over the hill behind the top row of houses just below the TV mast. Photo taken today on a wet day .. the last official day of summer!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

#635 ... Ernestos in the HB Building

Hallenstein Bros. Building, Cnr Cuba and Ghuznee Sts.
Bendix Hallenstein opened the first Hallenstein Bros. retail clothing shop in Dunedin in 1873 and by 1900 there were 36 branches throughout the country. This branch was opened in 1920 and remained on the site until 1973. Note the company's emblem "HB" on the fanlight windows under the veranda roof. During the 70s and 80s this was the home of Crazy Rick's general hardware store .. they imported cheaper south east asian and chinese tools of all descriptions ... before The Warehouseentered the market. The Crazy Cafe was here for many years after that and has only in the last few years changed to "Ernesto's Cafe"

Review of Ernestos
Oddly reminiscent of the 1950’s style of shop still found in country towns like Waimate for example, Ernesto’s & its leadlight windows with the beautifully intact HB Clothing Factory wording inset were what attracted me as I slowly weaved my way along Cuba Street on the day of the Carnival. That and the fact that the café was packed when I walked past the evening before…….which I took as a good sign.
Inside on this hot and steamy day I plonked myself down at a table for two along the side wall with an unusual, entire room length 1.7 metre tall backed bench seat. I was promptly attended to by one of the busy staff who brought a bottle of cool, much appreciated water to my table.
The café was running to capacity and the waiters met the challenge admirably I thought. The soup of the day, pumpkin, lentil & ginger didn’t take long to arrive and was average to good with a somewhat gigantic, fist-sized slab of herb bread on the side.
I was more interested in getting the steamed mussels with white wine, garlic and thyme (a mere $14)but these were again average to good only and certainly not outstanding. They were accompanied by another boulder of bread. Perhaps I’ve been too spoilt in Golden Bay……..
The noise of the other customers in this café was so great that the music playing over the sound system was nothing more than a muffled cacophony of clatter and pulse. Easily forgiven, however, as it was after all Carnival day in Cuba St.
Before having to queue up along with new arrivals(for 10 minutes) and people ordering and paying for takeout food as the waitress advised that if I wasn’t paying cash she couldn’t take my card at the table, I needed to visit the Necessarium. These facilities were despicably dirty and featured an overflowing waste bin with paper towels spilling out over the damp, smelly floor. Notwithstanding that this was possibly the busiest day of the year for anyone trading on Cuba Street, the Carnival is an annual event so crowds should be expected, and a business offering toilet facilities needs to take steps to ensure than someone on the staff is allocated the job of maintaining the standards of hygiene in the ablutions area. I’m glad I didn’t have to sit down…………
Ernesto’s offered great atmosphere and a hint of excitement but I suspect this was more to do with everything else going on in the town than their efforts. Nonetheless, I will probably look in again when next in Wellington when things are a little more relaxed

Thursday, February 26, 2009

#634 ... Contrasts

The new Century City Hotel & Apartments behind the older full of character "Lone Star" building in Tory Street

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

#633 ... P76

... A challenge to the Aussie Icons.
This P76 was parked beside Harvey Norman's in Tory Street and is holding up quite well for its age. Although now rare in this part of the world ... it is probably never ever seen in th northern hemisphere !!
The Leyland P76 was a large car produced by Leyland Australia, the Australian subsidiary of British Leyland. It was intended to provide the company with a genuine rival to large local models like the Ford Falcon, the Holden Kingswood, and the Chrysler Valiant.
Before the P76, Leyland Australia and its antecedent BMC (Australia) had not fielded a direct competitor in this market sector, which dominated the Australian car market. P76 was intended to provide that competitor.
Previously, BMC and Leyland had tried to compete in this market segment with a variety of cars: the 1958 Morris Marshall (a rebadged Austin A95); the 1962 Austin Freeway and Wolseley 24/80 (the Freeway was an Austin A60 with Riley 4/72 tail lights, a unique full width grille and a 2.4 litre 6-cylinder version of the 1622 cc B-series engine; the Wolseley was a 6-cylinder version of the Wolseley 16/60); and the 1971 Austin "X6" Tasman and Kimberley (facelifted Austin 1800s with the 6-cylinder 2.2 litre E-series engine.)
Each of these cars was a compromise, and the motoring public ignored these cars as challengers to the dominant local models. Nonetheless, the Freeway, 24/80 and the X6s each developed a loyal following.
Launched in 1973, it was nicknamed "the wedge", on account of its shape, with a large boot (trunk), able to easily hold a 44 gallon drum. Although station wagon and "Force 7" coupé versions were designed, these never went into mass production.

The name of the P76 derived from the car's codename while in development. Speculation surrounds the naming and parentage of the P76. One story says the name was apparently the platoon number of British Leyland head Donald Stokes. Another story is that the P76 was based on a Rover design, and that the "P" coding signified that it emanated from Rover. Rover's coding for its models included the P4, P5, P6 and P8 (although the P8 never reached mass production). The official line was that the P76 was an original Australian design with no overseas counterpart. The Rover SD1 (released in 1976) shared several engineering features with P76 — including MacPherson strut front suspension, the aluminium V8 engine and a live rear axle.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

#632 ... The Caffe

My favourite caffe ... Caffe L'Affare in College Street ... a tad non descript on the outside but an eclectic hubub inside ... heading here for breakfast in the morning. The inside and the German diners ... and a piece of Wellington history, 50 metres along the road.

#631 ... Not the Beehive

The Government building on the corner of Lambton Quay and Bowen Street .. this houses many of the politician's and executive who don't fit in the Beehive across the road ... the building is linked to the rest of Parliament by an underground escalator ... I suppose its too far a political divide !!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

#630 ... Cuba St. Carnival

Unfortunately due to other commitments I didn't get to the Cuba Street Carnival this year ... thousands of others did though ... including some of my family members ... so no photos from me ... however I came across this one by Phillip Capper,
who was born and raised in Liverpool, England and is now living in Wellington. Phil's photo captures the way our city embraces events that enhance the life of Wellington ... here is one of our buses getting a paint job to match the carnival atmosphere .. thanks for a great image Phil.

ANDREW GORRIE/The Dominion Post
BRAZILIAN TOUCH: A member of the Batucada band performs for the crowds along Courtenay Place during Wellington's Cuba St Carnival.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

#629 ... HD Heaven

The dawning of a new day .. torrential downpour last night ... and TODAY sunshine .. Harley Davidson day ... 1000+ bikes ... awesome sounds .. this afternoon HDs in action .. tonight .. the Cuba Street Carnival till the early hours ... bands, music, dance .... party, party, party ... the city is alive!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

#628 ... Old & New

Meridian Building and the old wharf building (Shed 13) ... Wellington waterfront

Thursday, February 19, 2009

#627 ... Streaker

As you have probably seen from many of the WDP posts ... I prefer people images ... from everyday life in the city ... however often when we look up above ... nature creates interesting, dramatic and colourful scenes .. this was the sky yesterday evening ... less is more

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

#626 ... Edges

A perfect morning on the harbour edge ... gemetric shapes and hard edges mixed with sun, peace and glistening water. Photo taken beside the Meridian Building, Wagamama, Mojo Cafe ... Eastbourne in the distance beyond Point Jerningham

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

#625 ... Sunrise

The morning sky made a dramatic start to the day .... view east over Ngaio and Khandallah

Monday, February 16, 2009

#624 ... A start

Well you have to start somewhere, somehow ... the Civic Square yesterday ... circus skill demonstrations and the opportunity to "GIVE IT A GO" This image courtesy of my 'thru the lens' friend, David ... thanks

Sunday, February 15, 2009

#623 ... Distorted

Petone Foreshore ... Gypsy Fair. Petone is on the other side of the harbour to Wellington City. We went out there today for a walk along the foreshore ... superb day ... gentle warm breeze, sunny, sea air .. .and a gypsy market ... with all the usual traditional small fair bits & pieces including this cool distorting mirror ... maybe short legs suit me ... at least buying trousers would be cheaper!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

#622 .. A Passionate Man

Just what is required for Valentine's Day ... one of the sculptors by the Civic Square .. creating for our pleasure ... drawing amazing 3 dimensional artworks out of stone ... it reinforces to me that cities are all about who we are and what we do ... and not really about the colour of our skin, our beliefs, or our political leanings or otherwise. Thanks for chatting and each of the creations on this patch of green stimulated more thoughts in the mind!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

#621 ... Old Colour

The "summer tree" in flower ... in front of The Government Building .. the northern end of Lambton Quay

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

#620 ... MP Harley

This neat guy and his partner were sight seeing around Parliament and were about to head off to catch the inter-island ferry to the South Island for a road trip. They are riding $29K of H-D in the form of a V-Rod Nightrod ... I think that's the right model ... however what is more interesting is that "necessity is the mother of invention". Front fairing removed and replaced with the sleeping bag roll with contrasting stretchies and a unique individually hand crafted Valentine Radar detector mounting mechanism ... a.k.a ... vinyl floor tile, hand cut and folded to house the radar detector with the whole thing fixed to the sleeping bag roll with colour co-ordinated duck tape.

Now this guy is also the proud owner of two more Harleys ... and despite minor reservations about the handling he loves these awesome beasties. Thanks for the conversation and

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

#619 ... more architectural shapes

Looking from Waitangi Park down Cable Street ... Te Papa is to the right (out of picture). The Museum Hotel behind the white warehouse with the blue shrouded apartments behind again. The NewWorld supermarket is to the left ... BUT note the young pohoutakawa trees in flower along the edge of the street.

Monday, February 9, 2009

#618 ... Architectural Contrasts

The old and the new in Tory Street ... The Century City Hotel is nearly completed and is taking in residents ... it is the building behind the brick building which is home for the "Lone Star" restaurant and bar

Sunday, February 8, 2009

#617 ... A bizzare weekend of dress up & rugby

This sums up the Wellington Sevens weekend ... if you dress normal you're abnormal ... and if dress "out in left field" it all seems more of the same !!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

#616 ... Johnny Rotten

Each year I amazed at the creativity and workmanship that goes into creating costumes for the Wellington Sevens .. this guy from Auckland won second prize in the fashion parade at the Wellington Railway Station ... which was a pre-cursor to the main event .... CONGRATULATIONS ... and come back next year

Friday, February 6, 2009

#615 ... more Fever

#614 ... Seven's Fever

The Seven's parade down Lambton Quay ... thats the NZ team on the trailer at the end of the parade. The building with the construction workers is the new Supreme Court building at the northern end of Lambton Quay

Sevens fans will have extra reason to party as the NZI Wellington Sevens celebrate its tenth birthday! The country’s biggest sports and entertainment festival will be held at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium on Waitangi weekend, Friday 6 and Saturday 7 February 2009.

Held over two days and nights, the NZI Sevens involves 16 international teams competing in the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens series. The first day of the tournament consists of pool matches on a round robin basis. Points are awarded for wins, losses and draws. Following completion of all the pool matches in day one, the first and second placed teams in each pool progress to the Cup Championship. The third and fourth placed teams of each pool progress to the Bowl Championship.

On day two Championship games move into a knockout phase. The winners of each game move into semi finals and then finals. The winner of the Tournament is the team that has moved through all their games on day two with no losses. Each game runs for 2 x 7 minute halves with a 2 minute half time; the final game of the tournament is 2 x 10 minute halves.

Wellington rocks during the NZI Sevens. There’s always heaps to do.

Grab a bite to eat at a great restaurant or spend time bonding with the local bar scene. Everything in the downtown area is within walking distance. Party on at the Westpac Stadium and then continue the action just 20 minutes walk away - at the downtown party zones on Courtenay Place and Cuba Street. Or check out an exhibition, visit some funky fashion boutiques or head to a local music gig.

Get out there and enjoy the party!

see more photos at scoop

Thursday, February 5, 2009

#613 ... Back to School

The beginning of February sees all the students going back to school after their long summer holidays ... this photo is at the northern end of Lambton Quay ... looking south.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

#612 ... The Lady & The Crocodile

On any fine day in Wellington you will see these crocodile bikes peddling around the harbour's edge ... families and friends have lots of fun and mayhem navigating along the streets around Oriental Bay ... this lovely lady has got herself into a tight spot beside the Freyberg Pool ... as you may know these bikes have a large turning circle !! Good luck Crocodile Driver !!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

#611 ... Motionless

We are now into the busking and street theatre season .. here is some action (NOT) in Cuba Mall .. stillness at lunchtime !!

Monday, February 2, 2009

#610 ... Sign of the Times

Repairing street signs on Willis Street. Apparently these guys do about 30 signs each day ... that have either been hit by cars or pushed over by late night drinkers !!! ... sport for those in an alcoholic haze