Monday, 28 July 2014


I can't say I've ever been in love with this city.  When I was younger I couldn't wait to leave and swore I would never move back.  So much for that!  It's not that there is anything particularly wrong with it, I just always felt like it lacked the soul that many other cities have.  It has stunning beaches and some really cute little nooks but it's so spread out that it doesn't really have a strong sense of community.  Anyway, seeing as how it looks like we're going to be marooned here for an indefinite time I figured I may as well start searching for its charm.  I've traveled enough to know that every place has some, sometimes you just have to look for it!
So the other day when I had just a quick errand to run in the city and my little darling was crashed out in her pram, I decided to play tourist.  I started at Albert Park, a place I know very well from my years at university.  It was original built as army barracks way back when the British were still fighting the Maori's.  Then it was transformed into the stunning park during the Victorian era, and then with the fear of WWII they built deep air raid shelters into the hill.  Ooo I just love a colourful history.  Ayana was still fast asleep so I took a rare opportunity to go to the Auckland Art Gallery.  I think only a parent could understand how nice it is to be able to go somewhere without constantly saying,
"We're just looking, not touching... no, no touching.  Put that down". Etc, etc.
It was one of those rare sunny (but still crisp) sort of winter mornings and I didn't want to waste it, so I wandered down High st toward Britomart.  This used to be one of the more seedy parts of town near the port.  You could probably get a cheap lap dance from an aging stripper, a burger greasy enough to soak up the nights alcohol, or lock horns with a drunken sailor.  But it has since been transformed into something that reminds me of, well, Europe.  Quiet side streets, exposed brick buildings and a growing amount of (expensive) new shops.  I really only had enough pennies for a coffee though so I was kind of excited to come across this incredibly cute French cafe called L'Assiette.  I had my first apple croissant (seriously, so good!) and saw that they are hosting a screening of Amelie next Monday night.  I wish I could go!
After that I window shopped, wandered, tried to remember to look up (buildings are often the most beautiful up higher) and basically couldn't wipe the smile off my face!  I was really starting to feel like a tourist.
Ayana finally woke up in time for lunch so we treated ourselves to my favourite vegan restaurant on Hight St, before heading back to the car happy and exhausted.
I've got to say, I really did see the city in a different light.  I found little pockets of charm, I found history, I found good food, I left feeling like I had been somewhere new.

 P.S Ayana's way of taking in some culture!

1 comment:

  1. love seeing all the textures and architectural features of the city, we are the same when going out, just walking, hands, not for touching..etc etc