It is all to easy to drive through a place on the way to somewhere else, and fail to see the place you are passing through.
For me, Wellington’s Southern suburbs are a bit like that. I am usually on my way to the coast, or back to the city. Yesterday the coast was uncooperative, or perhaps it was that I was failing to see. I came up through Island Bay to Berhampore and via various back streets to Rintoul Street. Across the valley, I saw a row of houses which haven’t changed much physically since they were built, perhaps in the 1920s. When I first laid eyes on Wellington in February 1954, I recall the impression that every house seemed to be painted a drab buff colour and had a red “tin roof”. The post war utility colour seems to have gone now, though the corrugated iron persists. The colours have exploded and some people go to a lot of trouble to make these old houses look smart and lived in.
My wandering delivered me to Newtown which has always had the reputation of being a “working class” suburb, and rarely the choice of the elite. Now it is a very cosmopolitan place, lively, active and full of the foods and clothes of various ethnic minorities. It’s architecture remains that of a century ago.
Newtown has many “character buildings, and this stately old lady seems to be a hostel or boarding house of some kind.
It is probably a universal truth that the less affluent areas of any city are likely to be home to activism of various sorts. I am not sure how recent the slogan on the window of this boarded up shop is, but it was unsurprising to find it. I don’t normally look in people’s windows but I swear I can see the rear of a zebra in the second upstairs window from the left.
That will do for today.