Parts of the city make me feel like an alien.
Though I love its architecture and to some extent, its character, Cuba Street in Wellington is home to people from a different planet to mine. Of course, I am a conservative (small “c”) older guy, and the style of dress, the hair, the music, the skateboards, the piercings and the tattoos are all at odds with how I was raised. I don’t criticize any of these things other than to say they are not choices that work for me. So for the most part, my photographic visit to Cuba Street is confined to its architecture, beginning at the top near Webb St.
A little down the road, on the other side, an old building is gradually being separated from its own kind, and it now stands alone. I guess that is how the old buildings will be weeded out, one by one. Further down the hill there is more security and more of a “vibe”. The 1933 Ford truck parked outside the bar caught my attention. Isn’t she a beauty?
The grand old lady that was for a long time a hotel run by the Salvation Army continues to maintain a dignified stance and her ornate stonework contrasts nicely with the trees down below. Despite the building’s abstemious heritage, there is an Irish pub on the ground floor.
No one who calls themself a Wellingtonian can think of Cuba Street without also thinking of the Bucket Fountain. Temperamental in operation, gauche, noisy, messy, but absolutely iconic, this fountain is a kinetic sculpture that has been loved by kids of all ages since its installation in 1969. As is often the case, some wit, or halfwit, thought it would be an original and humorous idea to add soap. Yes, that’s the first time anyone has thought of that since, maybe last week?
It’s an odd street, but we love it.