Architecture Berhampore Island Bay Landscapes Maritime Weather Wellington

July 16, 2015 … Wellington wandering

Lunch is often the trigger for a visit to town, and subsequent wandering.

The nicely restored facade of “not the Central Police Station”

So it was yesterday. Before I got to the excellent Leuven Restaurant (consistently good mussels and Belgian beer a specialty), I wandered the side streets between Lambton Quay and Featherston St. Behind Midland Park, there is the Vodafone tower block, completed in 1998. Few Wellingtonians give a thought to the buildings on either side of the tower. In earlier times,  they were the Wellington Central Police Station. As far as I know, there is no residual police presence there, but the facades on Waring-Taylor and Johnston Streets still proclaim the buildings’ former role.

Downwind of the Carter Fountain

After lunch I headed South, and around Oriental Bay. There was a stiff Northerly and the Carter Fountain was playing. It used to be the case that when the wind was strong enough for the spray to reach the shore, the fountain would shut off. Residents and car owners were not keen on additional salt spray attacking their paint work. Perhaps the device has been removed or was simply broke, Either way there were drifting curtains of salt spray across Oriental Parade, and I chose to get downwind, though the wind direction kept changing through a wide arc. Happily the Olympus and its lens are reasonably weather sealed.

City and yachts

From approximately the same spot, but out of the spray, there was a good view back to the city. The colours and textures of the city are always appealing, and at this time a small fleet of yachts belonging to a sailing school were being towed into position, though the fourth little duckling was having trouble hoisting its sails.

Near the end of life

Wellington’s Southern suburbs remain a foreign land to me, especially those not on the coast. Southgate, for example is bordered by Berhampore to the North, Island Bay to the West, and Houghton Bay to the East. I didn’t know there was such a place until yesterday, though the existence of buses going there should have raised the possibility. It’s clearly one of thee older suburbs, judging by the age and decrepitude of some of the auxiliary buildings on street frontages.

Something different tomorrow


Architecture Berhampore Newtown Wellington

November 12, 2014 … on the old South side of town

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.

Berhampore, Wellington, Just South of Herald/Britomart Sts.

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.

I am not sure if these are as old as they look, but they fit the local architecture

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 2
A “stately home”? Perhaps not. I am sure the people who live here are grateful for it.

Newtown has many “character buildings, and this stately old lady seems to be a hostel or boarding house of some kind.

Newtown 3
“No fuel tank, no emissions, no oil wars, no regrets” … if only life were so simple

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.