Local Heart, Global Soul

August 25, 2018

“Convention” Makes Renewal On A Massive Scale…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the “silver linings” (if you can say that considering the tragedy involved) to the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes of 2010/11 was that major new plans could be put into place for the design of the city.

Generally renovation of a city is done building by building, but in this case, with entire city blocks erased, the City Council had a bold idea.

They have obviously been in long negotiations with tens of land owners, the result has been the purchase of land from many of them, enough to make one large plot of land in which it is now possible to place something new and unique.

The sign tells me that this is going to be the “Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre”.

There is a taster of what to come in the mural that rings the construction site: “Part IV, This Story Closes But Actually Just Begins…” https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=91286&action=edit .

Of course the site is only in its foundation phase and as of yet there is not much to see.

Since our trips to New Zealand only occur every few years, or sometimes a lot longer, there will of course be something a lot more substantial in this spot next time I visit.

Christchurch has been long overdue a place like this, it’s central and will hopefully be a very special place that local people, visitors and others involved in exhibitions or conventions held there will remember as one of the highlights of their time in Christchurch.

This post is here so that I can refer back to how things were right at the start. I also took from a Google Earth screenshot of the site. It’s taken from Colombo Street close to Armagh Street looking back towards Cathedral Square. Near the “30” sign in the center is roughly where Gloucester Street continued, the large Central City Public Library was on the right hand side of the street at the end by Oxford Terrace. The amount of individual buildings lost here is almost beyond belief. The next phase of renewal will be yet another change in the cities landscape, but this time, luckily not one of destruction.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Screenshot Kiwidutch, courtesy and © Google Earth

January 20, 2013

My Old Point And Shoot Really Doesn’t Do This Place Justice…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These photographs were discovered in a camera chip that I accidently left in a camera that met it’s demise in the hands of Little Mr.  in 2008.

To be fair he was an energetic and inquisitive toddler at the time, who upon the discovery of tablecloths and shiny silver gadgets must have thought all of his Christmases had come at once (although in our case it was actually Saint Nicolas, not Christmas).

In these photos I had gone for a wander in the Hague central city very close to the Binnenhof complex of old and new Parliament buildings.

The new Parliament building was added between the Binnenhof complex of the old Parliament buildings, and the old and highly ornamented Department of Justice building and the joining of old and new is a bit startling from some angles.

There is of course now a far larger Ministry of Justice building not too far away because this building is now far too small for all that is required for a modern day court system in The Netherlands but I have already resolved that this building deserves a closer look once I’m properly mobile again.

The last photo is of a large department shop called “Peek & Cloppenburg” and there are a few beautiful doorways thrown in for good measure.

For the full account of Little Mr’s nefarious deeds read here: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/new-960/?preview=true.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 12, 2013

Even Stunning Displays and Architecture Topped by Something Even More Magical…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In my final post about our visit to the Science Centre NEMO  in Amsterdam, I’ll take you on a little tour of the building inside and out.

Of course you’ve seen a few of the exhibits but the building itself is also amazingly built.

Firstly, since land is a scarce commodity in the Netherlands, back in 1968  they utilised space with usual Dutch ingenuity and built a  highway in a  tunnel called the IJtunnel under the sea to connect the centre of Amsterdam with Amsterdam Noord.  Wiki tells me that:

The total length of the tunnel, including on- and off-ramps, is 1682 metres.(5518 feet). The covered part is 1039 metres long. (3408 feet) The deepest point of the tunnel lies 20.32 metres (66.8 feet) below sea-level.

Then they saved space even further by building the five story NEMO building in 1997 on top of the tunnel. From a distance the building looks like a ship, so it almost appears to float in the harbour.

The fifth floor of the building houses a Café, the food of which we were not particularly impressed with because we took a very late lunch at quarter to four (NIMO closes at  5 p.m.) and there was practically nothing left on offer. What we did have was mediocre at best,  but the view from the top of the building was what really grabbed our attention.

Massive tiered steps slope down the face of the building,  there’s a giant chess set to play with and best of all, views of central Amsterdam that take your breath away even on a grey rainy day like this.  The kids of course don’t mind the rain and run up and down the steps in the drizzle,  I venture out a little way to take photos, and muse that if you can marvel that there’s so much to see on a day like this, how magnificent it must be when the sun is shining.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The NEMO website says that it’s possible to get to this observation deck for free and I think if I was an Amsterdam worker, working nearby then this would be a wonderful place to come during your lunch break, just bring your own sandwich and enjoy the fabulous vista.

Inside the building there are not too many windows: the walls being filled with exhibits, but where there is a window, there are also stunning views over the harbour and central Amsterdam.

Finally, there were two exhibits that totally defied my attempts to photograph them. The first was an especially set up display Heath Robinson style, on the first floor where at a designated time Staff set off a chain reaction as balls, balloons, shopping trolleys and a myriad of paraphernalia set of a domino effect.

I tried static shots from a vantage point on the balcony as the various bits and pieces whizzed, popped, banged, bounced, skidded and fell, and managed to miss all of the dramatic moments completely (rather an achievement considering the amount of opportunity presented).

It appears I was always one step ahead of the action or one step behind it, so note to self: This kind of action is probably best left to a video camera or a camera that takes stills in slow motion (and probably with many retakes.)

The second was a moving light:  to the human eye it made a complete circle of connected loops, but the camera couldn’t get even remotely close to what I could actually see in front of me:  even the fastest setting, I could only capture the tiniest portion of the circle, proving indeed that no matter how amazing the science we have seen here today, that the magical miracle of the mechanics of the human body and brain still out-shines every single one of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IJtunnel

http://www.e-nemo.nl/

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 11, 2013

Forget Gangnam Style, This is Learning FUN FUN Style!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing from yesterday’s post,  Family Kiwidutch are exploring the Science Centre NEMO in Amsterdam.

The building is five stories high and packed with many more things to do and exhibits that even a fanatic photographer like me could keep up with,  so maybe I photographed a tenth of it all.

The lower levels are more suited to the interests of younger children, the higher you go the more complicated and scientific the exhibits become, but everything remains interactive and hands on.

There are moving displays, entire  ride on exhibits, mechanisms that open and close items on the ceiling, moving solar powered mini aeroplanes, sensors in walls or floors that triggered amazing lighting displays, and even a set of recumbent bicycle pods that you lay in and peddle as fast as you can: the faster you peddle the faster you are hurtled virtually through space on a massive screen in front of you.

Can you get past Mercury, the sun, through various nebula and to the edge of galaxies as the computer tells you where you are and how far away from planet earth you have travelled?

If I remember correctly you have only three minutes to see how far you can get… Kiwi Daughter got ultra competitive and  competed with Himself and despite his best efforts and long legs he actually struggled to beat her, only grazing past her score in the last seconds.

Next to them was a boy having a fabulous time dancing, fighting and lunging in front of a giant screen that threw down virtual lightening as sensors picked up his moves.

It seems that if a mechanism can be driven with water, electricity, magnetics or air, it’s here to be played with an explored, there’s a cultural area, puzzle area, even an area that explores the latest in Green technology.

If and when you want there are information boards detailing how everything works, this is learning fun-style and there’s plenty of noise in the place as excited squeals and whoops of laughter ring out all over the place.

With all the buttons to push, handled to turn and things to spin, our kids should have burnt off their excess energy today plus extra…in the meantime they are charging in front with Himself,  and sprinting back to me as I walk slowly behind to update me with the latest item ahead that’s got the Wow factor. If I covered four of the five floors once, I think they must have covered them ten times with all the rushing backwards and forwards.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 10, 2013

Finding NEMO …A Scientific Discovery!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another post from my 2012 archives  for you whilst I head back to bed.

Last May the kids had school holidays and most days it rained. After organising some weekday play-dates by the weekend we were all looking forward to going out to a morning  appointment in Amsterdam.

After the appointment we sat thinking about something that might be nice to do here in Amsterdam with the kids and this is how we ended up at “NEMO”.  On their website I got the following information:

NEMO  is the  Netherlands’ largest science center and opened in 1997. It consists of  five floors packed with scientific and technological things to do and discover. Science Center NEMO is the place to discover science and technology in a fun and educational way.

The name NEMO has been used throughout history by many famous authors to describe events and people who find themselves on the border between fantasy and reality. In Latin nemo means ‘no one’ and indicates a world between fantasy and reality.

Visitors to NEMO Science Centre can become a scientist, technologist or technician for a day. Suddenly dreams are real.

The name “Nemo” is already very well known:

The most famous Nemo – written here with small letters – is the mystical captain of the famous 19th century book ’20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ by Jules Verne. In his submarine Nautilus, Captain Nemo travels through the murky underwater world, having amazing adventures.

In 1910, the American cartoonist Winsor McCay created the dream boy Little Nemo. In his dreams, Little Nemo has many adventures, in which fantasy and reality are so intertwined that it is no longer possible to distinguish one from the other.

The oldest use of Nemo to mean ‘no one’ can be found in the Latin version of Homer’s Odyssey. After the Trojan War, Odysseus sets off home, crossing the land of the Cyclopes, the one-eyed giants.

One of them, Polyphemos, takes Odysseus and his crew captive. Odysseus begs Polyphemos to let him and his crew go. When Polyphemos asks his name, Odysseus replies ‘Nemo’. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Instead of letting him and his men go, Polyphemos eats two of the prisoners. Odysseus then thinks of a clever way to escape.

He gets Polyphemos drunk on wine and while he is sleeping off the intoxication, Odysseus sticks a glowing pole in his eye. Polyphemos screams. The other Cyclopes hear the noise and come running. They ask if someone is trying to kill him.

Polyphemos cries: “No one is trying to kill me, friends.” “Then deal with it on your own,” the other Cyclopes think and Odysseus is able to make his escape.

Nemo, the famous fish from the Walt Disney film, captured the world’s imagination in 2003. Since then, many young visitors have asked the director why his science centre is named after a clown fish.

Around 500,000 people visit the green building above the IJ Tunnel in Amsterdam every year.

From the very beginning where they discover an orange shell-like structure that echoes back sound, or the orange and red cylinders what revolve  the faster you spin them the more lights light up, or the machine blows bubbles or sand rises in a chamber, to using a magnet to make a TV work, or playing with light and colour: this place is as hands-on as it gets and both children and adults present are having fun having a go… … and there’s still so much more to see!

http://www.e-nemo.nl/

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Blog at WordPress.com.