Local Heart, Global Soul

March 25, 2018

The Gondola Road, … And Hills I Once Roamed.

Filed under: CHRISTCHURCH,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Kiwidutch kids have given us a wish-list for this trip to New Zealand.

Some of the items were vetoed for being impractical, involving travelling distances we will never manage in a short time, financially prohibitive, or involve buying stuff we will never manage to get home.

Some of the things surprised us: they wanted to revisit a few places we went to four years ago on our last trip to refresh the wonderful memories we had there.

Himself and I had imagined that things that interested them four years ago would be far from interesting to them now.

One such item on their wish list was a trip up the Christchurch Gondola, which is where we make our way toward now.

Travelling from the north side of the city, we take the Cranford street, Barbados Ave, Ferry road route which quickly bought us out towards the Heathcote valley where the gondola is located.

The Port Hills are their usual dry, barren selves, the rocky outcrops in stark relief around the tops. I love the ruggedness of the hills.

I took up running for a very short period of time in my early twenties, but the Rapaki track exhausted both my body and my enthusiasm, even though in the steep parts the view got better with every step. In the typical character of someone attempting to stay fit but doing so in a sport that sounded like a good idea in the beginning, after half a dozen hill runs I went back to the flat of the city.

With traffic and noise, enthusiasm ran out and runs got shorter and shorter, less and less regular until I gave up altogether. When a little while later I decided to exercise again, I went back to just plain walking, which in my heart was always my first love. Since I worked shift work at the time and had time off during the day, I spent time walking quite a few of the Port Hill tracks, a source of immense pleasure especially in the Spring and Autumn. Therefore for me the sight of the hills I used to roam never gets old.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Barbados Street, near the city end, heading south…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Roman Catholic Basilica… still under repair after the earthquake. At least the number of shipping containers and iron bracing around for support it has been dramatically reduced.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 2, 2013

This Is As Close As I Will Ever Get To Walking On Water…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Mechelen,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I mentioned in one of my recent Mechelen posts a few days ago that we crossed a foot-bridge opposite Vismarkt in the centre of Mechelen in order to grab some goodies from the supermarket located on the other side.

After this we got distracted by the Paradijs, Sint Joseph and Duivelshuis   but soon we were back tracking down the Haverweft, past the supermarket and the footbridge because we knew we needed to go in this general direction to get back to the car and we were very intrigued by something we had spotted earlier.

The canal is a wide one, in this section of it there would easily be room to moor large craft on either side and still sail a third between them.

Therefore someone has come up with a brilliant use for this space: a walkway has been built over the water, raised on stilts so it’s possible to walk below street level also under several bridges.

It’s also decently long, extending from Hertshoonstraat  all the way down to the bridge at Vijfhoek. The walkway is called the “Dijlepad”, and since it’s a beautiful day we decide to take a little walk along the water.

There is one tiny drawback that I soon discovered: large sections of the boards spring up and down a little when other people pass. It’s certainly nothing excessive, it’s like a tiny rocking motion of a boat moored in the water. Usually this would represent no problem but using a crutch to walk and having less than perfect balance at the moment, I found it a little disconcerting.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Despite the fabulous weather we only shared the walkway with three other sets of people and I opted to hold onto the handrail as they went by and since I walk slowly they all outpaced us very quickly. This is my physiotherapy exercise for today… and I have my work cut out as it’s a decent distance.

There are beautiful views of the buildings along the canal… many of them centuries old and in various states of repair. We saw renovation work going on in quite a few places. At one point I was taking photos and walking slow so Himself and our friend waited for me to catch up.

When I reached them our friend said “see the big fish on that building!”   Despite repeated directions as to where to look, try as I  might I could not see any big fish at all.

Then we worked it out… there is a handrail at street level above us, she  is standing at a different angle and can see the fish  but from where I’m standing,  the metalwork obscures it from my line of sight. I shift around  a few steps  and the fish appears. I’m not going mad after all.

Under one of the bridges I notice that the storm water pipes from the bridge and street above stick out very close over the walkway. It might be tricky to be on the walkway in a cloudburst…  and further down a very old building with a tree growing out the side of it, the roots are embedded into the wall and it’s hanging on in a most precarious manner… We joked that this is probably the closest we are ever going to get to walking on water… and set out to enjoy the sunshine…

(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)

 

April 13, 2013

Delft: Your First Task Is To Get Walking…

Filed under: DELFT,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

More archive posts from my Kiwi cousin’s visit to the Netherlands… our next stop is the near-by town of Delft…and a wander around there before heading to an appointment I’d set up a few weeks earlier in anticipation of my cousin’s visit (they don’t know what’s coming, it’s a surprise). All I have told them is that a walk first will do them good… so let’s take the scenic route …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Old gatehouse, part of former fortifications…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kloster and statue of William of Orange…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Former weavers and cloth merchants building…

18 may 10 Delft former weavers and cloth merchants building (Small)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back of Oude Kerk…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Vermeer exhibition…

18 may 97 vermeer (Small)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Restaurant on the canal…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bikes outside Delft train station… (currently it’s a building site as they are building an underground train tunnel where the bikes were in this photo)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 14, 2012

Broken Cathedrals and Heavy Hearts…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Of course I can’t leave Cathedral Square without showing you it’s centre-piece: the Christchurch Cathedral.

This building is one of the most recognised in all New Zealand.

Visitors and locals alike have clambered up the spiral tower steps and viewed the goings on in the Square from above.

I’ve seen it captured in the photographic phenomenon particular to Japanese tourists more times than I could count.

This phenomenon consists of the following: Her smiling at the camera with Cathedral in background (photo taken by him), Him smiling at the camera with Cathedral in background (photo taken by her) and then Them smiling at the camera with cathedral in background (photo taken by a helpful passer-by or someone else in their tour party).

Wiki has the Cathedral’s history in detail and “before” photo’s too, but for me today’s post is more about emotions than facts so I’ve posted links to those pages at the bottom of the page.

The Cathedral is on what seems like every second postcard of Christchurch, and they sell well. I know this, because I’ve often bought the cards to send back to family and friends with a little note attached about our travels.

It’s not only been a place to admire, it’s been a place of worship and a place to use as a meeting point, everyone knows it and no one can miss it.

It’s part of the background of everyday life in the centre of Christchurch and even if some people have never been in it, or maybe don’t  have faith, it’s so ingrained in the backdrop of the city that walking past here without seeing it in the landscape is almost unthinkable.

Sadly that’s the possibility that faces Christchurch as I type.

We saw the Cathedral in the distance as we entered the square, but the walkway has you facing the old Post Office for a little distance and then the high fences obscure it a little so it’s not until you get a little closer that it really come properly into view.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Since we are a decent distance away from it, CERA has seen fit to lower the barrier fence directly in front of the Cathedral, so we can get some good photos and even more importantly, get a really good look at the state it’s in now.

A massive metal frame holds up the West Front, and the tower is a shaddow of it’s fromer self. The top of the spire has been rescued, encased in a strong metal frame to keep what’s left of it intact and sits on the grass on the south side of the nave.

To my eyes the building has a mixture of dejection and defience about it, akin to someone who’s just received notice of a terminal illness and is still determined to stand strong, but who hasn’t yet gotten all the test results back so is unaware of how deep the damage to its vital bits is as yet.

We managed to see the Cathedral only one day before the walking tour is closed to the public… and then a few days later on the following Friday, December 23rd Christchurch was hit by a large cluster of aftershocks, that included a double whammy of a magnitude 5.8 followed by a magnitude 6.0 .

As we dealt with scared kids that night I was saddened to learn that much of what was left of the round Rose window on the West Front had collapsed, and that the hope of repair to restore the Cathedral were deminishing with every large aftershock.

At the moment there is still a very large question-mark on what might be possible to save and what not. This sight of a beloved building in such distress had me wiping away a few tears… and I was not alone pulling out a hanky… more people in the crowd around me were too.

There are two phrases that come to mind.. the first is Kia Kaha (stay strong) and the second is R.I.P.

My heart hopes for the first to be the Cathedral’s long term reality, but my head fears  that the second might be closer to the actual truth. This may well be my very last goodbye.

(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)

February 13, 2012

Sad News about the “Press”…the Last Corner(stone) of the Square…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve almost finished my walking tour of Christchurch city centre…

I’ve been here close to two hours now, talking my time,  adsorbing the scenes and getting used to the rawness of the situation around me.

This area has been hard to photograph, we can’t get close, there are  many empty spaces, there is not a great line of sight.

The furthest corner away from us is the north eastern corner, where the beautiful Christchurch Press Newspaper used to stand.

The Christchurch Press is the ‘institution” of Christchurch newspapers, it’s been keeping the inhabitants of Christchurch, Canterbury and the South Island up to date with News since the first issue appeared in 1851.

In 1909 the paper moved into it’s new building in Cathedral Square and from then on as the decades passed, it’s only cemented it’s place as an iconic Christchurch building and a newspaper institution.

I regret never having taken a decent photo of the building because I always admired it, but fortunately other people did, because I found this stunning image on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Christchurch_Press_Building_-_as_it_once_was.jpg

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now all that remains is an empty space, the paper itself lives on and I think they are working out of new premesis close to the airport.

One worker lost their life in the Press Building in the September 22nd 2011 quake, so it’s with mixed emotions that I view the old photo, I adore Heritage buildings and would love to save them whenever possible, but never at the cost of anyones life, that’s for me at least, too high a price to pay.

I look around this last corner of the Square… Warner’s Hotel used to be next door and was just as well known as the Press building but as I stand behind fences some distance away it’s now really hard to see what’s gone and what’s there and if it’s there, for how much longer.

I’m delighted to see that the War Memorial appears to have escaped unscathed, this has always been a favourite of mine, and I find myself smiling at the little Police station… it’s been a stock feature of the Square for decades and it’s reassuringly familiar.

From this corner of the Square comes the constant clatter of demolition noises, the fire engine is on hand to spray water and keep the dust down: there are noises of diggers and jackhammers. I made a small video clip but YouTube is being a bit weird about uploading stuff at the moment so I will add that on another day after I’ve summonded some technical assistance.

I’m almost ready to leave the Square… This little piece of “home” will never be the same, …emotions have been more than I expected, but then too, so has the scale of the damage. Just as it’s time to move on in a physical sense it’s time to move on in an emotional one too.

Easier said than done but you need to start somewhere. I wonder what the future holds for this piece of real-estate ? Someone has poked a little bouquet of flowers into the fence… they’ve long since wilted but the sentiment of eerie sadness that they exude is all around us.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The war memorial…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Police kiosk…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr. doesn’t quite get why there needs to be an engine if there is no fire?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Seemingly unscathed artwork (I love it too) on the other side of the Square…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Quake-scaped lamp-post from a different angle…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

BEFORE photos to compare… (white building in centre currently being demolished)…

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

February 11, 2012

You Wear Down Some of your Local Flagstones,and Leave a Little of Yourself Behind in the Process…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still taking you on a virtual tour of our December 2011-January 2012 trip to New Zealand.

This is the walking tour that was set up shortly before Christmas and that allowed limited public access between the Cashel/Colombo street intersection and Cathedral Square… well a small slice of it at least, well away from fragile buildings and ongoing work.

I realise that taking photos of the “ghosts” and shells of buildings that I knew and loved might seem in some way morbid and depressing…

Yes it is emotional, but that’s because these places have meanings and memories. One night in the 80’s the leaders of our youth group divided us into four teams, handed each team a cassette tape recorder and an envelope that contained an identical  list.

Each team had some three hours to collect as many sounds on the list as possible.

One of the sounds was to capture special sound that the pedestrian buzzer made at certain central city intersections… it was special because it was a different tone, meant to alert sight impaired people that it was possible to walk diagonally across this crossing because traffic on all four sides was being stopped  whilst the buzzer sounded.

I remember the exact spot we were standing in Cathedral Square that balmy summer night when we summoned up the courage to ask a pair of uniformed policemen to say “állo, állo, … állo, állo, “ for the tape.

I can remember watching the “Wizard” (a local personality) in his favourite spot in the square taking on a bunch of hecklers and the war of words and quick quips that saw each of his opponents bow out in defeat and the gathered crowds enjoying the spectacle as he ran rings around them.

I remember going up the spiral steps of the cathedral tower, emerging on the little balcony high up and feeling dizzy as I looked below… not that that ever stopped me from repeating the experience every few years with friends or visitors.

I remember the first time I went to an evening movie (in place of a kids 2.00 p.m matinee) emerging out in the street in darkness, listening to the far older friday night crowds and feeling   “grown-up”for the very first time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I remember the midnight service in the Cathedral that was held directly after the finish of the annual Carols by Candlelight Service around the river by the Bridge of Rememberance, and later in Victoria Square and the sound of the singing  as it rang out all around us as we sang together inside the Cathedral.

I remember walking in the cool of the Cathedral interior on a hot summers day, and taking a sad and quiet break in one of the pews and asking God why my school mate had had to die earlier that week from a brain tumour. She was only 16.

I remember running through the Square towards Chancery lane in winter hail on my way to the public library in Gloucester Street to study, or standing in a queue at the various food carts that came into the Square .. fried rice, …jacket potatoes with chili sauce.

There was a optitian in Chancery Lane where I had to go for my medical to become and Army officer… I don’t have binocular vision so I failed the eye test. Who knows what path my life may have taken had I passed since it was the only part of the medical that I failed.

I’ve waited for busses at countless bus- stops around the Square, I’ve walked these street with friends, commuted though on foot to and from work and partied there too.

Add to this that I’m a lover of detail, buildings fascinate me, especially old, ornate and interesting ones. I might not have been a customer of Hanafins but I always adored the building.

Any place where you have been a part of wearing down the local flagstones, leaves a little of you behind in the process.

You kind of rub off on your city, it rubs off on you and emotional bonds are made in the memories that are built up in microscopic layers over the years.

The building that CERA labels as the Grant Thornton building never had a name to me but it did mark the entrance to Chancery Lane… that I walked through frequently.

What’s the purpose of these photos you may well ask. Well, I guess that at this point in time they help for me to come to terms with the destruction of many of my old haunts.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Seeing them has released some tears and made feelings that I had in absentia, real in actual presence.

They provide a space for realising that the only way to deal with things now is to not just yearn for the past, but that we also have to move onwards.

The photos also give me a record of what was, what is …

…and later I will hopefully add photos to these locations of what they have become in the future.

My kids have been here and they have seen this too, but they are young and I know it’s too much to hope that they will really remember this moment as the “history” it is, so a photographic journal is a good way for them to understand in the future.

Yes, it’s painful right now, but this is the moment in time when we are staring at the open wound…

…It won’t always be like this…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

.. . quakes even upset the local lamp posts..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Grant Thornton Building…  it’s days are numbered.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

What fate awaits these?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

What’s left of Chancery Lane…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 10, 2012

The Old Post Office, Regent Theatre …and the Clarendon Façade Doesn’t get a Third Chance…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Today’s post takes us into Christchurch’s Catherdral Square itself… the barriers are in the centre of the central open space of the Square as work is being done on a multitude of buildings close by.

To my amazment the Old Post Ofice building is still standing!

It hasn’t been a Post Office for years now… more recently it became a visitors centre and Starbucks and I have no idea if it is still structurally sound, or repairable if it has sustained damage, …but it’s a relief to see it here at all at this point.

A little further along the Regent Theatre building is now a sad vacant space… CERA have posted a few “then and now” posters on the fences, not for every building we can see, but for a few.

I remember well going to the “pictures” at the Regent during my years in Christchurch and the building too was a beauty inside and out that was much admired and will be sadly missed.

Further down this end of Worcester street that bends around the square and goes towards Oxford Terrace there are several other buildings that I’d like to know more about.

As a kid, I knew the building that’s now called the “Rydges Hotel” by it’s ‘old days” former name of “Noah’s Hotel” ..it sits on the northern side of the Oxford/Worcester corner. I have no idea what shape it’s in now.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the Oxford/Worcester south side corner stands the Clarendon Tower.

It’s a stange building because it was formerly the Clarendon Hotel, a grand three storey stone building that dated from around 1903.

Then, very contrivertically in the 1980’s they decided to make a tower block out of it and were going to knock down the hotel completely, but in the end they kept the origonal facade and them “grew” another 15 or so stories of modern building out of the top of it.

It was, and still is, the most bizzare juxtaposition of buildings I have ever seen and not quite a marriage made in heaven.

Yes, I was in the “camp” that said, “better some of it saved to live on in this bizzre fashion than all of it lost completely”,  but I still thought  “What were they thinking?” every time I passed it.

Wiki has more detail about it’s history and photos, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarendon_Tower .

Since the rest of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace are still cordoned off, I can only see the “town side” of the Clarendon and not the facade that can be more clearly seen from Oxford Terrace. The tower looks forelorn with it’s plywood panels covering  the broken windows.

I can’t see but am also wondering about the (Robert Falcon) Scott memorial statue (of South Pole fame) that sat on the grass on the river side opposite the Clarendon Tower, apparently it toppled in the February quake and was damaged…

…it’s a very special statue because it’s strikingly white in colour instead of the oft prefered bronze and because it was carved to an amazingly professional standard by none other than Scott’s widow, in memory of her husband and his efforts to reach the Pole.

Once again I’ve tried to use Google Street View to give you an idea of what these places were like before. The CERA  information leaflets were flapping around in the wind, so a passing walker volunteers to hold it whilst I take photos. (Thank you Lady, that was sweet of you)… or in Kiwi slang … “Sweet !!”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

February 9, 2012

Hanafins, Man’s and Bringing down a Bank (or Maybe Even Two)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In a continuation of yesterday’s post, I’m talking you on  the walking tour of the centre of Christchurch New Zealand that I made just before Christmas 2011.

A tiny section of the central city area has been fenced off and opened to the public on a controlled and tempory basis so that people can see what’s been going on here since the cordon was imposed immediately after the February 22nd earthquake here.

I’m standing on the intersection of Hereford and Colombo Streets, where they intersect with the top end of the High Street Mall.

Looking at the buildings opposite the ill fated Camera House building my attention is  immediately drawn to the gaping absence of the amazingly beautiful building that formerally housed Hanafin’s Camera shop.

I have to profess that I only stepped inside Hanafins a few times because they were the “opposition” of Camera House where I was already a frequent customer.

I did love the building however and it was a well known iconic piece of the city centre landscape.

I looked up their website and whilst I knew that this had been a long estanblished business, I was surprised to learn that the Hanafins family business has been running for some eighty years,  and was pleased to see that they are still operating in Christchurch in three of the cities various suburb malls.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The cordon and limited positions that the gates afford, mean that I can only get a glimpse of what’s currently left on this part of High Street: as with the Cashel Street part of the Mall, it was a pedestrian only area so the Google Street View vehicle never went down it and I have no photos from there either.

One place I did used to frequent on occasion when I worked in town was Man’s Bakery, on the Hereford side of Hanafins… their pastries were well worth the detour if I had the time and enough funds.

I’m a little surprised to learn that two of the modern looking banks, on the other side of this intersection (The ANZ and BNZ) have also been casualties of the quake, I’m not sure if the ANZ sustained significant damage or if it’s just closed because it’s in the drop-zone of the BNZ on the oppsite side of the street.

Even if it’s ok, naturally no customers can reach it now that it’s within the cordon of the central Red Zone and demolition is going on all around it.

It appears that the tall grey-blue boxy BNZ is to be demolished. I never loved the building at all, but it was a well known landmark in spite of it’s ugliness.

I hope that they will rebuild something a little more asthtically pleasing in it’s place.

One thing is for sure, this intersection will look very different in the future and now is the time to get used to the idea and say my goodbyes to the past.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A look down the High Street pedestrian Mall area…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…In the distance a Hotel is being demolished…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Standing on Colombo Street, looking down Hereford Street (towards Latimer Square)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Man’s Bakery…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

What it looked like … BEFORE…

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

Hanafins, the red-brown building at bottom left, and Camera House,  light brown building, on the other side of the intersection (also on the left)… BNZ bank  is the grey-blue tall building on the right and opposite it, the ANZ  bank building (black and white)…

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

The ANZ Bank…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The BNZ  Bank…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 8, 2012

Sudden Photographic Memories of Art Supplies, Dumplings and …Souvlaki.

I’m taking you on a photographic journey of our recent trip to New Zealand, and this post relates to the excursion we made into the cordoned off area of the central city that’s been made safe for a temporary walking tour on Colombo Street between Cashel Street and Cathedral Square.

Getting photos of building themselves was more difficult than I first thought because the walkway had tall mesh fences and they cut up the views quite a lot.Once again, using the older version of Google Earth (Street View), I’ve been piecing together the fragments of  the city I knew and love. In these photo’s we are in Colombo Street, between Cashel and Hereford streets,  the Wild South building  and building  next to it (that I’m not familiar with and where I can’t make out the lettering in the Google) … it’s the one with “24”on it …  these are them THEN

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

Colombo Street, between Cashel and Hereford sts, Wild South building and building with “24”on it .. .  this is the same spot NOW...

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

McDo the next door neighbour … no burgers from this joint any time soon…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Colombo Street, between Cashel and Hereford streets, note  the little white and blue building with the arched window top… THEN

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

Colombo Street, between Cashel and Hereford sts, the little white and blue building next to Burger King, as it looks… NOW

(can I thus assume that being a neighbour to a fast-food burger joint in an earthquake does serious damage to your building’s health LOL… No, just kidding, of course, these buildings were  a lot older than their fast-food neighbours and probably all of double brick construction type .. and it appears that it often depends on the decade in which they were earthquake strengthened as to how they fared.) Knowledge and materials changed considerably over the years.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The building ( in black paint)  on the left of this one looked ok (in the biggest photo) at first glance… but on second glance, … sadly also not.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Standing on Colombo street… Looking down Hereford towards Oxford Terrace,  and as I remembered where I was I suddenly felt sick… what stood here was Camera House and Dimitris Greek Food and Souvalaki take-a-way place, (delicious it was too!!)   this is it….  THEN

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

Standing on Colombo street…Looking down Hereford towards Oxford Terrace: Camera House pretty much “the” place to go when you had a camera question, and a popular place to get your negatives developed and your photos printed in the days of  rolls of film. I spent a lot of time in the shop dreaming and window shopping about camera’s I couldn’t yet afford. I spent a lot of cash from my wages getting prints from various travels  developed here too. I hope they have survived as a business and relocated elsewhere in Christchurch.

On the other hand, Dimitris Greek Food and Souvalaki’s  were  in my budget range, and they were exotic in the early days when were were not sooo very many food outlets around serving stuff like this, Christchurch residents were clearly happy to try a new cuisine and there was often a queue,  the souvalakis were/are to be recommended …  here’s how it looks …NOW

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Standing on Colombo street…Looking down Hereford towards Oxford Terrace,  yikes, this is where Shades Arcade used to be … look at it THEN

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

This next building isn’t Shades, but was pretty and now it’s sadly gone too…

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © with Thanks to Google Street View)

Standing on Colombo street…Looking down Hereford towards Oxford Terrace,  Shades Arcade had many interesting shops and food outlets in it over the years but the best by far was a  place called “Dumplings”  there that was possibly the best Chinese food ever made (in my humble opinion).  I don’t remember too much about it (pity, I should have taken more notice) but I do know it was a family run place, the family were always helpful and friendly since I was always asking if dishes might have things in it that I am allergic to,  the food was amazing , incredibly popular and it was cheap too.

Whitcoulls bookshop and stationary  in the photo was another treasure trove too… I might be wrong, but was this the branch where the Art supplies where  located on the Hereford Street side and the Books and magazines and cards were on the Cashel Street end?  I  seem to remember a long and narrow shop with (wooden ?)  floors at leasts I think on the Hereford end and rows of beautiful paint brushes on the left, with pencils, paper, pads and chalks to die for and the office stationary opposite it.

These days the street is closed as work continues, I took photos as best I could from the limited vantage points available. Here’s what it looks like …NOW

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 7, 2012

Figuring Out What’s Missing and What’s Not…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Yesterday’s post was an explanation as to why the city centre of Chch remains mostly closed to the public…

Now I’m trying to piece together what’s been lost and what remains.

Older images from Google Street view made in 2007 are helping to refesh my memory, after all I have lived in The Netherlands for quite some time now.

Sadly, since the section of Cashel Street in the photograph (between Colombo street and High Street) is part of a pedestrian Mall, the Google street view vehicle didn’t go down it so I’ll have to seach my memory banks and see what I can remember (and do some internet research).

The building on the corner of Cashel and Colombo Streets, (now called “Crossing”) started life as the D.I.C. Department store.

Wiki tells me that the “D.I.C’ stood for the Drapery and General Importing Company of New Zealand” and there were a chain of these shops within New Zealand, the first started in Dunedin by Bendix Hallenstein in 1884.

I remember the shop in a vague way as D.I.C. as a kid, but have better memories of it when it was later called Arthus Barnett. (I bought my first douvet set here when I went flatting)

Wiki also tells me: “The Christchurch, Cashel Street shop (opened in 1885, burned down in 1908 and rebuilt, merged with Beath’s Department store in 1978 and shifted into their premises, rebranded Arthur Barnett/D.I.C. ,then again as Arthur Barnett, and closed in 2005.

The Westpak Trust (a.k.a. Trustbank) building  sits on the high street end, it’s about 14 stories high, and is the grey one with the red “w” sign on the top.Nestled in next to it is the Glasson’s building, a clothes shop where I shopped for most of my clothes in my early 20’s.

Next to Glasson’s if my eyes are not deceiving me  is the beautiful Cashfields Building .. and yeah! it seems to be still standing, it’s situated close to the Canterbuy Trustbank/Westpak Trust building and is an arcade that links Cashel street with Lichfield Street .

Better photos and a more detailed history are available here on the Christchurch Historic Places Website: http://www.historic.org.nz/TheRegister/RegisterSearch/RegisterResults.aspx?RID=3096&m=advanced

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I zoomed in as far as possible with my camera though the barrier fence, but can’t see enough detail to work out if the building is ok or of it has damage that means it’s waiting for demolition.

I liked this building a lot so I hope that it survives the quakes and lives on for future generations.

When I lived in Chrstchurch there were two walkways in the City Mall area, one here, crossing Cashel street, linking what was the Arthur Barnett department store with what was an arcade of shops that had Robert Harris Cafe and Coffee shop on the other end of the walkway on the first floor.

The other end of the same arcade of shops also had a walkway (over High Street) and once across the walkway there was a food court that did some great and inexpensive chinese food that I used to frequent often when I lived and worked in the centre town.

The Google Street View shows at least the Cashel walkway clearly, but Google satelite, maps of the area don’t (that I can make out) so had they been removed before the quakes?

It seems that the street view version isn’t of a similar date to the satelite version.

The newer walkway that is over Colombo Street is still standing, (and If I remember from a previous trip the Robert Harris café moved there too) but the Cashel street one isn’t.

Since it’s been a while since I was here pre-quakes, I’m now not sure if these had been removed earlier or not. Maybe someone local can fill me in with the details?

It’s clear that there is still so much demolition and repair work to be done, and that there are priorites that must be made.

Low on the list at this point are the potted plants laying around where they fell, the plants have long since died and they tave taken on the haunted look of urban tumbleweed…

…and since they really did literally get there by tumbling it’s less ironic a thought, than I first thought.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

Looking back down Cashel Street towards Colombo Street (with the menswear company “Hallensteins” in the building at centre)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

Sadly I also spot a casualty… a grey painted Post Office that used to be here (It wasn’t a post office when I lived here but I’m struggling to think what it was previously)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © Thanks to Google Street View)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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