Café culture

Athfield Havana Bond (19 October 2015)

Athfield Havana Bond (19 October 2015)

Architect Ian Athfield died on 16 January this year. In the New Zealand Listener (dated the day before), Diana Wichtel presented an engaging interview, first published in the Listener in 2012, in which Ath “talked about starting his landmark ‘act of defiance’ in 1965, and finally wanting to finish the place.” Interview: Architect Ian Athfield

My image shows an advertisement for Havana Coffee. The green Telecom Building peeping in at the top corner of the image, was, according to one NCEA student, “built in a boom period when New Zealanders had big ideas and wanted their cities to look like international ones …”

Gingko gold in Grey Street

The atmosphere in Grey Street, off Lambton Quay in downtown Wellington, is often thick with cigarette smoke – especially at lunch-time on weekdays. It’s a pedestrian precinct, with a water feature and abundant seating. It also offers access to my bank, among other things. And it has gingko trees.

A recent post on the |cross-ties| blog pictures the canopy of gingko gold on Lambton Quay, near Wasabi Sushi in the James Cook Arcade, where I like to eat lunch from time to time.

Kaizen – a change for the better

kaizen

kaizen

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The Japanese term “kaizen” translates loosely as improvement or change for the better, according to the web-site of Leclair Ryan, an American firm of legal advisors. In Porirua, however, Kaizen is the café at Pataka Art + Museum.

After visiting my father at Kemp Home, Titahi Bay (21 May 2015), I met my sister for lunch at the Kaizen. The beautiful Japanese garden adjoining the café added to our experience as we ate the best spanakopita we’ve tasted in a long time … and the coffee was great!

Incidentally, kai refers to food in the Māori language, and a pataka is a place to store treasures.

Pataka houses a fine collection of sculptures, including one of Michel Tuffery’s tin-can bulls (image below).

Outside the entrance, and elsewhere in the vicinity, heaps of white sandbags – needed after mass rainfall on 14 May resulted in extensive flooding in the area. (My camera could not resist.)

 

Layer upon layer

further layers (17 May 2015)

further layers (17 May 2015)

This little piece of wall – on a storefront close to the Victoria/Manners corner – has been the subject of several of my previous photographic endeavours.

All over the city, tags and posters come and go … but this spot continues to hold my interest. The main reason is that, over time, it keeps on transforming.

Recent wet weather has contributed to the intricate three-dimensional effect – which I have emphasized by using a bit of flash.

 

Chimney cats in the last days

chimney cats (07 May 2015)

chimney cats (07 May 2015)

Today (14 May 2015) is the last day for Avid Gallery’s limited edition of the Chimney Cats made to celebrate Bronwynne Cornish’s exhibition of work currently showing at The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt.

Originally intended to guard chimneys from witches coming down them, the first group of Bronwynne’s chimney cats appeared 1982.

 

Te Mata Coleraine 2013

Te Mata Coleraine 2013 (16 March 2015)

Te Mata Coleraine 2013 (16 March 2015)

A six-pack with a difference, this box of Coleraine 2013 held still for me and my camera at Wineseeker, Wellington. I’ll be adding only a single bottle to my modest Coleraine collection, but I’ve been given a spare box to house them in.

Te Mata Estate released Coleraine 2013 in the first week of March 2015. The final blend was 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc.

“This is arguably the most important wine release New Zealand has ever seen,” according to the Advintage website. “Certainly, in our 15 years in this industry, we have never before seen such hype and anticipation surrounding a new vintage. But this is Coleraine. And it is Coleraine from the vintage of a lifetime.”

Advintage goes on to assert: “… 2013 sets a dramatic new standard for Coleraine – a wine already considered the pinnacle of Hawke’s Bay red wine production. It’s an ethereal, complete experience – plusher and weightier than previous vintages. Very clearly a new benchmark for New Zealand Cabernet Merlot blends has been set.”

“From the depths of its saturated inky appearance, Coleraine ’13 is a commanding statement of the vintage. Its powerful attack of beautifully ripened blackberries and black plums integrates with an accompanying surge of immediate tannin which quickly becomes the focus as the wine flows across the palate.

“Coleraine ’13 is a wine to contemplate, from a large glass, over several hours. It is a 30 year wine of impeccable style and character.” (Tasting note on Te Mata website)

“Coleraine derives its name from the Coleraine vineyard, home of John and Wendy Buck of Te Mata Estate. John’s late grandfather was born in Coleraine in Northern Ireland and the name has been maintained through the family home to the wine. Originally a single vineyard wine, from 1989 Coleraine has been an assemblage of the finest wines produced from distinct plots within Te Mata Estate’s oldest vineyards on the Havelock Hills.” (Cited on the webpage for Coleraine ’13)

Te Mata Estate was established in Hawke’s Bay in 1896, and wines have been made there for over a century. Specialising in high-quality wines of classical style, Te Mata sees itself as having been at the forefront of the modern rejuvenation of the New Zealand wine scene for the last forty years. “Every step in the production of our wines is undertaken by us, from grape growing and pruning through to winemaking and bottling.” “We are large enough to be well-resourced but small enough to concentrate on detail.” (Text adapted from descriptive material found on the Te Mata website)

The Village Green on Civic Square

The Village Green on Civic Square (12 March 2015)

The Village Green on Civic Square (12 March 2015)

When I posted this image on my Facebook page yesterday, a friend asked, “What type of camera do you use?” When I told her, “An Olympus μ800 (8 megapixels … and about 10 years old)”, another friend (who I know has a liking for really old cameras) commented: “Proof that it’s the photographer and not the camera that makes a picture great.” Thanks, Steve.

This all connects with the ICC Cricket World Cup. For further images of the Village Green, go to this link on the Wellington City Council’s Facebook page.