On Lambton Quay

two violins by Danny Andreini

two violins by Danny Andreini

On Lambton Quay, Bach
for two violins; small boy
stands captivated.

(16 May 2016)


On an autumn afternoon, unexpectedly, a vivacious counterpoint crosses Lambton Quay and stirs up in me both joy and nostalgia.

Drama in Opera House Lane

To me, there’s always been something vaguely sinister about Wellington’s Opera House Lane. That feeling was pretty strong when I was walking through last Wednesday. But it wasn’t the tagging and graffiti grabbing my attention.

The sculptural bulk of the structure overhead – it must be a walkway, I think – the weathered brickwork, and the qualities of the light combined to make it more than usually impressive. And my camera thought so, too.

So here are my three shots. (Oh! you might notice there’s a bit of a photo-shoot happening in #607,  by the way.)

Not just any old iron

The old iron gates pictured here are on Queen’s Wharf, Wellington. In the background is the Wellington Museum of Wellington City and Sea, sheathed in white plastic sheeting but open for business, nevertheless. (What are they doing, I wonder? I’m still trying to find out.)

The Heritage New Zealand website offers the following description:

“The Wellington Harbour Board Wharf Gates, Posts and Railings are dotted along the city-side of the former Wellington Harbour Board (WHB) port area at Lambton Harbour. Constructed in phases from 1899 to 1922, these iron boundary markers represent the wealth and strength of the organisation which was crucial to Wellington’s economy for over a century. …

“Beginning in the late twentieth century portions of the WHB gates and fences were removed, due to the shifting of the port facilities to the north of Lambton Harbour and leisure and public access becoming a focus for much of the former WHB space. All of the remaining pockets of gates, posts, and fencing form an important part of the historical complex of the former port, visually linking a large area running along Waterloo, Customhouse, and Jervois Quays, from Wellington Harbour Board Shed 21 to the south of Lambton Harbour at Taranaki Street Wharf.” (Wellington Harbour Board Wharf Gates and Railings)

In researching the history of the gates, I found a facsimile of an item in The New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVI, Issue 11245, dated 14 December 1899, Page 5, which states:

“Two sets of iron gates are being placed at each of the entrances to the Queen’s Wharf. They are very handsome. They are surmounted by large globe lights. The Harbour Board, to quieten the fears of the promenaders, state that no interference will be allowed with persons of either sex visiting the wharf at reasonable hours, but the officers on duty will have instructions to note the condition of persons going to the vessels alongside.” (Papers Past)

Under canvas again

on the waterfront #218 (24 March 2015)

on the waterfront #218 (24 March 2015)

Like the group of shots taken more than a week ago, this image was made on Queen’s Wharf, near the TSB Bank Arena and the Museum of Wellington City and Sea. The stylized sails are so photogenic, it’s hard to resist getting the camera out.

On the waterfront

After yesterday’s chilly wind and rain, today’s blue skies and gentle breezes are a real delight. These pictures were made on Queen’s Wharf, near the TSB Bank Arena and the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, where the temperature was around 17 degrees C.

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.

Happy birthday, Leonard Slatkin

Slatkin conducting Barber

Slatkin conducting Barber

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American conductor and composer Leonard Slatkin turned 69 on 01 September 2013.

The son of violinist and conductor Felix Slatkin, Leonard Slatkin has served Principal conducting positions with the New Orleans Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre National de Lyon. (The Violin Channel [adapted])

The image links to a YouTube video of Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performing Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings.