In the autumn sunshine

Yesterday, the last day of autumn … out in the city. And it’s a sunny afternoon. The camera doesn’t like being stuck in the bag; I can tell it wants to get out and play. So here – with a minimum of Photoshop time involved – are the results of my playing in the sunshine.

The orange flower spikes are sampled from the bed of Aloe vera just off Civic Square, behind the City Art Gallery, on the way down to Jack Ilott Green. “A member of the Liliacea family, Aloe vera is a succulent perennial, grows in a clump and has long, spiky, grey-green leaves. The yellow-orange tubular flowers bloom at the top of tall spikes that emerge from the center of the plant. There are approximately 400 species of Aloe, but it is the Aloe Barbadensis Miller, or “true aloe,” referred to as Aloe vera, that possesses the most remarkable healing properties” (from a web site called Way of the Wild Heart).

And the tall plant with the wonderfully curved blade-like leaves … is that some kind of Agave? (If you can identify it from my pix, please comment.)

The wooden wheel is part of the sculptural decoration on the City to Sea Bridge. I hadn’t been intending to stop on the bridge, but the silvery-blue light was just too appealing to ignore.

Back in the 1930s, the St John’s Bar and Restaurant used to be the home of the Wellington Free Ambulance. I mention it because the cabbage tree shown here is among a number outside the handsome Art Deco structure.

Advertisements

Bond Street impasto

Bond Street back story

Between January and April 2015, Bond Street [in Wellington, New Zealand] was transformed with temporary changes to the way the street looked and was used to bring colour and energy to the area.

Bond Street is an important street for servicing local businesses, we wanted to make it a destination for pedestrians as well. To explore ways of making it work for both people on foot and businesses, temporary changes were made to the layout and use of the street before looking at possible long-term changes.

To catch people’s attention and bring vibrancy to the street, two outdoor seating areas and an artificial lawn area were installed. The road surface was painted with a bright red pattern and a shipping container was located on the site to host events. Urban designers call this type of project ‘Tactical Urbanism’ and there are many successful examples of these projects internationally and locally.

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.

Smiling on a rainy day

sunflower (08 March 2012)

sunflower (08 March 2012)

Buses on route 2 (Miramar to the Wellington railway station) are so well patronised you’ve got to wonder why they don’t run more often. Be that as it may, I don’t mind standing as long as I have somewhere to hold on securely. And I must not get crushed into a position that makes getting off difficult.

Thursday morning, at around eight-fifteen, I’m about to get off at Arty Bee’s Bookshop. I have my Snapper card ready. I can see myself able to squeeze through to the front door. I pick up my bag. Because it’s made of paper, however, and because it has been in the rain, it abruptly collapses. Books, bananas, bits, and bobs spill onto the floor.

A quiet calm settles upon me as the kind people around me pick things up and hand them to me. With surprising clarity of mind, I take stock … Yes, I have everything, thank-you, people. Once off the bus, I reorganise myself and my belongings. Then it dawns on me: I haven’t tagged off. But that’s okay, because people are still pressing their way in.

Calmly … sublimely serene … I reach into the bus and tag off.

I am loved. I am cared for. Aren’t people lovely?


PS: Posted this little anecdote first on Facebook. My sister-in-law enquired: “Did you make it to Porirua or did you abandon your weekly visit [to see father at Kemp Home] due to the flooding out here?”

My response: “I made it to Porirua, but one of the other passengers on the 211 had her mobile running reports on the flooding. So I got Dad on the phone and told him he’d have to do without the bananas and chocolate. We had a good chat.

“Then I walked through the rain from Pataka to the railway station. At one intersection, the water was ankle deep. The journey back home was uneventful, but I was happy to change into dry clothes and wait for the arrival of the two boxes of wine I’d arranged to have delivered after lunch.”

Kaizen – a change for the better

kaizen

kaizen

.

.

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.

 

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)