Saturday, January 31, 2009
I've been encountering more than my fair share of coffee beans this past week as I prepare a feature on Christchurch's coffee industry. That reminded me of this shot I took at McIver's Coffee & Tea at Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne last year. Stall 101-102 should you get the urge to visit them - and it IS worthwhile. Quite apart from their coffee supplies, they have a terrific window display of tea and coffee essentials - click on Queen Victoria Market in the label line below if you'd like to see it. www.qvm.com.au
After my posting about Underground Coffee a few days ago (scroll down) and in particular, their cool customer-designed takeaway coffee cups, I have become aware of Sport Stacking. What is Sport Stacking? You may well ask……turns out stacking cups is actually a recognised sport. It originated in Southern California in the 1980s and then a segment on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” in the 1990s gave it the boost it needed to take off. It’s True!
You can check the website – www.speedstacks.com
If you find yourself in and around Taupo, don't miss a visit to Huka Falls. This gorgeous frothing torrent of water is a result of the normally 100-metre wide Waikato River narrowing to just 15-metres as it gushes over a volcanic ledge. A spectacular 220,000 litres per second crash through the gorge creating one of the North Island's most visited waterfalls. There are paths along the river bank and a sturdy (thank goodness!) bridge crosses the torrent. It's all a little nerve-wracking if, like me, you have a fear of heights but opportunities abound for some spectacular photographs. (This, it should be noted, isn't one of them - I was in too much of a hurry to cross the bridge.) www.laketauponz.com www.hukafalls.com
Friday, January 30, 2009
Which runs from Lake Forsyth and Birdlings Flat
(you can just see Lake Forsyth top left)
To the tiny fishing village of Taumutu on the shores of Lake Ellesmere, left.
I snapped this from the plane window when I flew to Dunedin last week.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Herzog Winery and Restaurant in Blenheim has been recognised by Wine Spectator magazine as having one of the best wine lists in the world. It's a culinary oasis in the middle of Blenheim's vineyard area - a beautiful spot complete with Michelin star-rated chefs, a stylish Cellar Door, cooking classes and an exclusive Chef's Kitchen dining experience. It's the sort of place you never want to leave - and now you don't have too because owners, Hans and Therese Herzog have turned this cute little cottage into a luxurious, private stay just a few steps from their soldier-like rows of vines. Simply indulge yourself in some of the finest food and wine in the country and then fall into bed. http://www.herzog.co.nz/
One Sleek Silver 327 Split Window Coup Corvette Stingray PK - Spotted in the Paul Kelly Motors Classic Car Collection. www.paulkelly.co.nz
For others in this series click on Cool Cars in the label line below
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Underground Cafe, Colombo Street, Christchurch. Jan 2009 Ajr
I love street art and I love coffee, so when the two come together I’m happier than a pig in mud. Christchurch’s Underground Coffee Company - so named because the operation started in a basement – has employed the talents of well known Christchurch street artist, Dcypher, to give both its roastery and its nearby café a colourful touch of ‘the underground.’ The walls of the roastery are bright and bold and with sacks of beans and plastic bins (also painted by Dcypher) stacked high, it’s a visual treat. A few doors down the café presents a lively, colourful environment that lends itself to loitering (over coffee) – upstairs and down.
I wish more cafes were brave enough to veer away from trendy, slick interiors that don’t always make the grade.
This is a great spot with a busy hum of satisfaction about it. www.undergroundcoffee.co.nz
And Then There Are The Cups..... Underground owner, Pete Davies found himself without his usual source of takeaway cups a while back and he ended up with a big order of plain white cups that weren’t about to inspire anyone. So what did he do? He ran a design competition for his customers and their best designs transformed those plain white cups into a unique brand statement. I’m always inspired by innovative lateral thinking and this seems to brilliant concept to me. I hope he’ll run the competition again - there's potential for all sorts of exciting things to happen. www.undergroundcoffee.co.nz
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This is another gorgeous photograph - from a great perspective - sent to me by the team at River Birches, which I wrote about here a couple of weeks ago. It was taken on the North Island’s Tongariro River, which is well known for being one of the best trout fishing sites in the world. River Birches provides beautiful accommodation just a stone's throw from the fishing action. www.riverbirches.co.nz
Monday, January 26, 2009
Here’s a picture of progress on Airways New Zealand’s new, state-of-the-art control tower at Christchurch Airport, which is due for completion in August 2009. Designed by Napier-based Paris Magdalinos Architects, the 45-metre $6 million tower will echo the form of Neil Dawson’s iconic “Chalice” sculpture in Cathedral Square. It will also control 150,000 air movements a year in and out of Christchurch Airport.
I am always warmly reassured by a sturdy bridge.
And they don't come much sturdier than this little beauty that I drove over the other day in Balclutha, about an hour south of Dunedin.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
It was hotter than HOT in Victoria Square this afternoon but I suffered through it to get photographs of these terrific aerialists - one of the acts in the 2009 World Buskers Festival. I love the way these high flying girls - by virtue of my camera perspective - seem to be swinging high above the city, level with the highrise....and even better that, at least 30-40 feet in the air, they had time to check their make-up! www.worldbuskersfestival.com
Okay.... so I've become a little fixated on photographing church architecture!
So naturally, I was never going to be able to drive passed this little cutie in the South Otago town of Milton, an hour south of Dunedin. It's the Tokomairiro Co-Operating Parish Church, which sits in the main street.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The city has been overrun by clowns, comics and contortionists!
The 2009 World Buskers' Festival is up and running and people are crowding into city parks and squares to watch an assortment of the weird and wonderful. I wandered about this morning - before it became impossibly HOT - and watched Clown Lotto from Japan and Miss Saturn from Who-Knows-Where.....Saturn probably...she was mad and colourful enough and she certainly had plenty of rings! I was surprised by just how many were out and about - it's great to see the festival getting so much crowd support. www.worldbuskersfestival.com
I am suddenly in love with Te Kaio Bay!
Otherwise known as Tumbledown Bay, this isolated little patch of perfection was where I went two days ago. And these are just three of dozens of images I took of the perfect-blue day. It was blistering hot, the land was parched and golden and the clouds, a delicate whisp. It's my kind of landscape - dramatic and breathtakingly beautiful; just the sort of place I could fling myself down in and not ever move from.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Today marks the start of headland Sculpture on the Gulf on Waiheke Island – a fantastic exhibition of large scale sculptures by 26 leading artists along a very pretty 2 kilometre coastal walkway. Waiheke Island, just a short ferry ride from Auckland city, is one of my favourite places in all of New Zealand so I’m disappointed I won’t make it to this event. But that shouldn’t stop anyone else. It’s on for three weeks this year and if you want to check out the terrific works from past exhibitions check out www.sculptureonthegulf.co.nz and their blog gives details about participating artists. The works shown here are Top: “Ship of Fools” by Fletcher Vaughan and bottom: “Gulf Cross (road) by Leon van den Eijkel.
I like the approach taken by Christchurch fashion boutique, Where the Fox Lives. Instead of painting out the graffiti in their High Street doorway they've left it as is, where is and simply added their own splurge of colour on the adjacent wall.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
When I drove south from Dunedin yesterday on my way to Kaka Point, I passed through the quaint little town of Milton, pop.2000. Like most small New Zealand provincial towns, it provides the basics for the surrounding rural areas and as you drive through the main street you feel kinda' glad you live somewhere bigger and more interesting. But turn down the side streets here and you'll discover all manner of terrific little (and big) buildings - compact, sturdy and in many cases beautifully built to last in robust red bricks. I love small town halls and sports club buildings - sometimes humble and shabby, sometimes built with an over-inflated sense of grandeur that in no way relates to the humble activities within. They say so much about a town's history and social fabric and sadly, too many of them are now falling into disrepair, or are being removed altogether.
Looming over the Main Street..........
Built in 1902 and looking like a free-standing facade from a movie set And this wonderful architectural edifice in Elderlee Street
I loved them all and would have LOVED to have a peek inside - had there been time and opportunity. Another time perhaps.