Sunday, May 3, 2009

If It Kills Me and It Will

I've put most of the photos from the South Island trip online now, and the rest are to follow soon. I liked Christchurch and Dunedin best of course. Great burgers at Velvet Burger in Dunedin, plenty of cool architecture, a purple Cadbury's silo and a shop called Records Records. Christchurch was more my kind of city though with plenty of galleries, perpendicular streets, and the tram. The art gallery had a great exhibition about the architect Warren Miles, who started the Warren & Mahoney business that lie behind many of the most striking modernist buildings in New Zealand. It was a revelation because I realised many of the houses I had already photographed and loved came from his pen, and I kept seeing more for the duration of my trip. Probably most impressive was the town hall in Christchurch, because you could walk in and experience it not only from without. His Central Library was also cool, but I never got a chance to walk in. Psychics Room had a fantastic exhibition called Article 27, and my favourite work in that was Banned Books, pictured above. I went to two record stores in Christchurch on International Record Store Day: Penny Lane and the local Real Groovy. Penny Lane is a bit outside the city centre but rewarded me with cheap copies The Monochrome Set's Love Zomebies and Volume, Contrast, Brilliance... Sessions & Singles Vol. 2 and also Broadcast's first album and Bunnygrunt's Jen-Fi.

Wellington too I liked, but it didn't seem as if there was much there. The Botanic Gardens easily beat those of the other cities, set in the hills and accessible through a very cute cable car. For eating Sweet Mother's Kitchen had some tasty cajun food, as well as staff and interior that reminded me of places like Mono and Glassfabriken. Slow Boat is of course the best record store in town, but I didn't find much in the LP section (apart from Here Come the Hardy Boys). The 45 section proved more rewarding however and I picked up singles by The Royal Guardsmen, Jilted John, Paul & Barry Ryan and H.B. Barnum (I played most of these after HIAYH#5).

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