Sitting here writing this post I can smell the energy of Auckland
My heart strings pull me towards my hometown, for some reason this visit is different, I can finally after 30 years let go. Not easily mind and it’s not the people it’s the space. Not of my family and friends who I miss and think about often, but the life of living in my town, maybe as it is winter or maybe as is, I have lived nearly equal years a foot in two countries. Spoilt here in Western Australia with wide open spaces, wide roads, good climate. The downfall is that we live in the middle of bloody nowhere and it takes three hours to fly anywhere.
We live in a space that is fondly known as ‘Wait a while’ I’m talking out my home town of Perth
Auckland noise is all I can hear, traffic is all I can hear, traffic jams worse than our rush hour and we ignorantly believe there could possibly be nothing worse than ours, fools we are, or at least those less travelled and that would be me.
The streets are lined with parked cars, the result of not one but two homes on each block (section). At one time we had to accommodate parking at ours for six cars on a regular basis, don’t know how we would have done so living in the heart of Auckland.
We walked the streets of Karangahape Road
We walked the streets of Karangahape road (upper inner city) after we had screamed around a corner to park, in a place that if it was dark I wouldn’t have dared park in, but hey live like a local.
The streets haven’t changed much, the hooker bars, strip clubs, the skimpy bars a scattering of eclectic retail, the $2 shops and other wonderful bars and eateries. Such drama and romance balled into one. At night you are guided and drawn in by the bright lights, the buzz of the community, drunks, prostitutes, beggars, homeless and buskers. All going about their business and like any city nightlife my brother tells me there are a few street fights, like any other city really.
Then there is thankfully the apartments breathing life into this part of the city. George Courts department store has been turned into very elegant apartments.
Entering a very grand foyer, wide statesmanlike staircase leads you up a flight topped with subdued retro lighting.
Whisper quiet to the resident only elevators. I was expecting a person to pop out of the elevator escorting you to your floor. Alas no, and I wouldn’t have said no to a tour, just saying, again.
Your neighbours are strip clubs, tattoo parlours, pubs and wine bars, with glorious food and restaurants scattered in between, you name it you can eat it, a sprinkling of nations.
I remember visiting George Courts with my mother, where I became the proud owner of embroidered dark denim flared jeans and a blue corduroy fur edged embroidered coat, you could never have too much embroidery it was after all the 70’s. I thought I was the best.
I stroked that beautiful bannister
I stroked that beautiful wide dark timber bannister reflecting on what the building used to be remembering the basement bargain bins, the bright lights, the super specials, hanging onto my mothers skirt fearing I would be lost in the crowds or left behind. My eyes never straying from her in case I was abandoned. I hated when we took the others (siblings) in tow as then I would be parked in one area to babysit while mother ran around scrummaging and fighting to get her hands on bras in the bargain bins. I fretted as I couldn’t see her and it would take ages.
We carried on to a favourite area of mine Ponsonby, I missed New Market this time, have to save that for a visit when I am alone.
More upmarket shopping here and a strip of eateries and small wine bars. We lunched chatted and walked the sunny busy streets. The homes in all of this area are exceptional, those renovated villa’s and gardens that make me shout PICK ME!
Yes I desperately want a tour of them as well
There is more to share but I fear the post will be too long, so till next week for part 2 of Auckland, then onto Christchurch, Tekapo and Queenstown.