}

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Arthur’s day out


Today I had an impromptu time in Auckland’s CBD. By that I mean that it wasn’t planned at all, but it turned out to be a good adventure, one too long delayed. And, there are tales to tell.

Nigel had a meeting in the CBD after which he was coming back home, so he invited me to go with him and have a wander around the central city, then we’d have lunch and go home. It’s probably been a couple years since I did that, so it seemed like a good idea.

The traffic into the central city was quite good today, and we got there before 9am, much earlier than we’d expected. A lot of shops weren’t open yet, so I went for a walk down Queen Street, then back up, and then all around. There’s a tale that goes with that, which I’ll talk about in a different post [UPDATE: That other post is now published].

I had two places I wanted to visit. The first of those was the Farmer’s store in the former Whitcoulls building (I posted a photo of the former store in a post from November, 2009). I wanted to see how they’d re-done it, and, to be brutally honest, I didn’t think much of it. Whitcoulls had become rather shabby by the end, and had few books (most of their stores now focus far more on craft supplies, some office supplies, some gift-y stuff, and with only a few books), and I don’t think that Farmer’s really did very much. Sure, it looks better than at the end of the time that Whitcoulls was in it, but it was nothing special. And the men’s clothing section was a joke.

Interestingly, there’s a passage way off the second level/first floor called “Little High Street”, which has a few shopfronts on it, some empty. One of the occupied shops was a Whitcoulls, which, while tiny, ironically seemed to have more books in it than the former big store had at the end.

The other place I wanted to see is in the photo at the top of this post: The CAB in what they’re calling “the Civic Quarter”, though it’s adjacent to Aotea Square. It’s the residential redevelopment of an old Auckland local government office building. The work hasn’t begun yet, so the “model apartment” is on the ground floor and a kind of a mock-up, but they had large versions of the floor plans on display and very friendly staff, even when it was clear I wasn’t a potential buyer. By my count, they’d sold 32 apartments so far, which means they must be closing in on the halfway point. It looks like it'll be a great place when it's all done.

As I walked out of Aotea Square, I stopped and took a photo of the temporary skating rink there:


It certainly seemed cold enough for ice skating today, though in fact the truly cold temperatures in our current winter storm are hitting tonight. I went somewhere to warm up and wait for Nigel to finish his meeting.

Next, we had lunch at a teppanyaki place in the “Sky World Indoor Entertainment Centre” in Queen Street on the edge of Aotea Square. in Queen Street on the edge of Aotea Square. The centre used to be called “SkyCity Metro” (it’s partly in photos in a post from 2010, but it’s been redeveloped a bit. Lunch was awesome:

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After that, we went home, arriving back here in the early afternoon. It’s true that I didn’t get done the things I'd planned, but I had a good day and got some bonus time with Nigel. I count today as a definite win.

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