Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Discovering Auckland

In December 2014, I resigned from my much-loved position as a humble donut baker and waved goodbye to the horror of 2am shift starts. This conveniently left me with an entirely open Summer ahead of me and no obligations to anyone through the Christmas and New Year period with the minor inconvenience of having no income.

With Christmas and New Year's Eve well celebrated Clem and I had a day to ourselves in central Auckland before she was booked to fly home after which I'd arranged for another couple of days in the city for the sake of urban explorations in a place I'd not yet spent a lot of time alone in.

We booked ourselves into a backpackers just off the lower part of Queen Street, right in the heart of the city who charged us a fairly reasonable rate for a room to ourselves in such a convenient location.

For those unfamiliar with Auckland City culture, the December/ January summer period is the time of year where the city's population is at its lowest, with most of its workers taking off out of the city to enjoy the sun. This being the case, we had the golden opportunity to explore the city without the hordes of people that usually occupy the space.

A thorough K road excursion was of course, a mandatory item on the agenda after fuelling up at The Strand Arcade Cafe (best coffee I've yet had in Auckland). We wandered from end to ecclectic end stopping in anywhere that took our interest. I searched in vain for a second hand guitar shop I'd stumbled across on an earlier trip eventually realising that the arcade it was in had closed up for the New Year period.

We got brunch and more coffee (well, alright, iced chocolates...) from a place in the St Kevin's Arcade complex which a quick google search tells me is called Alleluya. I highly recommend the food and the iced chocolate there. I had a big breakfast which was phenomenal and everything else I saw going to other tables while we were there looked incredible too.

After brunch we headed back to explore more of Queen Street via the Myers Park walkway which is my favourite part of central Auckland. It's this absolutely stunning park and walkway that starts at the bottom of the stairs that lead up to St Kevins arcade and finishes up by a really cool looking old kindergarten on Queen Street. There's a couple of quirky statues on the way and a kids playground that looks like it could be a post-modern sculpture installation. I make a point of walking through it about 5 times a day whenever I'm anywhere near that part of the city.

We made a stop at Real Groovy (again mandatory Central Auckland culture) and spent a bit of time fossicking through their novelty section and books before succumbing to tired feet and heading back to our accomodation to rest up a bit.

It was nice being able to explore central Auckland with Clem a bit, both to show her my favourite parts of it and to do a bit of discovering together. I started writing a poem about the central city that trip which I ended up finishing a little ways after and performing at one of the Poetry In Motion (Wellington poetry group whose events I perform at quite often) open mics. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to perform it at an Auckland venue and get some footage of it up on youtube. When that happens I'll stick it here for you all to see, I feel that it captures my experience of Auckland pretty perfectly.

The next post here will be about returning to work, the start of the cricket world cup and most importantly seeing Shakey Graves live at The Tuning Fork.

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