Scrolling through my phone recently I noticed that every picture is something I love about living in Wellington. So here is a selection of some pictures that for me sum up why I love living in Wellington/stuff I think is cool about the city.
1. It's my family hometown
These beautiful tulips for me sum up two things. First, how beautiful the flowers from Moore Wilsons are. And two, that Wellington is my family home and always will be. I love popping by my parents place when I feel like it. Rest assured, there will be a something to eat and mum will have bought some beautiful fresh flowers. I kept this photo because I was meaning to paint these tulips one day. Life gets busy though!
2. It's small enough to run into people all the time
In Wellington you are constantly bumping into people you know. Typically I will encounter a situation like the above - where I know someone in the street - at least three times a day if not more. It's so typical. You are walking from work or home and you stop at the bus stop or traffic light. Suddenly you are right next to an old school friend or a old work mate. Sometimes it can drive you nuts. It used to make me crazy. That's why I wanted to move to Auckland when I was 18. But now I roll with it. You never know where a chance encounter can lead...plus it feels old fashioned that you know you will bump into someone you have been meaning to catch up with eventually. Wellington - you are so classic! (for the record, I actually don't know this girl - but someone else I knew did when I put it in my Instagram account).
3. Seeing all the public art in the city
All around town, there is great sculpture and public art. From street artists Mica Stills through to big water or wind driven pieces, like Len Lye inspired 'Waterwhirler' on the water front, art is all around in Wellington. I love it. It is like a surprise wherever you go. And whether you like it or not, it sure gets people talking. The Wellington Sculpture Trust are a big part of that so hats off to them.
4. We don't just use cars
Sure, Wellington may have had the worst traffic congestion in a recent survey (apparently) - but there is more to Wellingtonians than their cars. In Wellington, lots of people walk, train, bus or bike to work. It's such a compact city that you can walk from one end of town to the other in 40 minutes. Lots of people walk along the waterfront in the morning by choice. And why wouldn't they. That scenery is top notch. People also love their bikes here in Wellington. Whether it is a road racing bike or a trendy fix gear number, Wellingtonians vote with two wheels. We even have a bike courier service - Nocar Cargo.
5. It's a place where people get into the arts
No matter who you are in Wellington, or how old, you are encouraged by the city to participate in some form of arts. From the orchestra at the Michael Fowler Centre to the NZ Festival to a cheeky bit of Fringe, arts are certainly not for the wealthy elite. A lively hub of student ensure seats are kept full and some fabulous venues mean that the show starts before the curtain goes up. Places like the Town Hall, St James Theatre and the Opera house, just to name a few, mean that Wellington has something special on all year around - whether it is ballet, rock concerts or theatre there is something for everyone in Wellington.
6. The Waterfront
Wellington is a harbour city. I love living near town because I walk around the waterfront all the time. Whether it is a stroll along Oriental Parade or running to work in the morning, you will always enjoy the wonderful ever changing weather, the view of the harbour and the dogs that occupy the route around from the Station to Clyde Quay Wharf, where I took this photo.
7. Students and hipster fashion
Student life is behind me now, but I loved being part of the young crowd in Wellington in my early twenties. Underground gigs, magic music camps and op-shopping were all part of the lifestyle. Students keep Wellington young and keep a thriving vintage clothes shopping scene in the city. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that just because I have gotten boring, there are still people creating and putting on pop up art shows, forming bands and going to cool gigs around the city (these posters were all made for gigs put on by Eyegum Gigs - after my days of head banging but still very cool). Without students, the city would feel far more like a boring government town. Plus it can be fun to see what crazy shirts some of the young guys rock.
Outside the show, on Tory Street, there were more young people drinking beer and smoking than inside practically. Never mind the council bylaws - here's the young ones.
8. Cafe's are literally EVERYWHERE
SO MUCH FOOD IN WELLINGTON. I love that most coffee is pretty good here, whatever you drink! There is always a great homegrown place to pop into for a chat with a mate over a latte or long black. The place above is Pandoro at the end of Allen Street. Coffee shops are the third place away from home and work where you can do business, chat, read or do university work. There are so many cafes in Wellington, that there is always somewhere you can go (HOWEVER - Lambton Quay on weekends is rubbish - sort it out Lambton Quay)
9. Restored architecture and buildings
It may not quite be Paris, London or Prague as far as architecture goes, but for a young country we have some pretty stunning, and restored architecture around town. The Old Bank Arcade is one example of this above. Wellingtonians became very conscious after the Christchurch earthquakes that we needed to act to preserve our beautiful heritage buildings. So hopefully we can enjoy them for years to come.
10. That sky
What is it with the Wellington sky. It always blows my mind. Our changing weather and naturally smog free city means that one day it can be pink, blue and purple and the next it can be gold and white. I am always feeling like a dork going "WOW! Look at that sky." But it is true! We have such an amazing sky that I try and look up whenever i can.
11. Pop up shops!
Pop up shops have been a thing for a few years now and I bloomin' love em. The thrill of finding something unexpected and knowing it is only there for a few weeks. A lot of great businesses have started out as pop up shops. Okewa Rainwear did one in 2015. The Ramen Noodle Shop was a pop up for ages and the set up in Newtown. It keeps me on my toes never knowing where the next pop up will be.
So that's it - my 11 reasons I love Wellington. What are yours?
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