Downtown Christchurch, Christchurch
Favorite thing: Spend some time at the Square. I had a ball listening to a concert band from Perth (ok, they will probably have left by now), enjoying lunch while watching the skaters, and listening to the Wizard (attached photo found on the net).
Favorite thing: My fondest memory: sitting on the square with fresh sushi and fruit, listening to a concert band from Perth playing feel good music. Hard to copy, I know, but it can be so great to just get some food and drink and sit somewhere and watch what is happening around you. Chch is great for this, with the square and the Avon river.
Favorite thing: Christchurch's trams are a quaint element of the city. I never took one as everywhere I wanted to go was in walking distance or beyond the coverage of the trams. The trams do a circuit of the downtown area and the Lonely Planet advices it would often be quicker and cheaper to walk than take the tram. It's nice that the city council has preserved these old trams. They certainly add to the urban scenery and are another aspect that makes Christchurch different to other NZ cities. The scene shown here is of a tram at the Cathedral Square tram stop with the fine old Regent Building in the background.
Favorite thing: This splendid fountain nestles between the Avon River and the Town Hall complex. It is a really well designed fountain that makes an attractive sight on the bank of the Avon from Victoria Square. This is one of my favourite things in Christchurch. Fountains are cool. This one is very cool.
The city centre features a huge new steel sculpture, an oversized bunch of wheat, higher than the surrounding high-rise buildings. Its name is "Flour Power". (August/September 2008)
The square at the corner of High and Colombo Streets is now called Stewart Plaza (in the strange attempt to make the centre more flash and posh and luxurious...), and there the new sculpture sits.
The artist said something stupid like he wanted to remind the people that we do not have wheat around Christchurch anymore, not considering that the Canterbury Plains have always been a grazing ground. Never mind, it is there now, it is big, it is striking, and a bit strange. But we will get used to it.
The sculpture has been commissioned in the revamping process of the inner city which has made many things worse, or at least less attractive - including felling trees. Somehow the so-called pedestrian zones look a bit cold and lack of atmosphere. But they are modern in the sense of stylish. The modern city centres in Europe which they always refer to look different. But as you know, we are far away from the world.
Flour Power's predecessor was a nice fountain which was always surrounded by lots of people. The fountain was covered in colourful tiles children had painted. I really loved it. What a pity it has to go in Christchurch's attempt to become a world-class city...
Update 11 Oct 2010
I got a note from some anonymous short-time VT member, telling me that the Stewart family have donated money towards the new sculpture to remind people of the life of Sir Robertson Huntly Stewart (1913 - 2007), so he would not be forgotten. The family had already paid for the nice fountain which was demolished at the site for giving Christchurch a posher look.
I happily acknowledge this. However, it does not make the sculpture look any better.
But I also want to say that this is a generous gesture of the Stewart family, so Cantabrians will not forget how much Sir Robertson has done for the city and how successful he was as an industrialist and exporter. In honour of his achievements and good spirit, he was included in the row of sculptures, named Canterbury Heroes, on Worcester Boulevard, right in front of the Arts Centre.
You can read more about his life here:
The Edmonds Band Rotunda was donated to Christchurch by Thomas Edmonds and was opened on 11 Nov. 1929. It is the location of many events including a few free concerts and was converted to a restaurant in 1989. In the late 1980's it was a very chic place to go for lunch serving very nice french cuisine. Currently it is listed as Retour Restaurant and still serves french style food. Very well rated too!
The Rotunda is located near the corner of Manchester St & Cambridge Tce and looks over the Avon River near the middle of town.
Favorite thing: There are many nice cafes & restaurants in Christchurch, especially along the Avon River and at the City Centre. They cater for a variety of tastes e.g. Western, Chinese, Japanese, Italian etc.
Fondest memory: How else can we enjoy the sun but to take a quick snooze by the park? Sneaked this pic nearby the Scott statue ..
Marble sculptured statue of Captain James Cook set on granite base. Commemorates his three voyages around New Zealand, two bronze plaques are set into the base.
Set in Victoria Square
Favorite thing: If you are in ChCh, without fail you can see a group of people around the chess square...it's only open during certain hours but quite interesting to watch...
We were lucky to catch sight of the tram, as it made its way towards the Avon River.
Another english-style sight of the city.
Favorite thing: The Avon River runs through the center of Christchurch. It is fun to hire a punt and take a tour down the river.
Favorite thing: This picture is of a beautiful section of the Avon River in Christchurch. The picture was taken from the punt.