Public spaces like this – which are beautiful both by day, and night, should be encouraged, in our increasingly urbanised planet.
A pretty place to be, I think you will agree. Recently, I learnt that the square was designed by visionary Wellington architect Ian Athfield, whose brilliant and sometimes odd work scatters the city (seek, and you shall find Athfield creations in Wellington’s many corners!), enriching the urban landscape. I don’t think I will ever tire of the eclectic mish-mash of buildings, old and new, which shouldn’t work together but somehow do, interesting public art, patches of soft green space, around a fully accessible multi-level square, crowned by Neil Dawson’s wonderful sculpture, Ferns. I love to spot Ferns’ shadow, at different times of the day as it dances around the space. Whether I am passing through en route home, or sitting leisurely on a bench in the sun (or, let’s face it, wind!), Wellington’s Civic Square is a fitting heart to the city which I am thankful for.
– Photo by CIA, Wellington Civic Square, March 2013. Around the square from left to right: Wellington Town Hall and Civic Chambers, The Majestic Centre (tall tower in the background), Wellington City Library, and the City Gallery.
It already feels like an age ago, but one evening in London, on our way to a delightful Ethiopian feast, we enjoyed a glorious sunset as we rambled along Hampstead Heath.
Dr Johnson said something like “anyone who is tired of London is tired of life”. On an evening like this one, it’s impossible not to agree.
Photos by CIA and PJD, atop Hampstead Heath; we particularly liked the way the Shard glinted in the sun. Love it or hate it, it’s an impressive sight.
As the Northern Hemisphere descends towards Winter, through the Fall, this image speaks to the renewal of Spring. CIA took this photo of the bulbs which spring up everywhere in the Netherlands as the snow melts, and the sun starts to make itself felt.
Photo by CIA, near Da Kooi; we were completely surprised when this otherwise ordinary stretch of public space was suddenly transformed into this verdant field of flowers.
Weekly Photo Challenged?
I have another post in mind today. I was composing the content in my head, on my way home from football (we lost, but not by much) as I walked along the waterfront. Wellington has a beautiful waterfront, which epitomises positive use of public space, and this evening it was looking particularly marvellous.
The weather was being quite strange. Mt Victoria was bathed in glorious sunshine, whilst the rest of the sky was bruised with dark clouds. I took the chance to catch an image of this, with some great lines of poetry, captured on concrete, that dot the waterfront.
As I contemplated the sky, I looked over my shoulder and saw two people looking intently at a tree. I figured there must be something happening there, and wandered over as they moved off. What on earth was so special about the tree? I had walked past with barely a glance. What could I have missed?
As I got closer, I finally saw it – a seal! How lucky was I?
You never know what you might see in Wellington.
Photos by PJD, unfortunately, he only had his phone to hand, so apologies for the quality. PJD thought about putting in references to Lucille, loose seal, and handfeeding, but decided to viciously repress his inner Arrested Development fan.
I’m very much in the midst of adjusting to a brand new job. This week, I’m working from my original home-town of Auckland. This evening, I made sure I could leave work on time, to meet my Mum for a walk in one of the city’s beautiful parks. This one is somewhat hidden, but it’s worth finding, especially on a spring evening like this one.
The interplay between light and dark, shadows and sunshine, and the silhouettes created, meant I just had to take a few pictures. The big open space in the middle of the city, with a canopy of fresh green leaves above our heads with the light shining through, was the perfect way to wind down from a busy day stuck in the CBD.
One of my favourite scenes from being in Paris in the early days of summer this year is walking in the Jardin des Tuileries. This photo sums up why: This is a garden with deep history; grandiose stretches of green space in the heart of the bustling city; vibrant wildflowers, dancing brightly as far as the eye could see, their light scent wafting into your nostrils; a public space for all sorts of people doing all sorts of things; fountains and ponds for fun to be had by youngsters with boats; sculptures to attract the eye and the art lover. All this, set against the timelessly gracious Parisian skyline, mansard rooftops stretching out low in the distance. Wandering in the Tuileries in those early Summer days really was Paris at its most picture-perfect best.
Photo by CIA, Jardin des Tuileries looking towards Les Arts Décoratifs and Rue du Rivoli, Paris, June 2012. Who needs Instagram when you can have Pudding Camera?!
On our trip home to New Zealand in late February this year, we managed to sneak in a whirlwind 24 hours in our adopted home city of Wellington. We’ve both written about this wonderful city before (here and here), but today I thought I would show you some of what we did on our short visit. Being back for such a lighting-fast time (it couldn’t be helped; commitments of the exceptionally-exciting-and-wedding-related-kind kept us in Auckland!), we tried to jam in as many of our favourite things that the city has to offer. This was always going to be hard; for a small city, this is a place that sure does over-deliver on fantastic things (Art! Nature! Culture! Cuisine! Sport! Friendly locals!), but I think we did pretty well (more time would, of course, be optimal!). The day we arrived, low hanging clouds and mist loomed over the harbour, creating a beautifully eerie and mystical sight.
By early next morning though, late summer Wellington greeted us at its exceptional best, and a walk around that glistening, clear turquoise harbour reminded us again of why we love the city so much. On days like that, the ferocity of 100km per hour winds (yes, really!) certainly seem worth enduring so many other days of the year. Surely this is one of the world’s best harbour front walks?