Kaboom💥 turns out I’m really bad at this retrospective posting... getting quite emerged to the immediate Wellington life - so many happenings are events going on in here as the summer slowly crawls closer.
Anyway. I’ve been wanting to tell a story about New York’s water towers... did you know there are thousands of them around the city? That most buildings more than six stories high, have some kind of a water tank at the roof top? Usually a wooden one?
The infrastructure of this little island can’t quite carry the capacity of pumping up water to all of its high-rise buildings, which was discovered already during the early 1800s building booms. A certain European migrant decided to take his family’s wine tank design to an alternative purpose - and placed it on top of a building. Works like magic! He found out. Carrying up to 10,000 gallons of water, wood is a great natural insulator, preventing the water from freezing in the winter. Oh, the lessons we learn from wine... 🍷he thought, and a business of centuries was born. .
Next time you see water tanks of New York, live or in photos, you can tell your mate this trivial planning fact. I would almost guarantee it comes to them as a surprise 🤓 .
...and I’m out of the big apple. The past week has been quite eventful, I’ve done, seen and experienced so many new things.
The main reason for my visit was to see my siblings (well, 50% of them), one who lives in New York and one who happened to be there for a conference. It had been way too long since we last saw each other - and I am extremely happy & grateful we got to spend some quality time and explore the city together. 💗💗 sometimes there’s nothing as lovely and healing as bonding with family ☺️
Other than this, I’ve done a whole lot of urbanist exploration, meeting with a couple of really interesting people, visiting public spaces, museums, wondered around the streets and trying to get a sense of what the city is about. I have quite a few things I want to talk about, and will be doing so in retrospect for the next wee while.
In the meantime, I’m off to Hawaii to celebrate a dear friend’s 30th birthday 🎂lots of aloha spamming in my stories ahead, you’ve been warned... ⛰🏝👒😜
Can’t believe my time in the city was over in a New York minute. Until next time 🏙🌝
7644:46 PM Sep 14, 2018
Here’s a little story about greenwashing.
Yesterday I was strolling around the city, after a cafe to stay in for a while, and happily stumbled across this organic spot on East Houston street. Very cute facade, lovely atmosphere, and the smoothie & coffee were delicious, too.
However. My dine-in organic products were served in single-use utensils, the café did not possess any regular cups & glasses.
Really? A company that describes themselves to be ‘an organic boutique cafe... offering ‘100% organic products.. for maximum comfort and well-being’? _
Now, let me clarify, after my first chock reaction, couple of hours of research and a few messages later, I have now found out the table-ware were a product of PLA (polylactic acid, which comes from renewable sources). I found this information not on the company’s website, but on an Instagram image legend. I loved to hear that the materials are plastic alternatives... _
Nevertheless. This experience is an example of something more large-scale.
It really has chocked me how insanely much take-away cups & table wear are used in New York. I literally have not been in a cafe where my products would have been served in normal table-wear - even when I’ve specifically asked for that (most often the staff gets surprised for me even asking this - and tell me they only carry single-use utensils). _
Side note, I am SURE there are a million great sustainable/organic restaurants around the city. Just that you don’t accidentally stumble across them very often.
I wonder. Would a dish washer, a few cups, glasses, metal straws & plates really be too big of an investment for cafes? Especially for the organic & sustainable ones? To fully stand behind your brand?
I do think it is awesome this particular cafe uses alternative materials for plastics. Even if the waste would just end up in a regular bin (=land fill) - it’s still better than most cafes/lunch spots are doing. But at the end of the day, it seems like quite a minimal effort to provide cups and glasses to your dine-in customers. •
I would love to know more about this. Waste management is hugely complex. If you know more on the topic, please share it with me 🌿
5446:23 PM Sep 12, 2018
Very cute bicycle spotted from Greenwich Village in New York 😍 the past few days were so summery in NY, hoping a soon arrival of spring for NZ as well! 🌿
One of my favourite Wellington gems: the harbourside + Fergs climbing centre 😍 The entire water front area is a brilliant public space project with lots of historical preservation, but somehow I like this part the most. The old industrial hall has been used in the best way possible - encouraging people to move their bodies 💪🧗♀️ fresh air and natural light flow in to the climbing centre when the industrial doors roll open... even on a rainy day.
To give you a bit of context:
I’m currently on a wee 30-hour-long journey towards New York, waiting to board at a boiling hot Honolulu airport. Would give anything to move my body, and to experience a tiny shower of rain like in the photo above. 2/3 stops behind, one to go before the destination 💭🌎
45111:32 PM Sep 3, 2018
Late post about the beginning or spring & life on the streets of Wellington: •
About Friday night 🎉
@_kaylamade_ decided to welcome spring into Wellington in a quite spectacular way - by changing the plants of @retrogrove café into beautiful & colourful flowers. 💗💐 she invited me to join their little workshop, thinking I might enjoy some planting. I kind of missed the potting part (was a tad late, hehe...), but all’s well that ends well - I ended up just hanging outside the cafe with my macrame. •
Many by-passers stopped to see what was up, quite a few even stayed for a wee chat. To my perspective the whole evening turned out be a bit like an urban design & social experiment. It’s amazing to see how interaction of people changes once you expand the café space beyond the plinth - spreading flowers, crafts, music and chats to the street. The funniest comment we got was by far from an older gentleman, who hinted that this would have never taken place at Courtney place (...glancing at a twenty-something woman knotting macrame in the middle of the street on a Friday night, while the others were potting flowers 😂). To give a bit of context for for non-Wellingtonians, Courtney place is the mainstream club-end of the city, whereas Cuba street is known for its bohemian vibe. •
In any case this was such an inspirational night - lot of creativity and great people. 💗 Happily welcoming the first spring month to Wellington! #September