Weekend in Wellington

Adam Errington's view of the motorway behind us

Got to love Wellington. Wellington has character in a way that try-hard Auckland will never have. The world's southernmost capital, it's also the world's windiest city, apparently.
Wellington is steep. Old wooden houses and brutalist apartment blocks inhabited by government servants, frozen students and character artists from Weta Workshops cling to the damp valley walls. 

The central city is concentrated in a small area meaning it always feels like the place is pumping. Everywhere you look people are packing out the many bars and cafes, nonchalantly sipping freetrade, Burundi single source, cold brewed coconut lattes and chowing down on pumpkin dukkah toast with a side of eggs, or maybe a Dosa Masala, a Nasi Lemak, or maybe a warming Phở? You might be getting the idea by now – Wellington is incredibly eclectic and quite likely our very own hipster capital.
St Peters Chapel - by Zoe

My eldest daughter, Zoe, and I were in town to check out the Massey Design School open day. She's thinking of going there next year so figured we needed to check it out. We spent a full day checking out everything the school has to offer and by the end of the day I was ready to chuck everything in and apply myself. Student life looks like so much more fun that it did in my day!

The following morning, once I'd snapped back to reality and while I waited for the teenager to wake up I drew the view out the hotel window. This is St Johns in the city (top). The first two St Johns burned down making this number three dating from 1885 – the downside of wooden buildings I guess. A great corner to sketch during daylight hours, but not so great for sleeping at night due to a continuous procession of 'drunken munters' making their 'hilarious' way up the valley singing at the top of their voices.

Dave and Andrew in action
Wellington pumps out some hardy sketchers. We got to hang out with some super talented local urban sketchers, including Dave Black, Anne Taylor, Andrew James, and Adam Errington. Here are a couple of them in action below – Dave and Andrew, dressed to ward off the brisk southerly, drawing St Peters while sitting on the end of a disused motorway offramp. Most drew the church, Adam drew the motorway behind us and I tried to sketch everyone.

St. Peters by Dave Black (I think that's me on the left and Zoe on the right)

Eventually we retired to Photon Flux, a "post-apocalyptic space station" pub to warm up over a hoppy Panhead Vandal.
Zoe's sketch of Adam, Dave and craft beer at sci-fi themed Photon Flux

Another view of St. Peters by Andrew James – interesting to see how everyone handled the steeple.

Next day I took on the cupolas, crowns, corbels and corinthian columns of the old Albermarle Hotel on Ghuznee Street while Zoe checked out the vintage clothing and vinyl at Slowboat Records and Rough Peel Records. An Edwardian building that started life as a temperance hotel before becoming a brothel. The eclectic facade was probably better suited to the latter.

Albermarle Hotel

Midnight Espresso by Zoe

We finished at Midnight Espresso on Cuba Mall. At the forefront of Wellingtons coffee culture since back in the day when the owners scored themselves a container load of Cubas finest and roasted it with a home made roaster. Packed with character and colourful characters, the lady with purple hair will serve you a superb flat-white and a stuffed kumara.

Wellington. What a great place sketch.


Di said…
Thanks for sharing your sketches with the Wellington Brigade. Awesome work.
HopeO said…
Thanks for sharing such an amazing article! You can check out arts and kits for you and your kids. Doing DIY with Kids' Art Supplies can be really fun and it also carries educational benefits such as improving creativity skills.