I was wondering recently when the last time was that I bought a physical CD for myself. I think it was well over a year ago. I don’t generally download music either but I do use free music streaming which I think is a fabulous idea.
I then went on to think that I cannot recall buying a paperback book for a number of years now. I do rent them from the library occasionally. The Kindle is a great device at what it does.
I do occasionally buy films on Blu-Ray or DVD and do rent them from a video store (yes, they still have those in NZ). I have yet to use something like Netflix.
In some ways I think it is great that less non-renewable raw materials are used in manufacturing of such things because they now exist as files on a computer but in other ways it perhaps cheapens the experience of “owning” something or in the way we interact with various forms of art as you become detached from it in many ways due to the ease of which you can delete a file as if it never really existed…would you ever throw out a physical book? I suspect not…unless you are giving it to charity of course which would be recycling.
Anyone got any interesting perspectives here?
On Queen Street in central Auckland is the ice cream shop, Giapo.
You don’t get to see the ice cream before you order it but you can taste as many as you like from the menu while you decide. Yum.
What happens next is art. To label it an ice cream shop seems derogatory…because it is more like an art gallery.
You place your order and the staff beaver away behind the counter (unseen) and you are then presented with something which makes you smile, makes you take a photograph and most important of all makes you want to come back again next time you are in town.
Mass production is all well and good…but you just can’t beat something that someone takes their time to perfect.
Arguably, no country typifies film-making or is more obsessed by filmstars than America. Many of us recognise so many places in the USA because of TV and film.
It is hard not to get wrapped up in this a little when you visit places and indeed seek out those places you recognise but I find it fascinating that someone in Philadelphia decided to commission an actual statue to commemorate Rocky Balboa. Not far down the road you can visit a museum of Rodin’s sculptures (i.e. wonderful art) but I can well imagine that this replica of Sylvester Stallone gets more tourist visitors each year. A little peculiar how in this instance people have commissioned another form of art to commemorate art itself.
It seems that in an age when cinema seems to be producing more and more remakes (which are often far worse than the original anyway) that perhaps it is a dying art form but hopefully there will still be original stories to tell many years from now.
South of Hamilton, on the way to Taupo from Auckland, lies the small town of Tirau. I don’t believe it is noted for anything spectacular other than perhaps reinventing itself from a farming community to a centre of arts and crafts.
We stopped there for some food mainly so we could get a closer look at some of the corrugated artwork that adorns the buildings here…so I guess the fact that we stopped shows that it worked!
Who would have expected to see Corrugated Jesus (Shepherd), Corrugated Sheep, Corrugated Dog…and more!!! Check it out…
As I start to write this post, I realise that I have no idea what “Art Deco” actually means so I thought I would look it up…courtesy of Uncle Google…
The predominant decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colors, and used most notably in household objects and in architecture.
Napier, on the East Coast of the North Island, proclaims itself to be just this…the art deco capital of the world! Bold indeed. Around 100 miles from Taupo (with nothing in between) is where we headed for a weekend. So why claim this, and is it worth a visit?
The main reason is due to the fault lines running throughout New Zealand. Napier was destroyed in 1931 by the biggest earthquake in New Zealand’s history (7.9 on the Richter scale). 161 people died either in the quake or the resulting fires which swept through the city. More people died in nearby Hastings. Areas of the seabed (and existing coastline) were raised 2m upwards by the quake and the airport now lives on such land as was previously under the water.
Napier was then rebuilt in full, employing tradesmen from across the country. The city is not large and it didn’t take long to walk around. It is a nice setting with pebble beaches (apparently a result of coastal erosion at from nearby Cape Kidnappers where the cliffs are made from compacted mud and stones). I wasn’t blown away by the buildings but then I tend to prefer nature to man’s prowess! Judge for yourself…
Also, check out an example of how the land moves when an earthquake strikes, with a view from nearby Cape Kidnappers…you can see the layers of rock either side of the diagonal fault line…they don’t line up…some of these are up to 11m awry! Amazing!
I looked up the definition of Culture Vulture on trusty Google and found the following…
noun: culture vulture; plural noun: culture vultures
1. a person who is very interested in the arts, esp. to an obsessive degree.
Not really an appropriate description of myself except that I can appreciate arts…the only things I might get obsessive about are the slight OCD tendencies I possess around washing hands and checking doors are locked.
Anyway, as we head to NZ in the near future, I will be posting photos and also trying to give an impartial view of how even some of the simpler things may differ from the UK (and any other places I’ve been to). It will be hard to be unbiased as it will inevitably be based in some way on my opinion but I will spend some time circling around the aspects of life in NZ to hopefully guide anyone else thinking of making the leap…I am hoping that I can get a decent cup of tea, decent crisps, Marmite, a good pint of ale once in a while…but then really, I am actually hoping to find new things so I don’t want most of those…except a good cuppa!!! Why would you move to a new country if all you wanted was the UK but somewhere else?