Tuesday, 29 January 2013

city, interrupted

I had a 24 hour visit to Christchurch this weekend.  I came away disquieted, but hopeful. 

It is probably more than four or five years since I visited Christchurch last – I think I was there in 2008 for an engagement party, though it might have been later.  I’ve always been a bit of a Christchurch-basher.  I’ve never lived there and I can’t say I’ve spent a great deal of time there so this is totally unfair, but I’d found Christchurch a bit insular.  Pretty, with the parks, the trees and the Avon, but insular. 

It is now more than two years after the first quake.  That perceived insularity is now, I think, one of Christchurch’s redeeming features.  My impression was of a community that’s come together to plan what they’d like in a city and move forward.  Sure, they’re looking inward, but I think it’s created a support system.  I gathered this through the projects I saw (pop-up bars, art installations) and the people I heard (overheard chats at cafes, staff at the Court, a wonderful conversation with a man on the plane).

Yes, I’m generalising and surmising.  I was there for a very short time and saw little of the city (much of what I saw I didn’t recognise; a lack of landmarks) so you can dismiss this all as bullshit, if you like.  Just an impression.

If I can help, Christchurch, let me know. 

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