Christchurch first impressions

Hey all,

Quick post for the week, sorry. I’m swamped for some reason (more so than usual…). So I’ve been in Christchurch since Sunday (some of you have heard about the epic bus trip it took to get here), and here are my first impressions:

– Apparently it’s NZ’s 2nd-largest city. Really?

– Everything is expensive. More so than Auckland. I saw an article in the paper that said rent was even starting to approach Auckland levels– yikes! I don’t recall if I blogged about this at the time, but I spent $200/week on housing in Auckland, and I was sleeping in a living room (after I left the shoebox apartment with the squeaky bedsprings, which I do recall blogging about).

– It’s super safe

– However, if you’re out after dark (after 6pm or so), you probably won’t see another soul on the streets

– It has a weird vibe, architecturally. After the 2011 earthquake basically destroyed the city centre, a lot of the rebuilding has focused on modern architecture and lines. Some of the buildings are really cool… but they’re beside graffiti-ed, half-torn-down wrecks, which are in turn beside old historical buildings which are being rebuilt instead of torn down.

– It feels like half the streets are under construction or undergoing roadwork

– The ReStart mall is super cool (what was supposed to be a temporary mall has turned into something of a fixture– it’s built entirely out of shipping containers)

– Eating places are very nice, but expensive

– Not enough grocery stores

– It’s an urban photographer’s dream in terms of interesting structures and, er, ruins.

There you have it! Pictures to follow, I haven’t had much of a chance to get out with my camera since getting here. It’s an interesting city, all told, just kind of… weird. I’m here until the 11th, still making up my mind on what to do afterwards, so I’ll keep y’all posted 🙂



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