31 December 2011

Roaming. Happy New Year.

Seven Owls is new on King Street. While I've not yet been inside, I have been admiring the changing window displays and the owl mascot above. It's terrific to see new residents on King, a street with many charms. Here's hoping council can get their act together in 2012 and reinvigorate Newcastle's city centre promptly. It is currently in a sad state.

30 December 2011

Roaming. Hopscotch.

Childhood memories came flooding back as I wandered along Wellington's buzzy foreshore. People were out playing and a spectacular Christmas tree ahead beckoned.

28 December 2011

Pie Report. Chicken & Cranberry.

Levin was bustling on a Saturday afternoon as I was driving north with the Art Out and About fellow on a very brief tour of New Zealand. A pit stop before continuing our travels to New Plymouth called for a quick op shop visit and a pie. I'm a sucker for a gourmet pie, despite usually being disappointed by odd combinations. Wisdom suggested I choose something else, but I couldn't resist this festive offering from one of the friendliest pie sellers I've ever met. All up it wasn't bad, let down only by memorability.

Chicken, cranberry, brie and something else
3.50 Pastry
2.75 Filling
2.75 Tastiness
4.00 Structure
2.75 Value


27 December 2011

Spin. Heartbreak Shake.

Little Boots is back with Shake, a terrific track currently on Soundcloud — I quite love the Crazy P remix. Little Boots also dabbles in DJ sets and mix tapes, with past standout efforts Automatic Lovers Mix and Magical Tropical Mixtape being great fun party kick-starters. Living up to all expectations, her latest mix tape Shake Until Your Heart Breaks is currently stuck on repeat.

26 December 2011

Doodler. Smelling Good.

Rather than the simple defacement of an image, this Doodler has taken a creative approach to transform otherwise ubiquitous Issey Miyake advertisements into works of art.

25 December 2011

Roaming. Mona Encounter.

I recently stumbled upon what I thought was a — at least at first glance — quite good copy of the Mona Lisa in a Newcastle op shop. I inspected Mona further, wanting to know if she was for sale, and if so for how much. An op shop lady soon appeared to tell me she wasn't for sale and that she belonged to a couple who were in the back of the shop looking for a suitable frame for this wondrous work. In no time at all I was talking to the rather excited couple who informed me that their Mona was a fibreglass coated tea towel. I was astonished, and just a little bit impressed. Apparently they found thirty or so on a trash heap by the side of a road. Meanwhile the Prodigal Daughter above was on Wellington's Cuba Street.

24 December 2011

Roaming. Happy Christmas.

I'm channeling a New Zealand sense of fun this Christmas, where I was recently impressed by Christmas decorations. While the image above was taken at the Stratford tourist centre, a range of humourous Christmas signs in Te Kuiti took the cake. Several shop windows on the main street were painted by a masterful sign writer, who not only took to his task with gusto, but treated each one individually with puns aimed squarely at the businesses within. For now, may the festive season be happy, fun and restful for everyone.

Pie Report. Mince & Herb.

Heading north towards Napier, Greytown on New Zealand's North Island provided a perfect lunch stop. While the café wasn't too memorable, nor the pie despite a quite good score, Greytown was. Its cutesy Main Street and focus on trees provided a lovely lap of town.

Mince & Herb
3.50 Pastry
3.25 Filling
3.00 Tastiness
3.25 Structure
3.00 Value


08 December 2011

Roaming. Bulls.

Whenever I see the Mona Lisa I often think of Bewitched. In episode #124 Aunt Clara zapped up Leonardo da Vinci, who was outraged to learn his Mona Lisa was being used to advertise toothpaste. A series or two later, episode #198 saw Endora cause mayhem with a painting of Grand Aunt Cornelia who had more than a passing resemblance to Samantha herself. In Bulls New Zealand, Mona has horns.

07 December 2011

First 13. Napier.

06 December 2011

Roaming. Taupo.

Roaming. Featherston.

04 December 2011

Roaming. Devonshire St.

03 December 2011

First 13. Laneway Behind Queen St.

02 December 2011

Glossy. Black & White.

I was never much of a fan of (not only) black+white magazine. It seemed so Sydney in that pretentious way that Sydney does so well. That said, this is a stand out cover years on.

01 December 2011

Roaming. Big Things.

As a new Novocastrian, I've noticed an obsession with big things in Newcastle. Not big in the Big Pineapple, Banana or Prawn way, but big enough. So far I've spotted a big tap, a big key, a big golf ball and a big mosquito known as Ozzie the Mozzie. Not too far away is a replica Ayers Rock. Deep in its bowels is as ordinary a food court as you could imagine.