Saturday, 4 June 2011

Did we need to do this???

Its 11.50pm but I need to get this out,
Cordon reduction is a big thing. I can say that cos we were cordoned and curfewed for 18 days after 222.  The difference between cordon and not cordoned is almost like being alive or dead.  You either can or you can’t and so it is a biggie.
After 222 we were released from cordon the day of the Japanese quake/tidal wave and on that day the barriers moved to Salisbury St.  After that they went to Peterborough St. Today they moved 1 more block to Kilmore St.
What can be said, this is as bad as it can get. This block was one of the most lively blocks in Christchurch with 25 retailers ranging from food to antiques, culture to hair and coffee to sushi.  Now there are 6? left.
The cordon opened at 5pm tonite so I took a walk to see what there was.  After 222 I was able to walk down, under cordon, to Peterborough St. to see the carnage but I dared not go further.  That became impossible as the police tightened their cordon grip.  The next time I got that close was when the cordon moved to Peterborough st. Admittedly before then I saw a pic on twitter of a bare space of land where Metro café was but it didn’t really prepare me for what I saw today.
The street as been opened, but apart from a beaurocratic victory lap I cannot, for the life of me, see why they did it. They wanted to open the road to show progress?  No wonder people who are still cordoned are really pissed.  This is because there is absolutely no reason to open this road today. THERE IS NOTHING THERE.  The only thing I could see was the Scenic Hotel on Kilmore St. but that apparently still needs work before it can open.  There are a couple of other places but they also need work before they can open.  It would be better just to open it to those building owners  and keep others away.  That would at least give them a chance to get things sorted out.

But its open, even though there’s nothing there. Here’s what I saw.
LYME Cocktail Bar is still standing – by itself – thai pho to the right has gone, café Valentino to the left….has gone.

Eirily the pavement outside café valentine that had the outside seats is still there but everything else has gone – memorabilia and all.

A hurricane fence straddles the centre line of Colombo St.  The street is covered in mud and grime – looking more like a warzone.

The city centre is grim in the overcast conditions and the traffic lights flashing orange spell danger.

The biggest building on the block is still blocked.

Anyone can walk almost right up to the condemned Copthorne Durham.

Ending on a positive note, Himalayas progress is good!

At night – a new light has been added to the city, yellow light in the middle is traffic light at cnr of Kilmore/Colombo.

Opening up the city is good and welcome it.  But it is disappointing that so little is left.


  1. Hi Jeff / Family

    I've been reading back through your blog posts since 222 and they've been really interesting to read.

    It sounds like today has been a "bad day" in terms of the recovery for you, so I just wanted to say, keep your chin up! What you are doing in covering life in Christchurch post-quake is a hugely important and whilst it may not feel that way sometimes, the stories you and others are telling will become a big part of the city's history one day.

    No one really know what role blogs and digital archives will play in how we look back on history in 50 years from now, but I'm pretty certain that your words/stories (and hopefully photos!) will be around long after you and I are!

    It's incredibly touching reading your blog, especially having visited many of the streets you write about and having met you, albeit for only 5 minutes.

    I hope that if I were put in the situation you are, I could behalf as positive and informative as you!

    Keep up the great work and good luck with everything!

    Cheers, James (@essitam's better half).

  2. That is so sad-that was my block. Just round the corner from our office (still there, but on a lean) and still inside the cordon. Metro was our coffee shop, upstairs in The Orange Tree a great place for informal meetings (well till September took that away from us), Thai Smile our company restaurant- you know the one you always end up at after you have spend 10 minutes debating where you will go- looks like it might be back, but unlikely we will. And Johnsons, what can you say about Johnsons- it was my happy place. When I was having a bad day it was a great place to hide, and to buy something chocolatey from the UK to cheer me up. I'm going to head down tomorrow and no doubt have a wee cry.