It’s been 8 months since we could walk in central Chistchurch. We did that today, we smiled and felt happy, we felt at home and felt proud of what our city is. It’s been a while, it’s been a while.
(Haven't seen this side for 8 months)
After getting back to the motel we checked in some guests from Singapore and we were so excited being able to tell them that for the 1st time in 8 months we had shops in the city. Understandably they were no doubt wondering why but we’re sure they will see what we mean once they have been for a walk.
Check the Re:START map out here http://multimedia.stuff.co.nz/thepress/restart/restart3.pdf
About 10,000 people turned up and the closing time of 6pm was extended due to the number of people still in the shops.
(The shelves are a giveaway, yes, it's Johnson's!)
Its been done in a tasteful way and if it were not for the tram tracks and obvious surrounding buildings, one could be forgiven for not knowing it was Cashel St.
The 27 shops made out of brightly coloured shipping containers stacked on top of each other is sure to become a destination in itself – you must come and see it!
Anchored by Ballantynes Department Store and backed up by Kathmandu in normal buildings the container shops range from a variety of fashion shops, a bank where foreign currency can be exchanged, a souvenir shop, a book shop and 2 licensed cafes as well as others!
(The new and the old, the short and the tall)
Was great to see Johnson’s Grocery back. That’s the little English style shop that was just up the road from us. The great news is that he does intend to rebuild on the old site!
(Locals look longingly at still forbidden fruit)
Obviously lacking is an internet café, convenience store and a place to buy a simcard! Hopefully they’ll get there soon!
(Fluro Bear enjoys his CBD shopping experience)
The other positive was that today the surrounding demo sites were silent, the sun was shining and there was no wind to stir up that horrid dust. Would be nice if it stayed that way.
(Fluro bear is on the motel counter ready to guide guests to Re:START 2011)
It was great to see so many happy people milling around the tills making that till sound, but also spotted were one drunk person being escorted away by police, a protest march (walk) and buskers making a buck – just like what a CBD should be like.
Today we got our city centre back.