Towards Tangi-te-Keo

Up the back of Newtown — past the hospital, past New Zealand’s first branch library, past the community display-window where the Conscientious Objectors’ memorials absent from Pukeahu Park quietly underscore ANZAC celebrations — runs a narrow path marking the spine of Tangi-te-Keo (later Mt Victoria).

M?ori knew the spine of Tangi-te-Keo as Te Ranga-a-Hiwi, the Ridge of Hiwi — dedicating the rocky scenic path to the daughter of Tara. Hiwi’s father’s people, Ng?i Tara, probably laid the first settlements in the area, such as the p? now sleeping beneath the Basin Reserve.

Hiwi’s ridge would briefly take on the name of Victoria Road, later again rechristened after the city’s Fire Brigade became flummoxed by callouts from the city’s vast plethora of separate Queenly streets. Te Ranga-a-Hiwi now became called Alexandra Road, in honour of Alexandra of Denmark — daughter of that country’s King and wife of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. The leafy path would be a wellknown beat amongst Wellington’s queer community: Frank Sargeson writes of forest trysts interrupted by the local constabulary, lovers vanishing like satyrs into the undergrowth.

Alexandra’s spine runs along her mother-in-law’s mountain, a borderland looking down over the city and out upon the fossilized body of Wh?taitai the taniwha, upon which now lies Wellington Airport. The panoramic view would earn Tangi-te-Keo the later appellation of Matairangi, sea-and-sky.

While Wh?taitai’s companion Ngake was escaping into the sea, opening up the ancient lake into the harbour that would later welcome the European settlers of P?neke, the less-fortunate taniwha’s soul became a bird, Te Keo, ascending into the sky. Te Keo settled high on Te Ranga-a-Hiwi, commencing tangi — lamentations — for his ruined body. Tangi-te-Keo — the site of Te Keo’s tangi — is a liminal zone, a bridge between heaven and earth.

The last wings of Wellington’s Fever Hospital looked up Matairangi toward Tangi-te-Keo, dying patients’ final breaths mixing into the gorse-flower air drifting between sea and sky. Later generations would dare one another to walk Hiwi’s spine by night, peopling the abandoned hospital with a host of genius loci: imported Grey Ladies and patients-in-mourning, local spirits syncretised into Old-World codes fulfilling a common mythic urge.

Deep below Tangi-te-Keo lies a thick stone crushed between either side of the fault whose ruptures drove Hiwi’s spine high. Narrow and serpentine, this oldest dragon sits far beneath the site of Keo’s timeless tangi, anchoring the ridge that divides Wellington’s southern reaches.

Domestic violence isn’t funny. Hopefully these comedians are

Last week, we gave away a pass t0 Raybon Kan’s comedy show as a favour to a friend. On hearing about what his show contained, I am so very sorry we did. Jokes about Chris Brown beating his girlfriend? Not okay.  Here are some handy New Zealand statistics from Women’s Refuge

  • One in three women experience psychological or physical abuse from their partners in their lifetime
  • On average 14 women, six men and 10 children are killed by a member of their family every year
  • Police are called to around 200 domestic violence situations a day – that’s one every seven minutes on average.
  • Police estimate only 18% of domestic violence incidents are reported.

We have a problem in this country, and thinking that just because someone is famous it’s okay to laugh about them doesn’t help.

But laughter in general is still a good thing! So we took to Twitter asking for comedy shows we’d be happy to promote. Here’s the Wellingtonista’s guide to comedy without the domestic abuse:

We’d love to hear from some women as well – feel free to promote your own shows in the comments.

The post Domestic violence isn’t funny. Hopefully these comedians are appeared first on The Wellingtonista.

Another craft beer bar for Wellington

dive bar photo

Picture pinched from their Facebook site

Opening this Friday is another craft beer bar called Golding’s Free Dive, at 14 Leeds Street. That’s right by Pizza Pomodoro, for those of you playing along at home, and they’ll be making full use of their location.

Golding’s Free Dive conveniently shares the courtyard with Pomodoro Pizza, which is just as well as Pomodoro will deliver a pizza to your table to accompany your tasty craft beer or you can choose an item from the in-house menu.

We’re excited about this, and it sounds like it’s going to be a good casual bar with a great range of drinks, but this quote from the press release had the Wellingtonista email list abuzz (or as abuzz as it gets these days now we do most of our exclaiming on Twitter).

“What we really wanted to do is get away from the cookie-cutter bars which seem to be infesting the city these days where big breweries throw money at bar owners, in return for stocking their product and following their rules. There’s a certain type of crowd these bars attract, but they can drive away everyone else who just wants to sit and enjoy a drink.”

Now, perhaps we are trapped in our own wanky bubble, but are there actually many cookie cutter bars opening up these days? Everything seems to be trying to be independent and quirky. Even Bin44 which has the most bland interior ever this side of the Tap Haus (and could desperately use some magazines or newspapers for its lunchtime diners) has a big range of craft beers on tap and has played host to Garage Project tap takeovers and the like.

One ‘ista said “When does Peak Craft Beer happen?” and another replied “I have this theory that craft beer now is about where coffee was 3-5 years ago. We’ve even got the *hausen playing Mojo. So in a couple of years it should fragment into uber-hipster and generic-and-very-slightly-better-than-the-Establishment.”

Like I said, we are looking forward to going to Golding’s Free Dive (though shouldn’t “dive” be a term someone else calls you, not something you can call yourself?), but I wanna know what the next big trend will be. Your thoughts in the comments, thanks!

The post Another craft beer bar for Wellington appeared first on The Wellingtonista.