We’ve had a stunning day for the re-opening of the City Mall on Cashel Street – the sun shone the sky was blue and a big crowd turned up. It was hard for me to get good shots to show you just how many people were there – I’m in the middle of the crowd for the photo above standing on one of the benches they have in the mall. The mall was re-opened by our Prime Minister John Key (who was later mobbed by people who wanted photos with him – I think he may have even kissed a baby or two!).
The crowd was quietly excited if there is such a thing. I understand some people were probably nervous or felt a bit funny about going into the mall – it was the scene of so much carnage and destruction and personal tragedy. I was not in the mall on the day of the quake, so I was feeling more excited than nervous about what I was going to see. As a city we desperately need to put some live back into the central city and have somewhere that is buzzing and vibrant. So I was very pleased that so many people have turned out to support this ‘Re-Start’ initiative. It’s a temporary shopping precinct developed with shipping containers. But the containers are done up so well there is no way you’d really know you were in a container. There’s lots of shops and cafes and of-course the iconic Ballantynes department store has re-opened as well. I can see what will happen with this area – the developments will slowly creep out into the main streets where we still have buildings as the foot traffic comes back to this area. That will be a great thing indeed.
(message to Bruce, my favourite chocolates are the Queen Anne ones and you can get them from Johnsons’s)..