A memory block

05:05, Aug 07 2012

I prefer to think about the things on the way up in Christchurch, but recently, I can't help thinking about the things that have come down, especially after the Newstalk ZB building's implosion.

Another four walls crumbled to the ground between Gloucester and Worcester streets on August 5, inside a block that's more levelled than not. For me, it's a block full of memories, starting with the place I started my first full-time job.

Avenues magazine was operating from an office above Winnie Bagoes, at 194 Gloucester St, when I joined the team in 2007. I remember walking up the stairs to the office door, full of nerves and excitement, and ready to meet  editor Jon Gadsby. I could never have imagined that two years later, my future husband would trudge up those same stairs, full of nerves and excitement, with a ring in his pocket, ready to propose. That building is gone now, as is The Clinic, where I found out I was pregnant a few years down the track.

On Manchester St, The Civic was the place for parties and concerts, balls and some of Christchurch's biggest events. I remember peeking around the pillars to get the best view of the band Gomez on stage and another evening when it was the location of a university ball. It was also where Avenues' photographer John McCombe had a studio upstairs, and next door to Absolution, where I got my belly button pierced as a teen.

I somehow managed to restrain myself from entering the sweet shop that was just a short stroll from work, but the Japanese restaurant Joji's Sushi Bar was a favourite for a $5 lunch.

I took my husband for a very memorable meal at Pedro's Restaurant once. It was memorable because the Chatham Islander was impressed by the seafood - and that's truly saying something. Among the city's first restaurants, there will be so many locals craving Pedro's Spanish fare, and though he's rumoured to be bringing something back in a different form, the wait is awfully long.


The last building I paid attention to on this block was the one that housed The Bicycle Thief. Its dark little hideaways, cosy interior and flavoursome food continue to be missed, even though I don't think I made the most of it while it was here.

And that's just one Christchurch block. The Press has set up a memory map to help preserve these stories, so make your mark on the map, before you have to resort to Google's street view.

It's interesting how many things you remember, when you stop to think.