Girl About Town
You get used to taking the same routes to get around Christchurch, but the other day, I took a wrong turn and discovered all sorts of new things south of the CBD.
When you lose your landmarks and are instead staring at the fences and orange cones of an approaching cordon, it's best to stop and perform a U-turn before bothering the army sentry. But there were flashes of colour I saw, before heading away from Kilmore St, that had me convinced I needed a return trip to up Colombo St's southern end.
A brightly painted mural on the corner of Peterborough and Colombo St occupies the site where I'm sure we used to find a great wine bar... but the memories are fading far too quickly.
Today, it's a place where the Flying Cup serves coffee, and where a stuffed monkey hangs, almost disturbingly, off a rail in the corner.
Across the road, the pefect place to enjoy said coffee awaits. There are seats and a carefully laid out patio area begging for vistors. With the Central City library literally around the corner, I can see how a new book from the Peterborough street book shelves would be the perfect accompaniment to that coffee, served with a good dose of sunshine.
A brand new mural is brightening the space further down Colombo St, towards its Bealey Ave end. It channels the clever words of Dr Seuss: "You are you. Now isn't that pleasant!" It's not bad boost to the middle of the working day.
There are some businesses to encourage you to turn down this street. Corkin + Friends is a hairdresser that continues to offer new styles and cuts for men and women at 830 Colombo St, and the salon is next door to Himalayas Indian Restaurant, the very same that has set up a takeaway branch in Re:Start.
If it's not your head or stomach demanding attention, but your bathroom, Spazio Casa now occupies the corner of Colombo and Peterborough streets, with a super colourful vista from its windows, and Accent Lighting is another bright business sticking to its roots in Colombo St.
A two-storey brick building remains, standing tall among the cleared lots, and it did take a minute before I realised this was once the home to Strawberry Fare. The restaurant reknown for its amazing desserts has set up shop at the Hagley Park end of Bealey Ave, near Carlton Mill corner.
There might not be a lot of action in this wee corner of the city, but it's great to see a lot of colour welcoming visitors and encouraging people to stop a while in a place once bustling with life.