Monday, September 01, 2014
I spent the weekend attending a number of sessions at the Word Christchurch Writers' Festival. The "fringe" events on the Sunday took place at the Physics Room, a gallery and exhibition space on the fourth floor of the old High Street Post Office building which now houses C1 Expresso and Alice in Videoland. So I clambered up the four flights of stairs, stepped inside the gallery and was mesmerised by this view. It occurred to me that I hadn't been this high up since the earthquakes. In fact there are not many functioning tall buildings left in the city.
The wooden trees that echo the forms of the cabbage palms in the foreground are a recent sculpture installation. On the left, the empty area where there is a mini golf course was once an area of narrow lanes with quirky shops. Just out of view, behind temporary fencing is the damaged building that housed the Twisted Hop, the scene of a poetry book launch I attended a few years back. So much of the city is now just a memory.
Elizabeth Knox apparently described Christchurch as "a city living in memory and expectation, with ghost streets and dream buildings". It seemed an apt description.