Sunday, September 23, 2012

A virtual tour of West Harbour

Today I took my first walk on the new section of walkway from Maia to St Leonards.  Instead of walking from Maia - where I live - I was driving on my way to Port Chalmers, when I impulsively decided to park the car at the St Leonards Yacht Club and walk part of the way to Maia.

Being right beside the ocean and in some parts, only a few metres from the channel where the big ships come in, it was very windy and quite cool.  There were some interesting cloud formations too.

Port Chalmers was bathed in sunlight and more sheltered from the wind.  I had a meander around - admiring a wooden door with iron work, a large container ship being loaded, or unloaded, and generally looking at the architecture and thinking what a cute place it is.  The Pioneer Hall is in Art Deco style, the Port Stables are a registered historic place and look much like they did back in the 1880s.  "Posh" is a local clothing design store in a more modern building which used to be the hardware store which closed a few years back.  The grey and white stone building just to the right of the container cranes is the Port Chalmers Museum, which is currently being refurbished.  It used to be the Otago Harbour Board.

One of my favourite stores to visit is "Box of Birds" which has a corner site near the Port entrance.  You can see from the sign, that it sells a wide range of items.  The sign is decorated with artificial flowers and hair curlers!!!  While I was looking around I could not help thinking of Op Shop Mama when I saw all the orange kitchenware, and was reminded of Vix when I saw the red polyester jumpsuit swinging on a hanger outside, and Helga when the green polyester dress jacket and beads grabbed my attention.  Alas, nothing called out to me "Buy me, buy me, buy me."

So, I called in to see the lovely Christianne, at her shop which is opposite Pioneer Hall.  While Box of Birds is eclectic, retro, vintage, and folky, it is on a well lit corner site with natural light pouring in through the windows.  Christiannes, by contrast is up market and stocks a lot of labels from standard high street store to designer labels, an excellent range of vintage fabrics, table linen and some china, also shoes, handbags, scarves, belts and jewellry, and although its very well set out in clearly defined areas for skirts, tops, dresses etc, it is not well lit.  

The advantage that Christianne has over other stores, is that she buys regularly and has a good stock turnaround.  Items which don't sell are marked down to a few dollars - I scored a great tee shirt with the face of the Mona Lisa for example a few weeks back.  Today I was on the hunt for a better pair of jeans, than the ones which I have been wearing, which seem to have shrunk!?!?  Lucky for me there was a pair of Levi's in an unusual cut which did the trick.  When I reached the counter I spied a beautiful rhinestone red bangle and also a moonstone ring.  The best part?  I had sold about 6 items to Christianne late last year and had "store credit" which paid for all three purchases and left some for next time!!

I hope you have all had a good weekend.  I must confess, I feel completely exhausted and am looking forward to collapsing on the couch with my book!


  1. Did you say jumpsuit? You know how to get a girl excited!
    What fabulous scenery and I love the idea of getting credit for donations so you end up shopping for free. The Indian bangle is lovely and so's the ring and it's always good to score a pair of well-fitting jeans, they're like gold dust! x

  2. I love Port Chalmers so much! I remeber visiting box of birds last time we were in Dunedin, Rich bought the best tie ever! I love 2nd hand stores that give you store credit for the goodies you sell them. You got such a pretty bangle:)


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