Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Funky Seaside Village Revisited

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    And since it's Friday, where would we be without a horrible music video from the depths of EwwwTube!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Dykes,

    Moving to Auckland from Wellington for a couple of years around that time, I ended up believing something I'd previously have regarded as a heresy. Within it, Auckland represents everywhere else in New Zealand - and also the Islands. I kind of hate to admit it even now, but it’s true. The place is full of people that have moved there from north, south or east and retain contact with their former neighbourhoods. Their comings and goings keep things unique and alive and ensure the city doesn't become Disney-like (e.g. parts of Christchurch) or inward looking (Nelson). The result is a place that's a lot more interesting than it should be, given it's tucked away from the rest of the world.

    I had already experienced some of the above as a school kid visiting Auckland several times in the 80s. One memory that stands out is walking down Queen Street at about 10pm on a Friday night in 1984 and seeing all the break-dancers performing outside the storefronts (some from my school two hours drive away). I'm certain they were much better than anything I've seen on video from that period (or now!).

    Now if only Auckland was easier to get around …

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 76 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    That's great. Out of interest, who was the 27 year old still working for his father?

    He's actually named in the paragraph right above that one - Rich Poole. He put a full-page ad in the Herald in 2000 moaning about how all his friends had gone overseas because NZ was so shit.

    I remember the "Funky Seaside Village" article when it was first published, and it's one I've often thought about over the years. I remember how wonderful it was to read something about Auckland that was so optimistic. I think that's one of the secrets about enjoying Auckland - if you treat it like a metropolis, it will disappoint, but if you treat it like a series of villages (linked by motorways!), you can find a lot to like.

    Meanwhile, I'm rather happy living in another funky seaside village down the other end of the island.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Oh! And...

    Chris Knox, the old square peg, won with the beautiful “My Only Friend” whose gorgeous video may one day be screened on TV.

    Why isn't this available on the intertubes?!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I remember the "Funky Seaside Village" article when it was first published, and it's one I've often thought about over the years. I remember how wonderful it was to read something about Auckland that was so optimistic.

    Thanks Robyn. You'll recall that at the time, the media agenda was being dominated by moaning bores, while, as I say in the essay, the city was rocking. It was nice to have the chance to say so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    being born in '68 myself, I've always found it strange there was no name for us..... too young to be a boomer and too old the be an X..... fallen through the gaps?

    Thank God for the Internet and Wikipedia: Gen Jones.

    Unfortunately Fletch - you most assuredly are a Gen Xer, for better or not...

    And as for Auckland - it's the best city in the world in 20 years time - as long as the visionless souls running things now don't screw it up too much. We're almost there now...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Meanwhile, I'm rather happy living in another funky seaside village down the other end of the island.

    Hold on: aren't you supposed to abjure Auckland in order to be accepted anywhere else? The national narrative demands it!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    He's actually named in the paragraph right above that one - Rich Poole. He put a full-page ad in the Herald in 2000 moaning about how all his friends had gone overseas because NZ was so shit.

    Thanks - I remember Poole, but I didn't put 2 & 2 together Robyn.

    When the ads came out, I was working in an SOE on Lambton Quay... a business analyst working with us proudly told me "My name's on that petition."

    She got quite shirty when I noted that she was back in NZ & had been for some time.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    the depths of EwwwTube!

    Egad! I've been Nol' Rolled.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    the best city in the world in 20 years time - as long as the visionless souls running things now don't screw it up too much

    So would Aucklanders please stop voting them in. Especially if we get one big Council.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    She got quite shirty when I noted that she was back in NZ & had been for some time.

    ALOL.

    And is this Rich Poole the one from Fine Wine Delivery?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • davesparks,

    life is always boring, everything is always kind of shitty and just getting worse, and the human race just strengthens the case that God should have gone with the roaches, but you keep buggering on regardless...

    and *then* The Nolans.

    Shameless like for those 2 posts. Nice.

    I enjoyed Ak much much more after I'd gone away and come back. I felt like it had everything I'd missed about home *and* everything I'd gone away looking for but didn't find.

    Debt owed to Russell (and Chad Taylor too - thanks man!) for writing about an Auckland with intrinsic value, an aucklandy aucklandness that delivers quite apart from the tiresome comparisons to other towns local or international. Your words help me tell others how I feel about why we chose this as home.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    By 1991, the place seemed desolate. A new government, no jobs and not much fun.

    Oh it was fucking awful. I remember it well. I was so pleased to be home after 4 years away, but oh god, it was a dreary horrid time in space. It was still better than the UK but.

    The truth is, you take away our moodiness and you take away a part of us. We live on moody land and if we understood that better we might understand why we are not Australians or Americans and just get on with it.

    Oh hallelujah. I've been trying to say this for years, but never had the right words. Thanks for that.

    I left too, once, when I was young and wanted adventure. But that wasn't because Auckland sucks.

    Yes. Oh yes. And I look forward to reading your update, Russell. Very much.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And it turned out a lot of the names on the Generation Lost advert were unsolicited. Jeremy Punnett, a Kiwi living in London, ran a website (sadly expired) for the express purpose of countering the misinformation.

    As for me, I'm not a Gen-X'er. I'm a member of Generation 8-bit.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5434 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thank you, Russell - and please continue mining your legacy material.

    Nol' Rolled

    My memory had conveniently removed that chirpy crapola. By contrast...

    walking down Queen Street at about 10pm on a Friday night in 1984 and seeing all the break-dancers performing outside the storefronts

    which by the mid 90s, delivered us this (with props to the Welli crew):

    then later, stuff like this (also drawing confidently on the club music and traditional forms of the largest Pacific city on the planet):

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    My memory had conveniently removed that chirpy crapola. By contrast...

    It was all.... yellow. And BTW (completely OT) does anyone else substitute the word yellow for white in that Coldplay song about snow?

    In my mind of course, in my mind.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    is this Rich Poole the one from Fine Wine Delivery?

    Pretty sure he's not. Here's our friend in 2005, and more recently enjoying the fruits of hanging in the golden eastern suburbs.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I'm pretty sure marketeering is illegal.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Mouseketeering? It should be..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Dodgy Insider,

    Hmm. I guess sending your employees off to wierd cults for indoctrination has to be added to Ferrit, CDMA, trying to stare down the government on regulation, etc, etc.

    Apparently Ms G. had a knee operated button under her desk that summoned a minion to interrupt her when she didn't like how a meeting was going. Allegedly.

    NZ • Since Jan 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Apparently Ms G. had a knee operated button under her desk that summoned a minion to interrupt her when she didn't like how a meeting was going. Allegedly.

    But Rod Deane's operated the trapdoor over the croc pit.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Dykes,

    then later, stuff like this (also drawing confidently on the club music and traditional forms of the largest Pacific city on the planet):

    That's brilliant eh? Funny how bright our skies are for a place so dark.

    Che Fu, Salmonella Dub and others released great albums after I left Auckland for overseas. Made me feel like I was missing out by not being home. I used to listen and imagine myself on a beach without industrial debris and pollution.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 76 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And "progress" means our beaches now have the pollution..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    What on earth possessed you to re-publish an 8 year old navel-gazing fluff piece like that? That type of writing proves that you are Gen X and that Gen X is a lot closer to baby boomerism than you would probably care to admit.

    My favourite line though has to be about getting a better cheap feed in Auckland than in London. Yes, that's the whole point of food. Quantity over quality.

    I have to say, however, that if I read anything half as good as that in Metro in 2009 I would probably drop dead from shock.

    Since Mar 2009 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    By 1991, the place seemed desolate. A new government, no jobs and not much fun.

    And for so many of us, the term of the Fourth Labour Government was the multiple fun-gasm that never ended. And it's also a matter of POV: 1991 was a year when I wasn't either permanently pissed or trying to remodel a major vein with a new opening.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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