Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The K Road Story

13 Responses

  • Howard Edwards,

    Great story Russell. There are some things that make Auckland the city that it is, and K Road is definitely one of them.

    A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to reading Ted Dawe's K. Road and can strongly recommend it. I'm now looking forward to reading Into The River (and not just to piss Family First off either!)

    Albany • Since Apr 2013 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Howard Edwards,

    (and not just to piss Family First off either!)

    Although that would in itself be a sound reason.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Thanks Russell! A great read. (I almost typed 'a great Reid'. That would have been ... odd!)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    Thanks for sharing those extra quotes Russell.

    I miss Alleluya and I miss Peter, but Emma and Tane at Bestie are lovely people who are going to do something really special in that space.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 262 posts Report Reply

  • Bazooka Joe,

    Great article. Who would've thought that the goofball from Shortland Street and the punk-pop band Rubicon singing "Who would call their kid Bruce anyway?" would end up being in real estate investment...

    As an outsider, K-Rd is definitely the best and most unique thing about Auckland. I love visiting there whenever I can.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Mandy S,

    I've loved K Road since I was school girl, who walked the entire length of it, almost everyday, of the late 1980s. It has beheld all my incarnations; westie, punk, student, mother, art-wannabe, dive-bar denizen, public-servant. I count myself to have had the greatest of luck to have lived on K Road during that golden period of time when both the Wine Cellar and Brazil were in existence. I love that the owners of Brazil were such uncompromising people they didn't on-sell the business when they shut-up shop. And I am so glad Rohan is still there, and hope he hasn't had to make too many compromises, beyond the new round signage. I'm leaving the city soon for a while, partly because I am not that thrilled with the gentrification of the rest of the city, but I'm sure K Road will be fine. I take heart from another of my fave dive bars, The Lucha Lounge. It is closing down soon unfortunately, but for a number of years it was the epitome of degentrification, a great little bar, super cheap, amazing music, hanging out on the edges of an old-monied, posh, shopping suburb. But that is what it takes, people like Rohan and Karen who see a gap, not in the marketplace, but in the community. People whose guts and hard work create community. Legends both.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    (not) Far from the madding K'road...
    When I was at Rip It Up I had a tiny studio space overlooking K' Road two floors above a fashion shop (Paulls I think) near the Queen Street intersection, and we had a flying Nun stock storage space the same size on the floor below that Chris used, (nestled amidst a crowd of unused shop dummies) - I hardly ever got anything done, it was too fascinating watching the street unfold below....
    and it was great to have somewhere to lurch to from Mainstreet before going home to Grey Lynn...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I hardly ever got anything done, it was too fascinating watching the street unfold below….

    There was a daily parade of distractions up the stairs to the Planet office. I loved that part. The first time I ever laid eyes on Zane Lowe, Gemma Gracewood and a few other clever people was when they appeared at the top of the stairs with something to say for themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bazooka Joe,

    As an outsider, K-Rd is definitely the best and most unique thing about Auckland. I love visiting there whenever I can.

    I'm an uptown guy. Most of my time in the CBD is spent around K Road.

    By contrast, apart from the actual waterfront, downtown's got nothin' for me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Downtown has the ferry terminal and Ramen Daikoku. And that's pretty much it.

    I was actually glad I was in England when Brazil closed. Such a loss.

    K Rd has been an important part of my life, as a schoolgirl wagging double-English, fulminating with young feminist ire at the strip clubs, attending a strip club, buying lunch and fruit from Norman Ng's for my workplace down Pitt St, going to Staircase regularly when it migrated from downtown, working behind the bar at Lasso, the women's-only night and welcoming in the trans and working girls, getting completely obliterated one Sunday evening at Guadalupe (one of the few places at the time serving cocktails on a Sunday), eating at Ken's Yakitori and the burger place next door...

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • oga,

    Thank you for the nostalgia. I lived on K Road for several years in the late 1990s (the top floor at 155 above Kirsty, Sue, Rob and Fred), painted the red walls at Verona at one point for some pocket money, lived in Calibre most weekend nights (especially the drum & bass Thursdays), ate copiously at Kens, got my coffee fix from Brazil, chai teas from Alleluya... too many things to recall here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    Place has special memories as I had a close work colleague from Henty Wines and Spirits living in the apartment at the rear of St Kevs Arcade. Still remember a great party at the apartment with Lee Ralph in full throttle when the "skins" turned up and expectations of strife bubbled. And it did. Quickly sorted courtesy of Lee.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    Disappointing time was when in Auckland 6-7 years ago and Mark Lyon and his entourage were feral marching down the road during the day. Tension was high.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

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