Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Staggering distance

My previous post about identifying the parts of Wellington within walking distance of a green space reminded me of an even more vital necessity of civilised existence. The first Commandment of urban life is:
Thou shalt not live more than five minutes away from a decent Martini.
Wellington has a fair cross section of bars, opening and closing with bewildering rapidity, but not all of them can deliver a decent cocktail. So, I decided to create a map of local cocktail bars, with circles around them showing the walking (or staggering) distance of any part of the central city from the nearest purveyor of blissful intoxication. Red dots are the watering holes, and concentric rings show distances of 50m, 100m and up to 300m.

Most of the city is well-served, with Blair St standing out, unsurprisingly, as cocktail central. There's a worrying gap between the Lambton and Courtenay Quarters, with only Pod to provide some relief on the Friday night stagger from Suitville to Margaritatown. Upper Tory St is also rather arid, and Latinos stands out as an oasis of Caipirinhas amid the dry wastes of southeast Te Aro.

The Maasique at BoulotBut the most glaring lacuna of all is the waterfront, especially from Te Papa to the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Anyone who finds themselves stranded here will be languishing more than five minutes away from a revivifying draught of aqua vitae, so let's hope that Chaffers Dock and the new buildings by Waitangi Park provide ample opportunities for Wellington's many cocktail afficionados to slake their throats.


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