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

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Shops we love: Magnetix

One of the elements that makes Midland Park so successful is the presence of Magnetix, a specialist magazine shop, newsagent and takeaway coffee shop. It's a good combination, allowing you to browse their extensive range of magazines (whether you're into Diecast Collector, Fun-size Beano or Reptiles USA) while waiting for your coffee.

The shop opens right up to the park, so that even in bad weather, there's always a bunch of people gathered around their doors. Justice Park just up the road probably has better sun, but the absence of edge activities means that it's usually deserted except for lunchtime. This shop is a good example of how commercial activities often not only coexist with but actually enhance a public space.

Magnetix has got itself involved in a few controversies over the years, from battling for the right to sell coffee (somehow, Astoria thought it had the right to monopolise coffee sales in the park!) to selling that subversive organ Cigar Aficianado. It has now become so popular that they're about to open a second branch in Willis St near Unity Books, though the lack of a public space there to open up to will mean it won't have quite the same urbanist benefit that it does here.


At 3:55 am, September 07, 2005, Blogger Dena Ringold said...

My fave, have a Paris latte (trim) for me!

At 9:53 am, September 07, 2005, Blogger Hadyn said...

I concur. I got one on my first day of work and never looked back.

At 1:42 pm, September 08, 2005, Blogger Tom said...

Yes Dena, I had a trim Paris latte yesterday. I normally prefer Milano, but Paris is easier on a hungover stomach (damn those post-quiz cocktails!).

Ben: if you like Mr Bun, then you'll be pleased to see the new cafe opening on the corner of Lambton Quay & Waring Taylor. Something called "Gloria Jean's", which looks like a chain store.

At 1:25 pm, September 09, 2005, Blogger Kate Borrell said...

Yes Gloria Jean's is a chain. They're all over Sydney. From memory I think they're tastier than Starbucks... not that surprising though ;)

At 9:46 pm, September 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm, not sure if i have any interestin seeing some other country's cast off naff caff ideas. Gloria Jeans looked verrrrry tired last time i was in Sydney, and with a dumb name like that, was probably aimed at some hickville town in Kentucky where slavery is still legal.

Yuck. Boycott them please! That's what makes Wellington great - no sucking up to anonymous chain stores. Starbux is all over London - but is not catching on here at all. Same thing should happen to Gloria and her jeans - send them packing.

At 4:39 pm, September 13, 2005, Blogger Kakariki said...

And magnetix sells 2600 :D

At 3:39 pm, March 17, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

One of the few things that I'll miss now that I'm working at the other end of town is morning coffee at Magnetix.


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