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

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Back to Baku

Thanks to everyone who voted for Wellington in Gridskipper's "Pitch Your Burg" poll. We were soaring ahead of our gritty competitor when Gridskipper's poll server mysteriously went phut, meaning that we'll now all have to vote again. Not at all suspicious.

In the meantime, given that Baku is (temporarily, of course) back in front, perhaps we should think more deeply about its competitive advantages and see how Wellington could match or eclipse them. So, here's a listing of Baku's tourist highlights, as compiled by its pitcher, carpetblogger. For each of them, I've made some suggestions for locations within greater Wellington that could give Baku a run for its laundered money. Your further suggestions are most welcome.

The aesthetics of Houston.
There's plenty of mirror glass on Lambton Quay, but it's compromised by the presence of actual pedestrians and shops that aren't in malls, so the Thorndon government precinct might be a better bet.

The hospitality of the Soviets.
Most of our hospitality sector takes Castro rather than Stalin as its dictator chic exemplar, but I have to admit that the old guy at Brandon Street Shoe Repairs has an authentically KGB demeanour.

The progressiveness of a Muslim culture shut off from the world for 70 years.
I don't want to denigrate The Religion of Peace(tm), so if you want a culture that's been shut off for decades, you'll have to venture into Wainuiomata.

A thriving community of lice, transvestites, dirty backpackers, and multinational middle management suck-ups.
Admittedly, we've never had these all conveniently located in one "Boat Bar" (though who knows what goes on in the bilges of the Tug Boat after dark?), but I'm sure a brisk walk from Cuba St to Cambridge Tce could deliver all of the above.

Bars that never close and the availability of exotic delights -- such as continuous drunken loops in a Go-Kart at 3 a.m. -- for those willing to pay the price in Manat and dignity.
Blue Note and Endup both offer all-night entertainment of various descriptions, though I'm not sure I can afford to lose that much dignity. And there are more RX7s than Go-Karts, but if you want continuous drunken loops at 3 a.m. then I have two words for you: Hutt. Valley.

All kinds of bars, as long as they are English, Irish, and Scottish.
But do they have a Welsh bar?

Any local woman out past 9 p.m. is likely to be a whore.
No, but any whore out past 9 p.m. is unlikely to be a woman.

Any bar that requires a descent of more than five steps doubles as a bordello. Notably, most that sit at ground level do as well.
No, in New Zealand our bordellos double as bars. And most of them are upstairs rather than down (apparently)

Snaggle-toothed rig monkeys engorged from six weeks on a Caspian platform, spooks, and middle-aged swingers in corporate logo polo shirts.
Where do I begin?

The dial-up revolution is as entrenched as the current regime.
Aha! Those flash bastards in Central Asia can't possibly match us when it comes to crap broadband!


At 1:19 pm, March 29, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:21 pm, March 29, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

Might need to update that link. The voting is waaaaaay down the page now.

And we are now ahead (again). Take THAT Bakuans! (Bakuese? Bakuites?)

At 1:41 pm, March 29, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Bakuvians, I guess.

I tried the direct link to start with, but for some reason it always redirects to the old voting page

At 3:27 pm, March 29, 2006, Blogger s. said...

Snaggle-toothed rig monkeys engorged from six weeks on a Caspian platform, spooks, and middle-aged swingers in corporate logo polo shirts.

> Where do I begin?

Blend on Thursday night?

At 10:43 am, March 30, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

So who are you calling a "snaggle-toothed rig monkey", then?


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