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

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Little China

Ghuznee St alley as a film setOne of the things I've always loved about the Left Bank is the feeling I get at the dark western end that I could have walked onto the set of Blade Runner, or been transported to Kowloon Walled City. It has a combination of ad-hoc density, grimy melancholy and eclectic Asian businesses that's unique in Wellington, and I always thought it would make a great film set.

Well, now it is. I'm not sure whether it was a film, TV show or ad that was being shot here today, but the producers certainly made the most of the location. Some sections needed hardly any set dressing, but the nameless alley that leads to Ghuznee St was transformed with Chinese signs, lanterns, stacks of produce and hanging laundry. For a moment, I was fooled into thinking that a new bar had opened in the alleyway!

The downside is that they had to paint over what I once described as "an ever-changing collection of street art". I'll miss some of Wellington's best graffiti, but it's in the nature of street art to be transient and vulnerable. I wonder how long it'll be before it's filled up again?


At 4:52 pm, January 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe... but i think a fresh coat of paint is good for graffiti..

it's all be recorded, and now it starts again.

At 5:41 pm, January 13, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Yep: let the stencils begin!

At 10:16 am, January 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I blinked and missed it; the props have been taken down, although the wall paintings are still there. However, I'm guessing that it may be part of the Budweiser advert shoot that's going on in town right now.

At 10:22 am, January 15, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Yes, that makes sense: one of the signs had the Budweiser logo beneath some Chinese characters. It's just a pity that it couldn't be an ad for a decent drink!

At 3:16 pm, January 19, 2007, Blogger s. said...

I'm often pleased that that little alleyway no longer stinks of sewage.


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