Skip

The Joy of Snow
August 15, 2011 3:21 AM   Subscribe

Snow on Cuba Mall in central Wellington Ok, so it snows all over the world, but here in Wellington, New Zealand, we are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime cold snap with snow throughout much of the country. The joy of Wellingtonians experiencing snow in downtown Cuba Mall is beautifully captured here on video.
posted by vac2003 (48 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great video, great choice of soundtrack.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:28 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice clip.

And yeah, the last time there was this much snow in the Wellington region was either 1919 or 1939, depending on your source. It's been astonishing - I really didn't believe I'd ever see snow in Hataitai, so I took a chunk out of the middle of the work day to play in it with my little girl.
posted by rodgerd at 3:28 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's beautiful. I needed that moment of delight. In my part of Auckland... no snow yet.

But still.... delightful.
posted by slightlybewildered at 3:54 AM on August 15, 2011


Every person I encountered in Wellington today was happy. People talked to each other in elevators and in shops and at traffic lights, and drivers stopped to let people cross to shelter. My moment of childlike wonder came standing at the end of Queen's Wharf watching snowflakes vanish into the harbour.

Now I'm just cold.
posted by doublehappy at 4:03 AM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Clair de neige!

Lovely. Here's hoping it'll reach you too, slightlybewildered.
And doublehappy, this is what hot chocolate is for.
posted by likeso at 4:06 AM on August 15, 2011


I really didn't believe I'd ever see snow in Hataitai
There was one morning in 1995 when the entire middle pitch of Hataitai School was frozen over, with small amounts of snow still settled up against the buildings, and I was devastated because a football tournament meant I couldn't stay and play.

Apparently Auckland just had its coldest day on record. Shots on the news of snow/sleet/graupel (?) flurries on Khyber Pass! Ridiculous.

And doublehappy, this is what hot chocolate is for.
I don't have any! I've been rocking the lemon and honey but it's just not the same.
posted by doublehappy at 4:17 AM on August 15, 2011


What a beautiful video. Good editing, good soundtrack, very nicely done.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:18 AM on August 15, 2011


And I recognised a stupidly high proportion of people in that video! How small is this place?
posted by doublehappy at 4:19 AM on August 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


No hot chocolate?! You poor thing! The one day it is so perfectly suited, it's nigh compulsory.

So fun that though you reside in the nation's capital, you basically live in a town. (So do I - Amsterdam.)
posted by likeso at 4:25 AM on August 15, 2011


Is that the same water sculpture that was there 30 years ago? Yes it is. Its called the Bucket Fountain, and it even has its own flickr page and its own web page. The page is down today, must be the snow.
posted by Xurando at 4:37 AM on August 15, 2011


So I read "Snow on Cuba" and you can imagine that this was a pretty weird idea in August.
posted by oddman at 4:38 AM on August 15, 2011


Please send a shipping address. When it's February here, I'll be glad to ship a container of Michigan snow. We seem to have a yearly surplus. Of course, we also have hot chocolate. Cheers!
posted by beelzbubba at 4:59 AM on August 15, 2011


Send to:
Passer by
Bucket Fountain
Cuba Mall
Te Aro
Wellington 6011
posted by doublehappy at 5:07 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


"a once-in-a-lifetime cold snap"

So far. Welcome, climate change? Guess we'll see!
posted by Eideteker at 6:10 AM on August 15, 2011


And I recognised a stupidly high proportion of people in that video! How small is this place?

Me too! And I'm sitting here in Australia (but I grew up in Wellington). I recognised at least one person I went to school with.
posted by lollusc at 6:17 AM on August 15, 2011


Like giant children! That was great. Should this persist, you're definitely going to stop responding to the sight of snow with a smile, though.
posted by ignignokt at 6:27 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


"And I recognised a stupidly high proportion of people in that video! How small is this place?"

Ha ha, I had a roommate from New Zealand in grad school and whenever we watched Xena she'd be like, "I know that guy, and that guy, and that guy who just got stabbed, and that girl used to babysit me ...."

And when we saw LotR, it was all, "Oh! Third orc from the left is my husband's BFF ..."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:43 AM on August 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


A wonderful video! I loved that among all those adults in child-like wonder was the actual child (1:15) who just looks pissed off.
posted by beau jackson at 6:45 AM on August 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, even me, who was in Wellington for a rather short time in '98 and wasn't very social back then keep recognizing people in movies from New Zealand.
posted by dominik at 6:47 AM on August 15, 2011


Interesting that with one hilarious exception (beau jackson -- above -- notes) anyone even remotely young was clearly having a ball, and then there were those two grumpy old ladies with their hoods up, marching determinedly through the snow -- not oblivious, but apparently angry at it. You can almost hear them muttering, "Damn it, Martha, 'oy thought we left ugly things falling from the sky when we emigrated from London in 1940". I especially loved the little girl who looked pretty suspicious in her first appearance and then just seconds later we see her bouncing about like Tigger.
posted by Mike D at 6:54 AM on August 15, 2011


"little girl who looked pretty suspicious in her first appearance". Forget this part of my blathering. Mixed up the order and the fact that it's two different little girls. Still love the bouncing.
posted by Mike D at 7:07 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Only people who don't have to put up with snow, can look so happy about snow.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:34 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I loved that among all those adults in child-like wonder was the actual child (1:15) who just looks pissed off.

Me, too! That is me when it snows.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:45 AM on August 15, 2011


Snow in August. Now everyone in New Zealand can say they have had a proper Swedish summer.
posted by three blind mice at 7:51 AM on August 15, 2011


My friends from Christchurch just headed home two days ago after spending a few weeks here on the unseasonably cold and dreary east coast of Canada. I don't know how they will feel about the snow, but I am a bit relieved that their winter is not turning out to be warmer than our summer. This weather, it's embarrassing.
posted by fundip at 7:53 AM on August 15, 2011


I really liked the subject, but the found the vignetting really distracting.
posted by All Out of Lulz at 8:09 AM on August 15, 2011


Having lived in a place that got fairly regular snow which shut down the city and caused ridiculous amounts of mayhem (yay, Seattle!), I can reassure the NZ folks that delight can still be yours, despite the assertions of the grumblers above.
posted by batmonkey at 8:13 AM on August 15, 2011


Just checked the New Zealand weather reports. I am not impressed at all by the "cold". In Aukland and Wellington high temps today in upper 40's to near 50. Lows at night in upper 30's. Not even freezing. But I guess this is cold for NZ.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:24 AM on August 15, 2011


This was great. I love living in a place that gets occasional snow (yay, Seattle!). Everyone gets the day off, the whole neighborhood is out walking up to the corner bar or convenience store. All the kids convene on the steepest street for sledding. Happens nearly every year here, and clearly we could deal with it better, but deep down everyone *wants* to stay home for a couple days and play in the snow.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:25 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved that among all those adults in child-like wonder was the actual child (1:15) who just looks pissed off.

Having worked in several youth hostels in Canada (my home and native land), I can tell you that one of the fringe benefits was every winter meeting people who were 27 years old and who had never seen snow before. You would see them wander in from a blizzard with eyes wide. I remember one excited Kiwi girl telling me that she knew it snowed here but she thought that meant on the tops of mountains and such -- she never imagined it would fall in the city as well.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:30 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Something wicked stirs atop Mount Doom...
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:32 AM on August 15, 2011


Happens nearly every year here, and clearly we could deal with it better, but deep down everyone *wants* to stay home for a couple days and play in the snow.

Yep, that's the West coast.
posted by atbash at 8:44 AM on August 15, 2011


So far. Welcome, climate change global warming? Guess we'll see!

Global warming (it is warming, not simply changing) causes extreme weather events, including snow storms, due to increased energy in the atmosphere. One extreme weather event is difficult to attribute to climate, but on the other hand, global warming makes these extreme weather events more likely to occur. Also, a once in 50 year event means that every year, there is a 1 in 50 chance of it happening, not that it only happens once in 50 years (ie. if the dice roll badly it could happen 10 times in 50 years .. or not at all in 200 years .. but still a 1:50 year event).
posted by stbalbach at 9:12 AM on August 15, 2011


That grumpy little boy made me lol cuz that is exactly how I feel in March after 6 months of snow.
posted by Gwynarra at 9:18 AM on August 15, 2011


When it starts coming down by the yard, like it did two winters back for me, they're more than welcome to come here and take as much as they want of it. I'll even let them borrow a shovel.
posted by crunchland at 9:37 AM on August 15, 2011


I know exactly how they feel. Last winter we had snow on the ground in Tramore for the first time in 14 years or so and my dad acted like a giddy little kid.
posted by kersplunk at 9:43 AM on August 15, 2011


Incidentally, Wellington's latitude south is more or less the same as Cleveland's latitude north.
posted by dhartung at 9:45 AM on August 15, 2011


I spent much of my childhood in Finland, and I still think of winter as the default season and summer as an odd passing phase. It's lovely to see people so delighted by something that feels so normal to me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:55 AM on August 15, 2011


Thanks for posting this, just delightful.
posted by Catch at 1:09 PM on August 15, 2011


dear people of wellington,

the novelty wears off real quick

sincerely,

a native michigander
posted by pyramid termite at 2:17 PM on August 15, 2011


Dear people for whom the novelty has worn off,

That's an illusion. It doesn't wear off, it jades over. It's still there underneath!

You don't have to be the kid that doesn't want to go on family camping trips any more. You can have a great time if you just forget who you're supposed to be at school and go climb a tree with your little brother. I was 24 when I realised that.

You can be a serious person doing serious business and still find wonder in the mundane and inconvenient. Have you ever looked at clouds? They're pretty boring and they do bad things like flood your backyard and electrocute golfers. But look at them! They're huge fluffy looking things made of water and ice, and they're FLYING! And when you're up close to them they're not even clouds! Why doesn't that amaze you every day?

I'd give anything to have to shovel my way out of my house for a couple months each year. That's being alive.

Go outside and make a snowman.

Sincerely



A Citizen of Earth
posted by doublehappy at 2:37 PM on August 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


For the record - I have lived in Wellington for most of my /koffty years and I didn't recognise a damned soul in that film. On the other hand, the photo of the Beehive from the second link is the view from my window at work. I'm currently living in one of the higher suburbs, and its been snowmen and icy roads since Sunday, which is just rocking in my book.
posted by Sparx at 2:54 PM on August 15, 2011


I'd give anything to have to shovel my way out of my house for a couple months each year.

After forty fucking years it does become a little tiresome.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:23 PM on August 15, 2011


Yeah, doublehappy, but when you're done shoveling out your house, you have to contend with everybody who hasn't shoveled out theirs, substantially raising the risk that your walk to the grocery store will result in a twisted ankle or busted knee, and when you get to the grocery store, there's no bread, milk, or toilet paper, because everyone is acting like it's nuclear winter, not just a snowstorm, and year after year of this tends to take some of the magic away, even when the snow has fallen deep enough to muffle the sounds in the city, and stepping into the spot of light under a streetlamp feels like walking into a snow globe.
posted by EvaDestruction at 4:10 PM on August 15, 2011


Seymour Zamboni: when 90% of the houses are uninsulated, and biting wind is strong enough to shake the houses, it feels a lot colder than the ambient temperature. For the three years I've lived in Wellington, I've consistently felt colder than the 8 I lived in the Rockies.
posted by hootenatty at 6:09 PM on August 15, 2011


I'd give anything to have to shovel my way out of my house for a couple months each year.

a couple? a couple?

ha!
posted by pyramid termite at 6:22 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


How can you tell you're a Canadian?

You inherit the snowblower you used in your childhood… and will probably give to your own child.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:53 PM on August 16, 2011


Stuff.co.nz

"Cuba Mall snow video takes on 'life of its own'"
posted by Catch at 10:17 PM on August 17, 2011


« Older We wanna be free, to do what we wanna do   |   "as far as I'm concerned... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post