Join 3,524 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Walking memory lane
February 3, 2005 9:22 PM   Subscribe

Photos of Christchurch NZ. Walk the High Street, stop at the corner chemist, or catch the Gaieties. Contains more than a thousand historic pictures, some of startling clarity.
posted by arse_hat (21 comments total)

 
That is very very cool. What a neat set of pictures.
posted by vernondalhart at 9:27 PM on February 3, 2005


that 'clarity' photo was the first i visited from your first link. i was also surprised at the crispness of it, and some of the others. what an interesting look into the past.
posted by blendor at 10:31 PM on February 3, 2005


NZ. Anyone else notice how much that sounds like a state code? Anyone else notice themselves calling Australia "AU", the way you'd call the European Union EU.

/tired.
posted by delmoi at 10:53 PM on February 3, 2005


A friend of mine went there as an exchange student... i saw some of the most breathtaking photographs I've ever seen.
posted by adzm at 10:56 PM on February 3, 2005


Ever notice EU rhymes with PU? delmoi, get some sleep.
posted by arse_hat at 11:04 PM on February 3, 2005


That photo of Cathedral Sq looks like a tiny model, like an architect might have made when tendering for a job to build Christchurch 100 years ago. It's the middle of summer in NZ now, man I wish I was home.
posted by isthisthingon at 12:40 AM on February 4, 2005


Where are the piles of aboriginal corpses?
posted by squirrel at 1:00 AM on February 4, 2005


Where are the piles of aboriginal corpses?

A cursory glance leads me to believe these pictures postdate the Treaty of Waitangi. The piles of aboriginal corpses you allude to could probably be found in Australia around this time, however..
posted by Thoth at 1:15 AM on February 4, 2005


Yeah, but the Settlements Act was in '65, and that had repercussions, including land confiscations and mass murder, that stretched to the end of the century.

I don't mean to derail this thread. The images are great. I just think it's important to see colonization in context, that's all. I'll be quiet now.
posted by squirrel at 1:34 AM on February 4, 2005


NZ. Anyone else notice how much that sounds like a state code?

But please, it's pronounced "En Zed", not "En Zee".

(And the country itself is pronounced "Nyuh - ZILD".)
posted by TiredStarling at 1:39 AM on February 4, 2005


isthisthingon: Don't sweat it bro' - the summer's been stink. Not even, auh!
posted by TiredStarling at 1:44 AM on February 4, 2005


Interesting. Does Christchurch still have arcaded sidewalks?

I was just wondering the other day, when shopkeepers were struggling to keep ice off their sidewalks, why we don't have more covered sidewalks in dense urban areas.
posted by Dick Paris at 2:08 AM on February 4, 2005


You know, when I'm saying the alphabet or spelling something I say 'zed', but many acronyms make me say 'zee'.
YYZ. (Toronto's airport code)
NZ. (I don't know why)
posted by blacklite at 2:17 AM on February 4, 2005


This is my favorite. It captures a unique historical moment. The ordinary or high wheel bike with its large front wheel was giving way to the modern safety bicycle with two wheels of equal size. As you can see from the picture the design of the safety bicycle has not changed very much in the last 120 years, a testament to good design. Why the high wheel fell out of favor.

She is just awesome.

My wife and I ride a tandem all the time, and I have ridden a triple, but to see a quad is rare indeed.
posted by fixedgear at 3:10 AM on February 4, 2005


I'm entranced by the Burke Manuscript, which is worthy of a front page post (is there any other kind) of its own. I just read all 295 pages of it. It was written by William Ellison Burke, a bailiff at the Christchurch Court, in a droll, chatty style; a kind of documentation of the town history as told by the local gossipmonger. It's beautifully arranged with hand sketches, newspaper clippings, caricatures, jottings, and clip art. He found cartoons and clip art that resembled the locals, pasted them into his journal, and told stories about them. Charming! Look at these pages if you don't have time to pore lovingly ovr all 295: The immigration barracks, an intriguing sketch, a page with nice balance, some ruminating by Mr. Burke about "kids today". Thanks so much for this great link, can't wait to see what other goodies there are.
posted by iconomy at 4:59 AM on February 4, 2005


I think this meets the gold standard for digital heritage. I lived in Christchurch when I was seven, so it's an added treat for me. It's such beautiful place.

Backlite-- it's soo not why-why-zee, and En-zee! Not that you shouldn't say these like you want to, but people here in TO and in N'zed are pretty passionate about their zeds, particularly for these two acronyms. (One of the most expensive restaurants here is YYZ)
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:11 AM on February 4, 2005


" I think this meets the gold standard for digital heritage." - I think this site could serve as a reference point for local historic societies and museums everywhere. It is outstanding.
posted by arse_hat at 10:25 AM on February 4, 2005


Interesting. Does Christchurch still have arcaded sidewalks?

I grew up in Christchurch. It is very pretty, though also very boring for young people, and has the predictable consequences of that - youth crime, alcoholism, drug abuse and kids spending their weekend evenings driving up and down the main street ("the Columbo Run").

Ah. Good times.

Well, no. Stupid, boring times.

Anyway, yes, there are still some arcaded sidewalks. Cashel Street is still mostly closed off to traffic, and parts of High Street, and of course Cathedral Square, which is now sadly sullied by a big, stupid millennium monument that looks like a big titanium joint.

o/~ Meet you down at the big silver joint...
posted by Wataki at 7:31 PM on February 4, 2005


Nice find. I spent some time in Christchurch last year, so this is doubly-interesting for me. Thanks!
posted by scody at 10:46 AM on February 5, 2005


ahhh, my lovely hometown.

I just think it's important to see colonization in context...

well, pre-colonisation, most of what you're looking at from that Cathedral Square photo would have been a boggy marsh. And there was very little conflict in the South Island, which was pretty sparsely populated anyway.

though also very boring for young people, and has the predictable consequences...

add to that list: moving away.

Interesting. Does Christchurch still have arcaded sidewalks?

Yep, as well as the ones Wataki mentioned, you can also walk up the very lovely Worcester St to the Arts Centre, Museum and Botanical Gardens. Just watch out for the tram that does a loop of the central city every half hour or so...
posted by noizyboy at 2:31 PM on February 6, 2005


ooh, and just found this photo of the suburb I grew up in (Sumner)...

that barren hill in the background is now completely covered in McMansions.
posted by noizyboy at 2:39 PM on February 6, 2005


« Older The 23rd -Beargrease sled dog race- running of the...  |  The Wurst Gallery... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments