What a find! Bunker cafe is hidden away – just off Great North Road – not the easiest place to find, however when you do: bliss. I personally love ‘hard to find’ quirky, urban cafes that don’t do conventional. ‘Bunker Cafe’ is just that; a converted container surrounded by designer bean bags, wooden benches, pews and a concrete garden. Atomic coffee is on offer, along with oversized sweet & savoury brioche, gourmet pies, sweet fare and gastronomic European sandwiches filled with a multitude of choices. I decided on the bacon & egg ciabatta that was winking at me. Everything is takeaway: served on disposable plates. Service is fabulous and personable. Parking is scarce. Ambience is a writer’s dream. You better go now before everyone knows about it!
Are you having a fancy dress party? This is the place to venture to – if so. Word. Whether it’s an Elizabethan gig and you’re looking for ruffs, pantaloons, jerkins, corsets, queens & kings wigs – they have this covered. Or maybe you’re after Bollywood attire? I have indeed hired ruffs, tutus, props, wigs and costuming from First Scene. It’s rather overwhelming place to visit – so make sure you ask someone for assistance – if you’re short on time. I particularly like the selection of false eyelashes, theatre makeup and their shoe selection. All the staff are suitably friendly and helpful. Based just over the hill from Kingsland’s Main Street (shops and cafes) so very convenient and centrally located with parking right outside the building. Cool. Majestic. Transformative. Check it out.
Recently I attended a Yelp event: Yelp Pairs Cider & Cheese at The Dairy, Ponsonby Central. Hosted by the cool crew from Yelp Auckland namely Alex the Community Manager and Tara, Owner of The Dairy & Foxtrot Parlour. A good crowd attended (as always) and we were educated about the hip ‘Zeffer’ Cider brand established in 2009 and has been successfully winning awards internationally. All the cider was partnered with heavenly cheese from The Dairy: St Benedict Buffalo Brie with Zeffer Crisp Apple, Mahoe Blue with Zeffer Pear, Wangapeka with Zeffer Hopped Up Pippin and lastly Earth Sheep Cheddar with Zeffer Mahana Red Apple. It was indulgent, superbly overwhelming and undoubtably enjoyable – with all the tastings and information buzzing in my head. I loved all the cheese and craved more. My favourite cider was the Crisp Apple that is honest, simple and deliciously dry. Cider is slowly taking preference in the supermarket aisles and as for the cheese – you need to shop at Ponsonby Central, and be wowed at The Dairy.
After not attending a #smakl event for a while – I was really looking forward to engaging with the ‘specialist’ panel of speakers: Ricardo Simich (Editor Spy HoS), Bradley Ambrose (award-winning photographer), Arran Birchenough (Getty Images ANZ) & Mark Sagar (Lab for Animate Technologies) who all shared their valuable dogma, about the selfie-obsessed society we live in today. Some are the question raised were concerning intellectual property and copyright – in reference to celebrity. Apparently, if you snap pictures in a public place – it’s your image. People (generally) create a lot of content imagery that is uploaded onto Facebook, SnapChat & Instagram. Nothing is private or protected anymore. Everything is transparent and available on Google. What about facial recognition? Have you had the experience before on Facebook when you are tagging people, and they are already recognised? One thing I did learn, is if you want to be published in social pages, newspaper or magazine – refrain from Instagramming and Snapchatting for the event. #SMCAKL always spoils it’s guests with flavoursome pizza, craft beer, wine & cider. Brilliant sponsors. I fell in love with the ‘Playground People’ Instagram Printer – that prints images (similar to a Polaroid, but bigger) that you upload with a hashtag. I know why I love social – it just keeps evolving and being disruptive; without predictability.
Interesting name isn’t it? ‘Boy & Bird?’ Owned and operated by Mike Van de Elzen, ‘The Food Truck’ guy & Marie Colosimo. This red-and white decor has a young, American-diner style influence with matching teatowels, as napkins. After enquiring about the wait time at 6pm: every table was occupied with small children and accompanying family – it would be approx 15mins. Apparently you can book tables here – great, now I know. We were offered a table outside under a roof heater, which was pleasant while pondering the menu/s. The wait staff were exceptional: very articulate and communicative. Wine by the glass was reasonable, around $12-$13 for a good drop. Offered complimentary chicken-flavoured popcorn which was tasty, at $4. Mains were inexpensive from $10 for a quarter chicken, to $16 Caesar salad. I had the Quarter box with chunkies (fries) and slaw with a small jug of gravy for $15! Yummo! Also, a glass of Spanish red wine and a deconstructed cheesecake – with almond crumbles & citrus for afters. Pleasantly satisfied. Menu also includes non-chicken fare too, like gnocchi or schnitzel. Good addition to Ponsonby Rd, just by Prego or the top of Franklin Road. Go people.
Lot 23 is a place that you may read about in ‘Viva’; then make the (conscious) decision to visit, before it’s everyone’s hang-out.
Located in Minnie Street, Eden Terrace which happens to be where TVNZ ‘Step Dave’s’ (blue) house is situated!
As you enter the space: walls are filled with the latest art curated by Natalie Tozer, concrete floor, wooden old-school chairs, complimented with a super-slick white interior that acts as a great canvas for everything art!
The menu is delectable: ‘Ugly bagels’ topped with lashings of cream cheese, capers and fresh salmon, daily soup choice/s, croissant filled with Camembert, tomato and ham off the bone, ‘Baghdad eggs’ and coconut ice!
Every mouthful is ‘gastronomy’ and flavoursome. I particularly love the ‘Brazilian coffee’ that stimulates the senses – like coffee should.
After reading the NZ Herald, about the upcoming art exhibition at ‘Gow Langsford Gallery’ featuring 8 Mongrel Mob members (taken by NZ photographer Jono Rotman over a period of 7 years) – I was naturally intrigued.
All the photographs were taken with available light, and each subject displays elements of melancholy and undeniable respect between both parties.
I was mesmerised by the eight portraits: Bill Irwin Rogue, Shano Rogue, Bung Notorious, Willy Clark, Breeze Notorious, Zap Notorious, Denimz Rogue and Greeko Notorious which filled the room with their depth of character, and provoked controversy in the same breath.
Personally, I appreciate the art – that tells individual stories about their chapters and life. Their tattoos, clothing and face speak volumes about who they are.
This exhibition is authentic ‘portraiture’ of the Mongrel Mob community.
You should go and experience the exhibition for yourself; if in Auckland.
I have heard a lot of great commentary about “Best Ugly Bagels” so decided it was time to experience first-hand.
Outside people populated all the tables, eating their delicious bagels and sipping their “Havana” coffee with delight.
All the crew were working industriously making these wood-fired bagels from scratch. Very impressive to watch.
In the shop you can opt for DIY or order Al Brown’s way. You can take out 6 packaged bagels (plain, poppy seed, sesame seed, cinnamon & raisin) with all the toppings to boot. Bagels cost $12.
I was dubious about the coffee as a coffee snob, however it exceeded expectation.
When I placed my order, the American-dressed, animated staff member forgot to charge me for half my order, so instead of paying for 2 purchases (which I didn’t mind) she cancelled the transaction saying the bank fees were to high, and punched in correct amount.
Made me smile.
She asked my name and announced on their in-house microphone. Just in case, I couldn’t hear, with the (bustling) crowds inside and out.
There is something about the ‘aesthetics’ of vintage things – whether it is (motor) scooters, tea trolleys, vinyl, burlesque-influenced wigs, tailored clothing, or quirky mirrors.
Filming today (in one of my favourite locations) was inspiringly eclectic, with majestic backdrops – from bookshelves crammed with romantic novels to kitsch furniture, dainty crockery, and dismembered mannequins.
People like Bettie Page, Marilyn Monroe and Dita Von Teese – all radiate femininity and glamour.
Buying ‘vintage’ from all over the world – is definitely dreamy.
Great cars too.
Even though, I only have limited knowledge about the (NZ) music industry, I was still fascinated to hear about how social media has influenced and revolutionised the ‘music’ world.
Have you heard of Spotify? The digital music service that can download your favourite songs within minutes, normally using Facebook to log in. Very cool.
The panel of speakers (Dean Campbell, Paul McLaney, Fiona Perry and Scott McLauchlan) for #smcakl: offered insightful and engaging information about digital files, monetization on making music and marketing on social media, while drinking ‘Bulmers’ cider.
David Bowie was mentioned, he released his new album in
April, “The Next Day” to the world after 10 years (silence), via Twitter. No other media, just social.
“Where Are We Now?” went viral.
Apparently, the Finn brothers (Neil + Tim) are the only New Zealand artists to make a decent living, from music. Hard graft, like any art.