Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Closing Down Sale

It must be lease renewal time. Checkers is closing, (see Suzanne looking at her screen at the counter?) as are several independently-owned shops which add uniqueness to a town. In my recent travel to the North Island city of Napier, I was blown away by its charm of the CBD (central business district = downtown) area, which came down to the comparatively greater proportion of independently-owned shops, and particularly, cafes. The main streets of Nelson will look more and more like any-other-town, New Zealand.

So it is almost too sad to tell you that Nelson has been judged the third most charming small towns by the travel website tripadvisor.com. First and second places wen to Stragford-on-Avon and San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

6 comments:

  1. It's sad that independent shops are being squeezed out all over the world.

    Take lots of photos before they're gone!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes I agree Meg, Napier has a great CBD with all the Art Deco architecture being the main feature, nicely laid out too, well worth a visit :)

    Cheers
    Pete
    www.hamilton-nz.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will, Bettyl.

    Pete, it's been years since I visit Hamilton - have you held on to uniquely Hamilton shops, or do you look like an Auckland suburb now? Of course you have the lovely river and that whole area...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Having moved from Auckland (yes ex jafa lol) to Hamilton only five years ago I'm probably in a good position to answer that one :)

    I would say it's unique in the sense that there are still many local business's that will survive because they cater to the requirements of a more rural community so yes Hamilton does have it's own unique shops but having said that the 'big' chain store names are slowly creeping in along with large shopping centre complexes.

    But on the whole it is different and not like an Auckland suburb just yet. I travel back to Auckland regularly and there is definitely a different atmosphere. To me Hamilton feels like Auckland did about 25 years ago and I like it along with the easy going lifestyle while still being near a city.

    Yes the river and surrounds are great and the Hamilton Gardens are some of the best I have ever seen.

    The only thing I miss slightly is the sea as I was used to seeing it every day and I guess we had just it for granted in Auckland. However Raglan on the west coast is only about 45 minutes away so we go out there often to get our ocean fix :)

    Cheers
    Pete
    www.hamilton-nz.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is very interesting, Pete. Having arrived from Japan in 1994, Ben and I talked about Hamilton becoming Auckland's suburb before too long. I understand it's going that way, but the rise in petrol price, for one, should put a damper to that at least for the time being.

    And I'm glad you've managed to held on to your stores. I guess we still have a some, but definitely and noticably hidden amongst the big names. Borin.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Pete, for me it is Nelson (abandoned Auckland 10 years ago to make a bit of dosh in Sydney waiting for retirement). Hamilton was too inland for me, but it has the "old" money. I am not going to give up on Nelson, it is the Howick of 1960's but with vibrance, nature and the sea. Just got to keep breathing long enough to get there.
    Lesley Expat Kiwi

    ReplyDelete

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