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New Zealand: Windy city

Posted by Ethan Gilsdorf  September 24, 2008 06:16 AM

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Wellington is a windy city. At least it is now, in September, the start of their spring. And drizzly. The city, set into steep hillsides that drop into the sea, reminds me of San Francisco: mostly wooden homes, lush greenery, and a funky rather than corporate feel. Not that there aren’t high rises and business people running about. But as one person told me, “Auckland is the rat race. Wellington is courteous and friendly.” Bars and cafes line Cuba Street.
It’s also the nation’s capital, the center for arts and generally the creative hub of the country. The national museum, Te Papa, in hunkered down here by the waterfront. On the Miramar peninsula, out by the airport, is where you’ll find New Zealand’s film making facilities, Stone Street Studios and Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. More on that later.
But as I said, it’s windy. I met a Swede today who said, “Have you been to Chicago? I think this place is windier.” In a tour bus that took me and my group past Miramar to Breaker Bay, we saw a surfer who seemed to be having a hard time making it back to shore. Our driver called the police, who called the coast guard. Apparently, the guy made it back to shore. He turned out to be a snorkeler.
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