Friday, September 25, 2009

Lonely Planet

It could be said, wait, in fact it has, that some of my posts read like travel brochures for Auckland. I confess that I do love my town and I guess it shows, though I never intend a sales pitch.

Auckland has problems. Like every other city in the world there’s a flip side – there’s criminality, there are gangs, there’s poverty and there’s homelessness.

Earlier this afternoon (Friday) I considered jumping in my car and heading a few suburbs away to show you what some of Auckland looks like but I knew I wouldn’t feel good about photographing neighbourhoods and their residents going about their lives for no other purpose than to furnish my blog. I’m no anthropologist. So, I decided to use photos others have already taken. Credit given where possible. If I use one of your photos and you’re not happy email me (see the link in my profile) and I’ll remove it immediately.

GangsMisguided youth.





Mayoral town make over. Otara. Photo: Shane WenzlickOtara Shopping Centre














  State housing 1970 vintage

Glen Innes, Auckland


















Like anywhere though, there are those who continue to fight for a sense of community and who work really hard to make a better life for themselves. Otara has one of the biggest and most thriving weekend markets in Auckland – nowhere can beat it for fresh fruit and veges at the best price.

There I am with the sales pitch again, I just can’t seem to help myself. I guess I’m just a glass half full kind of person.




Who wouldn’t be?


  1. I know. The true view of any city isn't always bright and shiny. Realizing that can be painful, but I believe it's important to know about the other side, too. I saw a documentary about the situation in Auckland not that long ago, actually I didn't know things were that bad. Most disturbing were the situation for the kids, sucked up and in trouble in street gangs, like they were in Los Angeles or so.

    I'm fortunate living in a affluent part of the city, in fact my municipally is one of the riches in the nation (the 4th of all 280) and ppl in general are well educated so I don't see any of this at home. The contrasts can be extreme though, I don't have to go far. Last weekend when visiting the city-area all beggars sitting in street corners really struck me. The rumour is they're coming from organized gangs, touring the cities of Europe. I don't know if it's true or not, but their way of begging (and their signs) were striking similar. So maybe...

    But then, of course there are "real" homeless ppl out there, spending the nights under bridges... in public toilets. It's gross, and it's embarrassing - for the entire society.

  2. Are you sure you didn't take these pictures in Vancouver??? You don't have to write about Auckland as a travel brochure its just that NICE!! I love Auckland and hope to get back soon.

    Many years ago I watched the movie "Once Were Warriors" probably one of the most powerful movies with almost every emotion portrayed. I need to watch it again.

  3. I love your Travel brochures, because I knwo Aukland isn't perfect--it's just like other places. We all have our gorgeous spots and the spots we'd like to forget exist, if that were possible.
    Keep up the pretty pictures, they make me smile.

  4. I agree with Joanne because we live in the same area. The last time we drove through our roughest downtown area known as Skid Row it looked like a war zone. I had always spent a lot of time downtown and this was not a new area for me to see, in fact in the 70's I lived in a housing project that looked just like the one you show here, but in the last 10 years things have gotten so far out of hand that it is close to insanity. I don't know how some of these poor souls are surviving down there. You should see how our government and the Olympic committee are scrambling to come up with a way to hide these areas and the people in them before our 2010 Winter Olympics.

  5. I love hearing about your homeland, Lou! Every town has its "harder-hit areas" area is exempt from that. The diversity reminds us how fortunate we really are.
    Lovely post!

  6. Thanks for the thoughtful comments everyone. It's the good stuff, the pretty stuff, the fun stuff that will almost always be what attracts me and what I end up bringing to my blog. Though I'm not always frivolous;

  7. Lou I have enjoyed visiting NZ vicariously through you, and I admit I hadn't thought of the other side of the coin. To state the obvious, every country has it's less fortunate, AND seamier side. It was pretty shocking to see the young ones striking defiant poses, much like L.A. gang members, not to mention also seeing apparent squalor. Nevertheless, I would still love to visit.

  8. I can only wonder what the Joe with the 'juvenile lifestyle' with have for tattoos when he is 64.

  9. Too true jadedj - gangs especially youth gangs are becoming an increasing issue here.

    I know Punch - what a moron eh?

  10. Every city, town, nook, and cranny has it's not so pleasant side. Don't worry about only showing the good stuff. If I wanted to see the dark and dingy side, I'd just look around my own neighborhood. :) We tend to focus on how bad things loko or seem, but as you can see from Kyle's pictures, our town is pretty wonderful, too (once you digitally remove the wires, et al!).

  11. Thanks Stan, I agree and by the way welcome to The Quiet Life. Your presence is requested regularly henceforth and commenting is compulsory :-)


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