Capitalness

This morning I went to the Museum of Wellington City and Sea. Because Te Papa is so awesome, Wellington’s city museum has to pick a theme and stick with it, and the theme is yo ho ho, the sea (and the city).

There was a chronological history of 20th century Wellington (and plenty of historically significant building pr0n for me to salivate and/or weep over); Wellington’s nautical history, including the Wahine disaster; and a look at ye olde Wellington, including Maori legends read by Joanna Paul.

But the trouble was, there was a school group there too. No matter where I went, the school group followed. I was quietly viewing the Wahine exhibit when, “Now, I want you to look at things like the table with the hole in the middle, and think about why the hole might be there.” (Answer: it was for the ashtray.)

I tried getting as far away from the kids as I could, but no matter where I went, they followed. No, children. Run away, little ones!

I had a look in the Film Archive. There was a display of that guy who make all those films, but that was a bit boring. The only other thing to watch was a 1994 edition of Sale of the Century, which looked like the first episode after it switched to TV3. At first I thought maybe it was a selection of TV from that era, but no. It just an episode of Sale of the Century on loop. And I watched it all.

Then I went to the City Gallery and discovered a curious thing. There was an exhibit of the works of Guy Ngan. He’d done a lot of metal decorative things for civic buildings in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, including the blue stuff atop the Bledisloe building in Auckland, which I have always admired from afar.

But the centrepiece of the exhibit was a giant aluminium wall sculpture (is that the right word) he had made for the Newton Post Office in 1973 (NZ Post had been renovating the building and didn’t want it so they donated it to the Auckland Museum). Now, the Newton PO is where I have my post office box. Its fairly ordinary. The only redeeming feature are the hand-drawn posters that feature delightfully sexist buxom ladies. But it warms the cockles of my heart to think that at one stage some wall inside the PO would have been covered with this massive artwork.

Later I met up with Max who made some nice spaghetti and meatballs and even nicer steamed pudding (yes!), which is perfect for a chilly Wellington winter night. We watched selections from his awesome collections of DVDs, and I can’t think of a better way to spend my last night in the capital.

Tomorrow it’s time to head back up north.

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