Dead posh

I went to Newmarket today. I’d heard rumours, but I didn’t realise how posh it had got. Why, I remember in the ’80s when Newmarket was old and rickety and the plastic shop was located in the sloping stalls of the old Rialto cinema.

There’s been a lot of development down Nuffield Street. It used to just be the street that the Link goes down when it turns around in Newmarket, but now both sides of the street have been turned into posh shops.

There are lots of clothing shops (both fabulous and dire) and a selection of bars and restaurants (Otto Woo and Wagamama both have a home there). Surprisingly enough, there’s now a Swanndri boutique, displaying both traditional woollen farm wear as well as modern interpretations. They’re probably thinking Burberry, but it felt a bit like an extension of Speights advertising campaign.

My favourite amongst it all was Kikki K, a stylish Swedish-Australian stationery store. I like a good notebook, me.

I also checked out the Newmarket Fresh shop on Gillies Ave. It’s part of this apparent new trend in posh supermarkets. I was expecting to be very impressed, but I wasn’t. It just seemed like the deli section of an average Foodtown or New World, but spread over a larger area. And for a shop that seemed obsessed with freshness, there were an awful lot of canned and packaged foods. Most of the fresh stuff was fruit and veg, but even some of that was from California. But worst of all, there nice sweet things selection as abysmal. I couldn’t find any exotic chocolates. Just as well the deli at the Mt Eden shops knows how to do it right.

And finally I went to the expanded Smith and Caughey. The old part of the building is now almost entirely make-up. The new part next door has menswear on the bottom and ladieswear on top. It is trying very very hard to be utterly extravagant.

Something has happened in New Zealand society, cos while there have always been posh shops in posh parts of town, it never quite seemed that there was enough demand to that quite that much all in one place. Are the rich getting richer? Are people choosing to spend their money on fancy goods instead of cheaper, plainer stuff just cos it makes them feel nice?

All I know is that while Newmarket is the closest big lot of shops to where I live, I seldom go there.


Four items

1. This whole Mike King vs Newsboy thing is very entertaining. The cartoon that offended Mike King so much was in part made by two complete bastards/top blokes I know, Andy and Karl. I’m so very proud of them.

The deal is, there was a cartoon on “Eating Media Lunch” where a dog was watching a TV comedian called “Mike Queen” who was dribbling out some template comedy, much like Mike King does. The dog wasn’t laughing. This appeared to have offended Mike King and he left a really vicious-sounding, obscenity-filled voicemail message on the phone one of the “Eating Media Lunch” writers. However, the Herald today reported that Mike King reckoned it was “a joke”.

Well, jokes are usually funny. If I checked my voicemail and found a message from someone I knew calling me a “cocksucking cunt” and saying that my friend was “fucking with the wrong person”, I don’t think I’d be laughing. But if Mike King says this unfunny voicemail is a joke, then it kind of reinforces the cartoon dog’s opinion of Mike King’s comedy skills.

2. I saw a guy in a Ferrari Testarossa run a red light. Multiple cars had started moving in the other direction. He even going up a hill, so it’s not like he couldn’t stop. No one said it, but there was this kind of universal you wanker vibe. Then I was thinking, if you drive a Ferrari Testarossa around Auckland, everyone’s going to think you’re wanker. Even if you are actually a good driver, people are going to think you’re a wanker, so why not just drive poorly and fulfil their expectations?

3. I saw Paselode at the Dogs Bollix on Wednesday. It’s weird seeing bands when I’m wearing ear plugs. I couldn’t find my good ear plugs, so I had to use the foam ones I got on an aeroplane. They reduced the volume, but seemed to cut out the joy. It was strange.

4. I went to the yarn store yesterday. Specifically, this is the Spotlight store at Wairau Park. (I didn’t buy yarn, but I like calling it that, ok?). Spotlight is staffed by women who appear to be lower-middle class housewives who have thought that it might be nice having a bit of extra income. The store was a mess, with almost every aisle having stock strewn about the floor being reshelved. As I was browsing near the embroidery racks, I heard two staff members bitching about the Australian-based management. There seemed to have been some sort of executive decision made that no full-time staff would be working over the holiday rush. One of then reckoned it would mean a drop in sales. The other said she hoped it would, so that the management would realise how bad their decision was. Bags not working at or shopping at a store where the staff openly discuss how much they hate it.