Thursday, July 28, 2011

Farewell, Bronskis Dairy

Sad news is not far from the headlines around here after the earthquake, and although it came as no surprise, the demolition of Bronskis Dairy on Ferry Road was a sad loss for the community.

Wasn't it just a dairy?

No, it wasn't just a dairy. It was more than a dairy, and not just because of that tagline, but because of the awesome murals that adorned the walls. Unfortunately it never crossed my mind that one day they would be gone, so I didn't get photos. Fortunately another blogger took these as part of a building murals series...

The building had an iconic mural splashed across the front of the building. It features a mob of 1930's type Chicago mobsters, presumably to let potential robbers know they could "fuhgeddaboudit" and to the side a couple of old ladis having a good ole laugh.

The mural was well known around Christchurch. It was painted on the dairy back int he day when all their competitors could do was paint up their shop fronts in big tobacco livery. It was one of the first buildings to get featured on the fledgling CTV television back in the day. A dairy I grew up around, went to to spend my pocket money, made a grey neighbourhood colourful.
Now it's gone.

I hope they rebuild the dairy. I also hope that some kind of mural will go up in honour of this one which we have lost. Preferably, this one! A plain boring 'normal' dairy just wont do. This is Bronskis, it is more than a dairy.

The old ladies need to smile again.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eastgate is Open!

Normality of sorts has returned to the eastern suburbs with the welcome news that Eastgate has reopened. I went down to take a look at the mall for the first time since the Feburary earthquake ripped it's guts out. There are a number of very significant changes down there, not just the fact that half of the mall was demolished. The mall food court area has been braced with millions of support like structures both on the roof and the walls. They appear to have been turned into some kind of feature. I quite like the ones on the wall, they're steel bars and some even have lights embedded in them. The roof ones are wood and are not as nice, they are in fact, quite ugly. It looks like someone has gone and glued millions of little popsicle sticks to the roof. The escalator to the first floor is still behind the construction zone, and there is a new kind fo escalator out the front. This one is rather weird because the steps do not move! A helpful shop assistant informed me that they call this new kind of manual-stepping escalator stairs. The scaled-back Eastgate is temporary, however temporary in this case may mean a few years. My money is on at least five before they're ready to rebuild the lost parts.They're certainly building it with some nice features that I hope aren't lost when the mall expands again. Shops that open out on to the car park provide the new mall with some nice glass frontage that has been lacking since the concrete gulag was constructed in 2001. Change the name back, and this scaled down mall would be idyllic. This video below would be appropriate for the occasion.