5 years ago we were trying to decide from London where we wanted to live and it came down to Christchurch and Wellington. I still love both these cities and I am SO grateful we managed to get work here in Christchurch (well The Atlas did) my work was about 6 weeks old already!
Whilst our land, buildings and people have taken some serious hits in the last year I am still happy to call this city home.
These are some of the things I love about Christchurch.
1. The people are friendly. Of all the cities I have lived in to date I have found this one to be the friendliest and the one in which I have most quickly made ‘real’ friendships. (I do need to say I have amazing friends from all the other cities we’ve lived in, it just took longer)
2. The libraries – oh SO good. New Brighton library has walls of glass that look over the ocean. Our new local library has a cafe and it’s totally acceptable to eat and read magazines in the library.
3. The Arts and Festival Scene – admittedly this is not what it was but it will revive. Since February I have been to 2 live theatre performances. The city council is always putting on great festivals – arts, blossom, jazz and blues, buskers, kids….. and they ALWAYS include free elements so everyone can participate.
4. The sewing scene is very alive. Before February we had 9 fabric shops I can think of off the top of my head that were within a 15 minute drive (or closer) of where I lived and I know that isn’t counting them all.
5. The environment – this one was a bit of a decider for The Atlas he could potentially surf and snowboard in one day. I adore looking at the southern alps when they have snow on them – truly captivating.
6. Markets – regular and pop-up style there are great markets all over the place in Chch.
7. Cycliability – although sometimes windy because the city is predominantly flat you can really cycle most places and there are lots of good cycle tracks as well.
8. Cool attractions – again perhaps waiting to get back to full capacity but tram, gondola, ferrymead heritage park, willowbank wildlife reserve, orana park, the antarctic centre, fantastic leisure facilities for so cheap $2.50 for an under 5 to swim and the parent is free????, local parks, Hagley park…
9. Gems hidden in the suburbs – in ours we have The Cupcake Collection, The Reading Bug, A fantastic butcher (with facial lamb chops to match the ones he sells)… and these great finds are other places too – things like The Addington Coffee Co-op, The Painted Room, Creative Junk, Under the Red Verandah, Chinwag Eat Thai, The Copper Chime…..
10. The trees – Christchurch is an old city and you can tell by the magnificent trees that are everywhere. I love that people thought that way – to plant trees we could truly enjoy. I adore that Christchurch has REAL seasons and you can SEE them happening.
11. The churches – there are heaps of great churches doing lots of great stuff in their communities and I think for me that says a lot about the spiritual health of a place.
Okay that has turned into a bit of a novel but I know there are other things I love about Chch. It really is a wonderful, if rather battered, city. Wish you lived here???