….but we are all fabulous.
We had two nights in Napier, a city on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. It is an interesting place – a mix of typical seaside tourist activities and eateries in an amazing art deco setting.
Napier was devastated in 1931 by the Hawkes Bay earthquake which destroyed and damaged many buildings and also added 100 metres of new land to the shore line. Within weeks the rebuilding process started and the result is a town of art deco buildings, or at least half art deco buildings – half modern looking shop fronts below the awnings.
First impressions of the art deco element is that it’s all very jolly and this certainly seems to be true of the annual art deco festival when art deco clad aficionados arrive in vintage cars and take part in balls and other activities. Art deco is everywhere and the art deco and 30,000 clubs actively promote and protect them.
A Wave In Time (Sheila and Raven), by Mark Whyte, 2010
However it doesn’t take the various information signs to make you realise that behind this quirky and attractive place is a tale of human tragedy and indomitable spirit encapsulated by this poem by Gertrude Ryder Bennett:
The recommended sea front art deco walk revealed treasures on every corner and the gardens on the less than 100 year old stretch of new land
while an evening stroll around town enabled us to appreciate both the architecture and the poignancy without the tourist cacophony which can overwhelm it by day.
Well worth a visit if you are in the area.