Curious Christchurch

New Regent Street – Shop Eight & Rekindle
New Regent Street in the central city re-opened in April 2013 after many of the Spanish Mission Revival style buildings were refurbished. I had a flat white at Shop Eight and admired their striking furniture made from waste wood by Rekindle.

Refurbished New Regent Street

Refurbished New Regent Street

Rekindle have since opened a shop at 35 New Regent Street to showcase what waste wood can turn in to – little house earrings, offcut cufflinks, childrens toys, and more of the furniture I admired. A link to Rekindle’s online store – if you were a fan of Loz and Tom’s dining suite on The Block, Rekindle made it.

Chairs made by Rekindle

Chairs made by Rekindle

Everyone likes a win win situation but with Rekindle it’s more like a winning trifecta. Rekindle not only rescue waste wood (much of it native) that was previously destined for landfill, they’re also giving new life to parts of homes once treasured by their owners, homes that were once completely lost to demolition. Meaningful jobs and learning opportunities, especially for young people, are also an intention and outcome of the Rekindle process. One of their latest collaborative projects is Whole House Reuse – go Rekindle.

New Regent Street – The Wizard
One of Christchurch’s more curious characters – The Wizard has chosen New Regent Street as a new venue to park his ladder and cast his spells. He wasn’t in attendance the day I visited or I might be able to tell you more about those spells. If you see the unusual red VW The Wizard shouldn’t be too far away.

The Christchurch Wizard's VW

The Christchurch Wizard’s VW

The Tannery – Boutique Shopping, Restaurants & Bars, 3 Garlands Road, Woolston
There’s an eclectic range of goods at The Tannery, a stylish new shopping precinct modelled on The Strand Arcade in Sydney. Kites, surf boards, rare books and herbal medicine are a few of the more curious products to purchase. I went with a more delicious and traditional option – lemon tart and coffee from The Woolston Market. Visit The Tannery for a full list of retailers.

Coffee and lemon tart at The Tannery

Coffee and lemon tart at The Tannery

‘Bodytok Quintet: Human Instrument Archive’ at ArtBox, corner Madras & St Asaph Streets
Definitely a starter for Unusual New Zealand, Bodytok Quintet is a series of video performances of people making sounds with their bodies like cracking their fingers, slapping their skin, and gurgling. There’s some curious facial expressions going on as well. The Bodytok Quintet free exhibition runs at ArtBox until 2 February 2014. See ArtBox on Facebook for additional art exhibition information, and to follow the progress of the Boxed Quarter – an onsite exhibition and studio space in development.

ArtBox exhibition space

ArtBox exhibition space

Sound Garden, corner Gloucester and Colombo Streets
If you were inspired by the Bodytok Quintet you can add your own sounds at Sound Garden. You can also play the fire extinguisher xylophone, make some noise with a pair of jandals, and swing the giant rainstick. Sound Garden was built in conjunction with Gap Filler – keep current with the cool temporary Gap Filler projects appearing on the streets of Christchurch.

Fire extinguisher xylophone

Fire extinguisher xylophone

Sounds like rain

Sounds like rain

Green Reading Room
If you need a breather after performing in the jandal and fire extinguisher orchestra you can have a rest on some extra large furniture near Sound Garden on Gloucester Street. A Christchurch City Council initiative, the furniture is known officially as a ‘Transitional Reading Room Parklet’. It’s literally a green space for people to take a seat and read, it’s located near the proposed site for the new Christchurch Central Library.

The big green couch and chairs

The big green couch and chairs

Think Differently Book Exchange, corner Kilmore and Barbadoes Streets, & Escapist Library, 24 Hereford Street
Visitors wanting to swap books in Christchurch can visit the Think Differently Book Exchange, a big fridge full of books that has been open 24 hours a day since it was established by Gap Filler in July 2011. Another option is the tiny Escapist Library, also open 24 hours at 24 Hereford Street.

Think Differently Book Exchange

Think Differently Book Exchange

Escapist Library, Christchurch

Escapist Library, Christchurch

The ‘Curious Christchurch’ category has older Christchurch posts – Jailhouse Accommodation is still sentencing guests, two of the unusual bars are still serving, and the Cashel Mall Re:START container businesses are still selling their wares.

Hummingbird Coffee, Cashel Mall Re:START

Hummingbird Coffee, Cashel Mall Re:START

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