The Eye of the Fish

May 6, 2016

The Cetacean lives on

An impassioned plea by a reader of the blog (possibly the last / the only reader) has given me a prod up the dorsal fin, and convinced me that I should perhaps try to continue this blog. Thanks Frank!

It’s an interesting question though – why are we / why am I doing this? At times under various writers it has been a commentary on things architectural or at least deeply urban, at other times it has been a piƱata for the blows on the backside of Council intransigence, or on the vast mechanism of Transport incontinence. Sometimes it has been a maudlin cry for heroes past – this year with Bowie, Rickman and Prince has been particularly hard to swallow.

For the most part though, I’ve been so horrified at what is happening in foreign climes, with wars and destruction in the middle East, and the rise of the deathly dickheads of ISIS; and of the simultaneous decline in intelligence of the American population and their fascination for their very own American Idiot: that it seems trite to continue to write a blog about the trials and tribulations of small buildings in a small city at the other end of the earth.

But live here we do, and we have to make the best of it – we don’t have a group of black-clad, gun-carrying wankers destroying our cultural heritage (whether that refers to the NRA in USA, or ISIS in Syria, I’ll leave up to you to decide). I’ve been asked by some whether I would be interested in getting more involved in Local body politics, but the very thought chills me to the bone. The sad demise of various other blogs about Wellington politics, like Ian Apperley’s sadly departed Strathmore Park blog (he deleted the whole back catalogue! what a waste!), and the WCC Watch blog, have left me without reading matter on the web. There’s nothing for it but to write my own. But make me feel like it is a worthwhile thing to do – the Fish thrives on comments. People telling me, off line, that they read the blog, does not float my boat so much as people commenting on the blog itself. Of course, that relies on me writing something worth reading in the first place…

But it is 3.30am at present, and even Fish must sleep at times, perchance to dream…

The Eye of the Fish will continue on.

(photo by Grant Maiden – thanks).

Seamonkey Madness
6 - 05 - 16

I miss the Fish Levi!

I remember back in it’s infancy, when it was handed the torch from Tom Beard’s WellUrban blog. There was a bit of a crossover in beginning/end from the two, but I always looked forward to my RSS feed popping up with some fish-bites from the young upstart. Young no more!

I wonder where/what Maximus is up to these days too? She(?) always had some inside knowledge into what was going on in the web of Wellington development, as well as the wider architectural community. It was insightful and entertaining – not to say that your contributions, or any other author’s, has been less so. Each person has added to this blog in their own way, and I am grateful for that.

So too the commenters. I agree: it is not only the writers that make a blog what it is, but the commenters too.

Surely there will be some urban issues to write about, what with the upcoming local body elections? There will be battlegrounds both old and new; lines drawn; insults and barbs flung. Some of those battlegrounds will be about the urban fabric around us – cycle lanes being a big one, the airport extension another.
Then there will be the new developments being finished, most notably the former DEKA site on the corner of Cuba & Dixon. Also, what will Vic Uni do with the crumbling apartment block it has just bought?

I hope you keep your blog mojo Levi, and keep writing. Not every day or week, but whenever the mood strikes I guess. Otherwise it’s a job, not a hobby.


6 - 05 - 16

Welcome back.

I am currently displaced – not much in Wellington, that is – and there are a bunch of urban/architectural issues that I would really like to see some crosstalk about (as well as some cross talk). In addition to Seamonkey’s list, how do we play “Here We Go Round the Basin Reserve”? Will anything ever get built over the road from Te Papa? How can architects respond to Philippa Howden Chapman’s chilling housing research?

And most important of all – when will the Cricketer’s Arms make it onto ?

Michael Cronin
6 - 05 - 16

I am not an architect. I do not live in Wellington. I live north of Auckland. I am not a politician. However over the last five or so years, I have enjoyed reading the articles that are produced on this blog as they give me hope that there are thinking and caring members within the community of NZ. You provide a challenge to those who want to control everything (often un-democratically) so I salute you and wish you to know that there are still some out here who value your energy and efforts.

6 - 05 - 16

I usually follow emerging auckland and skyscraper city for all of the latest updates of construction and developments around new zealand. I think this website would really benefit from regular wellington updates.

-sofitel wellington
-vic uni
-queens wharf
-cuba St schoop


6 - 05 - 16

Well said Michael. Your comments sum it up very concisely

7 - 05 - 16

Thank you, thank you, for those helpful, warm and friendly comments. Some from long-time commenters, always appreciated, some from new voices: exciting to hear from. Michael Cronin, especially, whoever you are, the fact that you live north of Auckland and are not an architect, fills me with joy. I’ll endeavour to do my best.

Regarding content: I feel that we have thrashed the Basin Reserve to death – fortunately the Arch Centre and Mt Vic Residents Assoc felt sufficiently engaged to chase that particular ball to the boundary and the NZTA has been suitably chastised. But yes, there is more on the Fish in the pipeline, if only to state an opposing voice to the myriads of commenters on Stuff who still believe a Flyover is the only answer.

I do a lot of reading nowadays of the brilliantly active Transport blog, which has strayed away from straightforward commentary on traffic, and has been hosting a fascinating series of discussions on urban life, density, urbanity etc. Mostly centred on Auckland of course, and there is a whole handful of people writing up there, but it is inspiring to read. Like Callum I also read Skyscraper City, although I find the format dated and irritating to read at times (the little jumping logos beside everyone’s names, like Marky Mark’s singing banana, are a pain…). But you’re right Callum, the Eye of the Fish would benefit from more, regular, updates on what is happening in Wellington. OK – onwards!

Michael Cronin
7 - 05 - 16

Who am I you ask. I am a 70 year old retired male who thoroughly enjoys life, is totally suspicious of all things political, enjoys technology, graphics, painting (art), photography, reading and being involved with three service organisations.
Hope that synopsis assists in some way.

60 MPa
7 - 05 - 16

I still read this and will continue to do so until there is nothing left – of either me or this blog

There is a metric fucktonne of construction on right now in this town – I’ve been on the seismic upgrade of St Mary of the Angels and it was interesting, the new Sofitel is going up, all sorts is happening

Keep your nose to the grindstone lad, hard work is it’s own reward

John Cuthbert
8 - 05 - 16

I read the blog, work in building industry, and appreciate the commentary and info you provide. Keep on pushing!