Adieu 22 1 Leviathan October 31, 2020 1 Min Read Farewell and thanks for all the fish. Fish Show Comments 22 Comments starkive on October 31, 2020 Beached as? Chris Darnell on November 1, 2020 Is this the end? Leviathan on November 1, 2020 Yeah, sorry, but at the moment, I just can’t go on. Too depressed with local and world events. Hoping someone else will come forward, to help with the blog, but then again, I’ve been hoping that for years. Ingo on November 1, 2020 First time commenter here. Been reading your blog for a while, and found it very insightful. It made me discover a latent passion for urban design and architecture, and made me care more about spaces around me here in Wellington. Thank you, take it easy. Don’t eat all the fish at once :) Henry Filth on November 1, 2020 Shame. I will miss you and the blog. 60 MPa on November 2, 2020 Will miss your content Levi Sing out if there is anything we can do Betterbee on November 2, 2020 Sorry to hear this, Levi. You’ve done an excellent job, and – as others have said – will be missed. I understand what you’re saying about world events (fingers crossed for Tues/Wed), but it’s hard to imagine a better place to be than Aotearoa. Andy Foster on November 2, 2020 Really sorry to read this Levi. Thank you for all you have done – intelligent, thoughtful, constructive commentary. I understand the frustration of all the work you do and perhaps feeling that enough people pick up on what you have written, but you are greatly appreciated by fish followers. starkive on November 5, 2020 Dear Levi I take some solace from “at the moment” – and from the slow squeezing of Donald Trump from office which is currently playing out. But if in fact there will be no more soundings from the Fish I would like to stand on the Oriental Bay rotunda and salute you as you swim away into the sunrise. EOTF has been bookmarked on all my computers since 2008 and while you have often acknowledged the Maximus era, I think its quality and significance has only increased since the handover. You have done a great job and I hope you are proud of it all. I am too far away to mount a credible Wellington blog, but if you cannot get back on-line, I really hope that somebody steps up and does even half as good a job as you have. I’d bookmark that. Leviathan on November 5, 2020 Thanks Starkive, Andy Foster, BetterBe, 60mPa, Mister Henry Filth, Chris Darnell, Ingo, and anyone else – it’s been a blast for the past few years, but it seems like the time to put a bullet in the chamber and pull the trigger on the blog. Russian roulette – there’s always a chance that I could come back, but at present I feel like I’ve said all I can say, written all I should write, and also feel like I have made not one jot of difference to the world. We’ve debated the Golden Mile time and time again, the Basin Bridge has been examined every which way but loose, there have been good buildings (a few) and bad buildings (far too many), but we are still left with a debacle in our capital city. One of the regular commenters to this blog once asked me if I had political aspirations (I don’t think they knew I was the Fish or not) but honestly – unless you’re Jacinda or Grant, then the amount of political influence you can have in this world is minuscule, and the amount of energy you have to put into it is enormous. Even Mayor Foster is struggling to make headway with the Council – I thought Lester was just a Jester because he got nothing accomplished except for a rainbow coloured street crossing in 3 years – and it seems that handy Andy is also hamstrung by lengthy democracy. What the world really needs, of course, is a benevolent dictator, but with an architectural angle (instead of the dictator with an anarchist angle that we currently see playing out before us in the USA). Rather than trying to build a silly wall or turn all the national parks into oil-fields, I think I would take a different tack on things. Here’s my final list, off the cuff, on the spot, of what needs to happen: • Sort out the Basin traffic – adopt the Arch Centre’s plan and just do it. A simple fix. • Light Rail – to the airport – start now. We know the route (waterfront) so just over-rule the Glen Smiths of this world that keep prattling on about extending heavy rail through the city: its just not going to happen. • Appoint a Minister of Architecture (me, obviously, or Chris Moller as everyone seems to love him) that will decree what buildings should stay or go, what new buildings should be allowed or not (no more Chow brothels for instance), and all the rest of the Council cash should be spent on repairing the drains and sewers and fresh water. Again: just do it. • Install smooth surfaced scooter lanes throughout the city, because I think it is the way of the future. Leave your car behind and scoot through the city (but obviously, not on the Light Rail tracks). • Rooftop bars on all new developments and free beers on Friday afternoons (because I am a dictator and therefore I will dictate). That’ll do Pig, that’ll do… luke on November 13, 2020 Sounds like an amazing city! I’d definitely move back from overseas. Alex M on November 6, 2020 Hey Levi – Funny how things work – I’ve never been one much to engage with a community, but I’ve followed your blog off and on for years (7 ish? Maybe even 10?), and really appreciated the work you’ve put in. It helped me keep a little closer to home when I was living in the South Island, and made me think more about the city I grew up in… And I like to think that I learned enough from here to my my ramblings at work or to my partner a bit more coherent. Either way, thanks. Wish you the best A Wazza on November 7, 2020 This is sad news to a longtime reader of some insight views of Wellington architecture and urban design. Surely the intentions of Kiwirail and their ferry wharf is enough to drive you back into action. That would be an absolute cluster f@ck to our city and harbour. Notwithstanding a rail over bridge over the Quays to get to the wharf is also not a great idea either. All the best, thanks for your efforts and hope someone picks up the mantle. Julienz on November 7, 2020 Only a recent reader but sad to see you go. I know how you feel when you say ” I feel like I’ve said all I can say, written all I should write, and also feel like I have made not one jot of difference to the world.” I am nearly 60 – I have tried with all the WCC surveys and consultations over the 31 years I have lived in Wellington and they do wear you down. I sometimes wonder if that is the plan. I live in Khandallah where Phil Twyford through the WCC wants to subject us to six storey buildings blocking the northern sun just because we have a have access to a 150 year old abandoned branch of the main trunk line that takes longer and goes less often than a bus, and to add insult to injury this morning no water because the water main that WCC has maintained so well spontaneously blew a hole in the road and shot water six feet in the air. So do I spend the next six years of my remaining life trying to keep the best of my suburb while supporting “medium middle” development or just give up? Anyway thanks for your ideas and good luck for the future. KLK on November 9, 2020 Thought about a collaboration with Talk Wellington? Alot of good, and similar, content on their blog but not many comments. Leviathan on November 10, 2020 Ha! Funny you should mention Talk Wellington. Yes, we do have common interests and I have spoken with them, but I think my personal modus operandi is a bit too free form for them. I sort of go off in a direction that I feel like. Talk Wellington are much more organized than that – but yes, they are a good place for Wellingtonians to Talk ! JW on November 12, 2020 Sorry to see you go – I have enjoyed this blog over the years (even after leaving Wellington quite a while ago now!). I share your frustration at the lack of political will to actually take action. The whole time I lived in Wellington and in the following years there were majority pro-PT/cycling/houses Councillors elected, endless consultations all saying the same thing (people want more PT/cycling/houses), and yet when push comes to shove very little actually happens. More consultation for the sake of it because a vocal minority don’t want anything to change, ever. About all that seems to have really progressed is the amount of ‘coolest little capital’ bumpf produced and the ever-increasing growth in rent and house prices. Seamonkey Madness on November 12, 2020 Levi, So sad to hear you are hanging up your fins that so prodigiously tapped away on the EotF and kept your humble readers entertained and informed. If you ever find another outlet, please let us know. It was always a delight to see something pop up in the RSS fishfeed from yourself (or Maximus). The great Leviathan: best wishes, go well, and be happy in whatever you pursue beyond these pages. Pierre on November 14, 2020 Long time reader, first time poster. Thanks for all you’ve done. Have really enjoyed reading this over the last few years. Ex-Wellingtonian Arch Grad working in Melbourne. SimonBK on November 20, 2020 Hi Levi, I’ve been more of a lurker than a poster these last few/many years but really appreciated keeping up with Wellington news while living so far away, thanks for the time, energy and for caring! Isabella on December 17, 2020 Hello, Talk Wellington here. This blog and Greater Auckland were the two things that inspired me to have a crack at the (truly bonkers) challenge of a semi- mainstream blog about what makes a city tick. The incisive, funny, insightful writing and pictures of EOTF posts – and the thoughtful, collegial conversations under them – have been a beacon of light for so many years. Levi, whether or not you decide to keep influencing the world this way, know you and this community have made a really meaningful impact on the city. Do we still have stupidness, bureaucratic inertia, and occasional bursts of everyday evil in the plumbing of power? Of course. Do we still have that unique Wellington thing of good national-level insight that doesn’t get applied in the beauraucrats’ hometown? Sure. And do we still have the curious myopia of a much smaller town’s development/design/construction ecosystem? Totes. But no single blog nor bIog community could sensibly hope to fix that alone. EOTF has been inspiring and positively infecting others who are helping with it all, far more than I suspect you realise. You’ve been part of an ecosystem of people who give a shit about their city, and that ecosystem is growing. It’s perpetually messy, often maddeningly inefficient, and constantly changing – but it’s not going anywhere. And every year it gets new stuff that waxes even while older things wane. Believe me, I share your pain and frustration at still fighting fights that shouldn’t need to be fought. And the self doubt about the investment of so much of our personal time and energy on this earth, trying to make change, “for what?!” But whatever you do, from now, i hope you feel some deep satiafaction at what you and this community have achieved and are achieving. Kia kaha e hoa. Isabella Isabella Cawthorn on December 17, 2020 Ps: After a rain mushrooms appear on the surface of the earth as if from nowhere. Many come from a sometimes vast underground fungus that remains invisible and largely unknown. What we call mushrooms, mycologists call the fruiting body of the larger, less visible fungus. Uprisings and revolutions are often considered to be spontaneous, but it is the less visible long-term organising and groundwork – or underground work – that often laid the foundation. Changes in ideas and values also result from work done by writers, scholars, public intellectuals, social activists, Eye of The Fish-ers, and participants in social media. To many, it seems insignificant or peripheral until very different outcomes emerge from transformed assumptions about who and what matters, who should be heard and believed, who has rights. Ideas at first considered outrageous or ridiculous or extreme gradually become what people think they’ve always believed. How the transformation happened is rarely remembered, in part because it’s compromising: it recalls the mainstream when the mainstream was, say, rabidly homophobic or racist in a way it no longer is; and it recalls that power comes from the shadows and the margins, that our hope is in the dark around the edges, not the limelight of centre stage. Our hope and often our power. – Rebecca Solnit (almost entirely) Comments are closed.