Hooray. For the first time for absolutely ages, something innovative is happening in Taranaki St. Yes, right down the bottom of ‘Naki, opposite Zibbibo, and smack bang in front of the former sleazy strip club on top of Brandon Motors, a “Pod” has arisen on four shaky legs, and stands over us. When it was going up a couple of weeks ago, it was covered discretely in brown paper, and I thought that perhaps the strip club was going to relaunch itself with a more viewer-friendly window display, startling drivers-by with a display of naked nubile charms. Probably fortunately for our driving statistics, that has not come to pass – indeed, the strip-joint has departed, possibly for good. But the Pod remains.

Now this is not a version of Pod, the restaurant from a few years back, the one that got unfortunately transformed into a hideous Green Man “pub” serving such nonsense as “Irish curry”, with the world’s most awful decor. Takes some doing, I know, but they did it. Here, however, the new Pod seems to be a tasting room of some sort. “Taste This City” ? Somebody called Simon Pope? Giving away free food? Surely not! But then again – why not? The Fish is always keen for a tasty morsel.

There has been a storehouse on legs before, on a site nearby, of course. Te Aro Pa was here, or just nearby, up until just over a 100 years ago. There’s a remnant of the Pa in the basement of that hideous grey apartment building “Bellagio” across the road – which, if memory serves me right, was also designed by a Pope. Someone called Campbell Pope? We wrote about it here… What is it with all these Popes in Taranaki St? Some missing link to Catholicism that I’m just not getting? I thought the Wesleyans were big in this part of town? Anyway, moving on…

The photo of the Pataka is one I snapped at the Governor General’s house the other weekend, when he threw an open day, so we could see where our taxpayer dollars went. Seeing as it all looks exactly the same as before, and all the new work is hidden away inside the walls and foundations etc that we didn’t get to see, its all a little bit pointless, but it was still nice to stroll around. Nice work if you can get it. But there was a series of watercolours, of very early Wellington, in fact, showing this very piece of beach at the bottom of Taranaki St. Sailing ships pulling ashore, local iwi paddling around in big waka, a few settlers houses, and of course Te Aro Pa. I’m not sure if this was their actual pataka, or food storage house, as often the really ornate carved pataka were up in Rotorua, but this just could be the one. Sorry I didn’t get the name of the artist, or the date, but anyway: I like the linkage between the two.

And I think that I quite like the new Pod too. Not sure how it works, but one day, hopefully soon, this fish is gonna get a feed there. Fish food! Can anyone find a web link to this pod? The Pope deserves a big thumbs up.

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