Sunday, June 30, 2013

Too cool

It's a fine Sunday in Wellington, even better than yesterday when I went on a tramp in the Orongorongo Valley. It was an easyish walk - we went at a fairly leisurely pace and there weren't any real steep climbs or descents. Only five of us did the trip - Danielle, who seems fairly weather-sensitive, pulled out at the last minute. The cool but dry conditions were pretty much ideal for tramping I thought.

I watched One News on Friday and was a bit puzzled by why Steven Adams' NBA draft was the number one news item. Not only that, but when they finally moved on from talking about his $2 million contract they said "in other news...", a phrase that's normally used after a huge news event, as if to say that everything else pales into insignificance. Yes, the NBA is a big deal internationally, and a Kiwi player landing a big contract deserves a mention. It's also nice to have a good news story for a change, especially when you add in the extra feel-good factor of his sister being a double Olympic champion. But in reality a seven-foot bloke making lots of money doesn't materially affect many New Zealanders, unlike Auckland's transport plan which (either directly or indirectly) affects us all. I would have touched on the Adams story at about 6:15 and only made a big deal of it during the sports section.

Talking of sport, Marina Erakovic's Wimbledon came to an end last night against Laura Robson (I followed the match on the internet). Erakovic totally dominated the early stages of the match, racing out to 6-1 5-3 in no time at all. But it seemed nerves got the better of her. (Even at the crappy levels I used to play at, I found that having a big lead against someone I didn't expect to beat could be nerve-wracking. At any moment my opponent could click into gear and steal the match from me, and I'd be powerless to do anything about it.) Erakovic double-faulted at crucial times and proceeded to lose eight straight games (despite having chances in several of them) to fall 4-0 behind in the third set. Robson hung in there, buoyed by the crowd who helped get her over the line as Erakovic mounted a comeback in the latter stages. Overall the Kiwi won 87 points to Robson's 81, proof that it's not how many points you win but when you win them. Erakovic maintained a high standard in all three matches; if she keeps it up she should soar up the rankings. I just hope that last night's loss (and she lost the match rather than Robson winning it) doesn't damage her psychologically.

This morning I had a coffee at Midnight Espresso on Cuba Street on the way to the market. There I read an article in the paper about the possible demise of Cuba Street as a bohemian enclave of Wellington. The word "gentrification" was used, and it was suggested that Newtown could soon be the cool zone. A new upmarket restaurant (which I could see from the café) has just opened where Peaches and Cream (a sex shop) used to be, right opposite an even more upmarket restaurant in Logan Brown. I think (and hope) that reports of Cuba Street becoming uncool are a bit premature. Today as I walked along that street on the way home, I caught sight of someone I guess was BMD, finishing off one of his spray-painted murals. He had long hair and a beard, much as I guessed he would, and I didn't dare talk to him as he was way too cool.

If anyone cares, this is my 400th post.

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