Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cuba Street - Wellington. A Bohemian gem worthy of its historic place.

Eyeball Kicks - Christian Pearce

Cuba Street is probably the most fascinating street (road, place, quarter or avenue) in New Zealand. K' Road in Auckland may have pushed it close a few years ago but now Karangahape , to use its official name,  is looking rather sad in comparison. I would also rate the overall feel better than the Melbourne laneways in Australia due to its more concentrated nature.

Last night I had a chance to walk up and down Cuba a couple of times doing some after hour window shopping before returning this afternoon to check out some of the unique fare that caught my eye.

First stop was Eyeball Kicks.It is effectively an Art Gallery selling a range of Art (both original and reprinted) from NZ and around the world. One artist that particularly caught my eye was that of Christian Pearce whose artistic focus centers around Hot Rods , Planes , Tanks and Robots. The owner of the store had completely changed the window display from last night and I had to search out the gems that were previously on display.

Other Kiwi artists on show included Sam Rawlings , Tony Rush , Veronica Green , Gina Kiel and Seymour.

The proprietor of Eyeball Kicks seems to have been in operation since 2005 and I wasn't able to find out if they had been at 177 Cuba Street since its inception.

Cuba Street was named after an early settler ship in the 1840's (not the famous island nation famed for its Cigars) and some cafe's have taken the Island theme including Fidel's at 234 Cuba.

The Cuba Quarter

Cuba Street is a creative and culinary melting pot of buskers, art galleries, graffiti-filled alleyways, quirky cafes, nationally acclaimed restaurants and community exhibition spaces. One of the capital’s icons, Cuba Street is a meeting of minds, menus and market culture enjoyed by everyone from young to old, hipsters to suits, locals to visitors. 1
The surrounding streets and lanes known as the quarter are widely regarded as the best place for Vintage shopping in New Zealand.

My second and third stops were to two retro shops which had some reasonably priced bargains amongst some of the more inflated items. Ziggurat (founded 1980) had a range of vintage and designer labels and sell clothing on behalf of third parties who can't be bothered selling it on Trade Me or Etsy. ( Like a trendier version of the Recycle Boutique found nearby or up in Auckland).

It's off to the airport now and I will continue this update when I get a better connection to the interwebs!

Wellington , New Zealand Cuba Street - updated Oct 2014

Sources WellingtonNZ (1)