It’s Spring!

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That’s what the calendar is telling us. As is the wind howling through the trees, and shortly, a string of cold south-westerly thunderstorms and gales. Stay classy, Welly Weather God!

Leaving that aside, the our eternal optimism finds expression in the celebration of growing things that is the Spring Festival, to start at the weekend (through to 3 October).

The first event is the annual Otari-Wilton’s Bush Open Day & Plant Sale, which any aspiring suburbanite should be advised to attend early if they want to pick up the really good stuff. Early bird catches the hard-to-find horoeka variant and all that. But even if you’re not a gardener, the ‘Bush is a very nice place for a stroll, especially on Open Days when afterwards you can reward yourself at the sausage sizzle (and the last couple of years there’s been a coffee cart there too).

Joel Salom’s Gadgets

Erik the dogBizarre uses for ping-pong balls, megalomaniac robot dogs, fire juggling, and a healthy dose of audience participation are just some of the ingredients in Joel Salom’s Gadgets, which opened tonight at Downstage as part of the Comedy Festival.

It’s a mixture of accomplished physical comedy from Australia’s Joel Salom, backed by Marko and Jim, a couple of very talented musician-performers who, from time to time, become part of the action.

Read on…

And you thought we were joking about the Octopus threat?

Shelmac's photo of some notable Octopus grafitti

Earlier this month we read about an octopus off the South Coast that mugged an innocent diver and took his valuable new camera. The news flashed around the world and everyone had a bit of a chuckle at the diver’s expense.

Not so fast, laughing boys (and girls).

It turns out that this is but the latest episode in a long history of criminal behaviour by the city’s cephalopod citizenry.

We need only look at another, earlier encounter between a Wellingtonian and a rogue octopus to prove the point. An encounter that, just like our earlier story made world headlines… but back in 1888.

Read on, after the jump.

Predictive Bussing

We’ve long dreamed of being able to time our morning cornflakes to the actual arrival time of our bus, rather than having to wait 20 minutes outside a jammed bus shelter during a howling southerly storm.

The dream goes a little like this. You’re having your coffee and your phone softly blips. You look down. A message says your bus is 3 minutes behind schedule and will be at your stop in exactly 8 minutes. You have time to finish your coffee before you grab your coat and go. And you arrive at the bus stop at exactly the right time.

Luckily for us this is, in time, becoming a reality.

Read on to to find out why…

revolution (for dummies)

One of the nicest things about the Festival of the Arts is that there are almost always several events that leave the realm of overpriced towers of high-culture and invade the everyday places. For example this year, we’ve loved the circus events and the dancer with digger in Waitangi Park.

DramaRight now, the festival is getting a little more into the faces of the golden mile shoppers and office lunchtime refugees with a series of shop window installations along Lambton Quay and nearby streets.

This is the Revolt of the Mannequins, from French theatre company Royal De Luxe. Every night, a new "episode" in each installation is revealed; stories are told against a wider narrative of a revolution of mannequins against their oppressors. 

And while you’re busy checking out all ten official locations (map here), put this track on high rotate, and let us know what and where you see the mannequins next. For not all of the mannequins are inside the shops (as the passers by who caught sight of the sniper yesterday found out). 

And who knows – it could be that those that are not for the revolution, are against it. 

the 12 Pubs of Christmas

People say, sometimes with even a hint of concern in their voices, that we at the Wellingtonista are overly concerned with drinking.

And it’s true. We are very concerned. In fact we’re writing now to warn you about an upcoming event that may well involve some drinking. What’s worse, it’s the the sort of thing attended by the Boys Your Mother Warned You About and the Girls Your Father Snuck Looks At When He Thought Your Mother Wouldn’t See.

An Adagio Christmas

PhotobucketThere’s a moment very early on in An Adagio Christmas when the whole theatre gasped in unison, and both our daughters stood up in shock. The moment passed, the shock faded, but they never quite settled back past the edges of their seats. Like the rest of us, from then on they were hooked.

An Adagio Christmas is a retuned-for-Christmas version of the earlier Downstage production of the same name; a series of loosely linked vignettes whose performances encompass various circus skills as well as music, singing, dancing, and comedy.

Vote for the T4WAs!

In the last month or so we’ve collected nominations for the various categories in the Fourth Annual Wellingtonista Awards; we’ve written them all up for you to read; we’ve handed out certificates to (most of) the nominees (if you’ve been nominated and haven’t got yours yet, hold tight, I’ve been somewhat occupied elsewhere – Jo); and we’ve generally been living in anticipation of This Very Moment.


For now… [drum roll please] …it is your turn.


You need to vote, in each of the categories, for whom you think should win one of the coveted T4WAs.


And you need to do that, right here, right now. But only one completed survey per person, please!


VOTE HERE (Voting has closed).


Voting is open from now through to midday on December 15th. And once you’ve voted, you should clear a space in your calendar for the Awards Ceremony, which will be at Mighty Mighty on December 17th (Add the event on Facebook if you roll that way). The awards presentation should be happening around 7.30pm, and then at 9.30pm we are very excited to have the Klezmer Rebs playing tunes for us all to shake our tuchasses to!  

Lastly, in case you need to check back on the details of some of the category nominees, here’s each posting:


T4WA nominees: Wellingtonian of the Year

Voting in the Fourth Annual Wellingtonista Awards is open from December 1-15. Then come find out the results at our Awards Night at Mighty Mighty on December 17!

To vote, visit this page.

Our nominations for Wellingtonian of the Year are all people who make our city a brighter, better place to live. Their contributions are as varied as Wellington itself, and we’re so proud of them all.

Play Four Square in Wellington!

Foursquare has arrived in Wellington – and we’re one of the first Australasian cities to be included!


But, you say, "I thought Four Square was a chain of over-sized dairies with a charmingly retro Dick Frizzell logo!" To which we’d say, "Ho ho, you cheeky post-ironic urbanites, we mean Foursquare, the location-based social networking game that’s taking the world by storm!"


You may remember back in September we wrote about Twitterplaces, which rather sadly shut up shop almost immediately thereafter. Well, Foursquare was the inspiration for Twitterplaces: when you go to a new place; a bar, restaurant, park, anything, you "check-in"; and then you can see who of your friends are there.


Four Square Wellington LeaderboardAnd that’s just the beginning. There’s an overview of it all here, but here’s the basics.


You can leave tips for things to do at each place, or add other people’s tips to your list; you earn points for check-ins outside work hours, and you can earn badges for various "achievements", like the Bender badge (when you are out for four nights in a row), or the Gym Rat badge (when you are a regular at places tagged as a "Gym").


And: you can become Mayor of a spot by being the person checking-in most often in the last 60 days (though perhaps one should exercise discretion as to where one checks-in if one doesn’t want to become Mayor of a supermarket or shopping centre, like <coff> some of our readers—whom we are too polite to name).


One of the nice things that’s happened in other cities is that Mayors are often rewarded by the proprietors of their places – and that’s what’s happened here already at Mojo Old Bank, where Matt will stand a free coffee to the newly crowned Mayor. We can think of a few other places that we’d like to see extending this sort of courtesy! (Especially the ones we go to often.)


Foursquare depends on having some sort of internet capable mobile device: there’s a mobile web version, as well as the inevitable iPhone and Android apps – and by design these are the only ways you can do check-ins.


So sign up, get out there, and see if you can unseat Pablo G. from the top of the Wellington Leaderboard!