I went downtown today – something I haven’t done in longer than I remember. There were Dior and Coach stores that I’d never seen before, there were millions more people than I recall and it was hot.
I used to work at the top of the ANZ tower in Albert Street and loved the hustle and bustle of catching the train to work and being surrounded by lots of people. It’s been a while since I have travelled regularly into the city though. Now I know why!
My initial reason for venturing so far afield was to collect a new beauty product that I’m excited to review (and will share my feedback on in a couple of weeks). I also had some vouchers from my birthday from my Dad to what used to be my favourite little store in the city that I didn’t even realise still existed! I dovetailed those two happenings with visiting the newly opened TopShop in Queen Street and perhaps most importantly a face-to-face (rather than Insta-to-Insta) catch up with my girl Melissa of The Best Nest and her adorable boy Nix.
The Big Egg Hunt started today so it was pretty cool to arrive in store to the Manuka Doctor flagship and find two beautiful eggs taking pride of place in the centre of the shop. After we learned a little about the gorgeous ranges on offer from Manuka Doctor, we powered it up Queen St with our buggies.
I was feeling pretty pumped about the chance to check out TopShop the day after it opened and feel like I was part of the buzz surrounding it’s opening. To be honest, I was completely underwhelmed! There were about two things that caught my eye but the rest just seemed like overpriced Glassons-wear. I won’t be rushing back anytime soon. So much of it seemed safe, drab and just a bit boring in my opinion. Oh well.
Then I headed to The Vault whilst Melissa watched the boys and ate lunch in Ferguson Square. It was perhaps the most hurried shopping expedition of my life. But I left with a gorgeous necklace and money left to spend.
It was amazing what I noticed in the city over a two hour period. Whether it’s simply been so long since I was downtown or whether these things were always obvious I’m not sure. I think it’s curious how much your observation and perspective changes with time, growing older and becoming a parent but I just couldn’t help but notice a few things:
1. SO MANY SMOKERS still exist. So many people still walking through throngs of people blowing stinky smoke in our faces. Blowing stinky poisonous smoke over my precious baby. Ugh! Who are these people?
2. I have never really noticed Auckland having a Beggar problem but today I walked a 2km radius and I saw around 5 beggars. Is this new?
3. Pram-haters. Yes, it’s true. Before having kids I like to hope I was not one of those people who scowled at mothers or fathers in the city with pushchairs. I really hope I moved out of the way for people trying to push their child in a buggy. I hope I didn’t glare at that parent with judgement and an undeniable look of “why on earth have you come here with your child, why don’t you stick to the malls” on their faces. We are people too!
4. I saw a tiny silverfish-looking insect scampering as fast as his multiple little legs would carry him as I rounded the corner of Queen and Customs Street. He was dodging the crowds at pedestrian crossing time. He was hoofing it to a crack in the building on the corner. He made it. Phew! I wondered if he felt overwhelmed by the masses? I wondered if he wonders how on earth he found himself in a concrete jungle? I bet he’s trying to get back to nature somehow, somewhere.
5. And spoken like a true mid-30-something, I realise how much I love suburbia. I mean, there is a buzz and a vibe that is real in the city, the heart of downtown, but it’s a vibe I can do without for another couple of years.
I’ll keep my pram in the malls, I’ll enjoy the more leisurely pace and I’ll continue online shopping.
Do you love or loathe the big smoke?