Category Archives: Suburbs

I really love buying presents for other people, or at least spending a considerable amount of time trying to search for the perfect present. I also really like coffee. Humble gives me the opportunity to do both. It’s perched just outside of café Fresca just off Kahikatea Drive. Café Fresca is a whole other post in itself but today I wanted to talk about humble and how fantastic it is! I first saw them in a feature in Blacklisted, a magazine that has started up in Hamilton ( check it out here https://www.facebook.com/blacklistedzine?fref=ts ) and I want everything all over the tables and walls of this little treasure chest of a store. They stock loads of really quirky kitchen wares, jewellery and the amazing green house soap range. Basically Humble is full of such unexpected things and occupies a really unexpected space so definitely going to try to shop more local from now on. #shoplocal

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Can You Believe It’s Hamilton?!

It’s our latest #lovethetron roundup!

Love love love. @flibertygibbety snaps Eno & Shida beautifying the Tron with gorgeous wall art.

@CreativeWaikato sends us another snap from Eno & Shida on Ward Lane. Stunner.

Food baby in the making: Dad-to-be @whiskeycully indulges at the nightmarkets.

No seriously…can you believe it’s Hamilton?! We sure can. We are nuts for the new MAC counter at @FarmersNZ and so was @webtaniwha it seems!

High praise: @Webtaniwha reckons the new @yoghurtstory at @centre_place is like the love child of House of G, TopShop and The Gap.

…we only hope he is meaning for his tastebuds!

Momentous: The Talented Mr Middleton @JMiddleton_imgs strikes again!

This gorgeous lady is our number 1 supporter and Queen of the #hamiltonmafia, so we absolutely had to send @missB_nz a #lovethetron tee.

…and @missB_nz certainly does not disappoint with this uber cool graphic of the Tron’s Twitterati !

@DarkroomJesse and his boys play ball on a beautiful Hamilton spring day.

Mr and Mrs Hamilton? In line with recent tradition, @chamfy takes a mandatory @CptHamilton2013 photo on her graduation day!

@hornykitten uncovers a hidden tribute from Hamilton to the late Princess Di. You learn something new about this city everyday!

With a gorgeous study spot like this from @danielfarrellnz, why wouldn’t you hit the books?!

@chamfy discovers the Green Grocer at Hamilton East.

Too cool. @nattybegood played the harmonica alongside The Southern Diplomats at the Atomic Festival.

@georgie_pienz checks out the quirky offerings at this year’s Fringe Festival!

Wherepho Art Thou? @JakeQuinn is pretty excited about the new Vietnamese place opening on Vic Street!

@webtaniwha dreams of Mr Milton.

Who needs gondolas when you can water ski right through Hamilton’s CBD? Awesome pic from @hornykitten!

Another reason to love the Tron in springtime: blue irises growing out side the @waikatotimes newsroom!

Fashionista @crikarika dreams up a a new wardrobe.

We love dads who are cool enough to take selfies. We love it even more when it’s dad-of-the-year @DarkroomJesse posing with his boy at Milk and Honey.

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Can You Believe It’s Hamilton?!

It’s our weekly #lovethetron roundup!

@schappelli sends us this excellent retro picture of Ferrybank. We think houseboats should make a comeback.

This is Isla Cuming and baby Buttercup, hanging out with @angelacuming, at the Bear Makers on Victoria Street. We just melted from all the cuteness

Delicious treats in the @Fresca_Chat cabinet! We approve.

@CreativeWaikato launches with a bang, and @nathstar was there to capture it!

@Darkroomjesse also visits @Fesca_Chat and gets amongst the pretty paper lanterns.

Hamilton Rising: @georgie_pienz perches up high above the city and enjoys a sunny winter morning.

@margforsythHCC watches Hamilton Girls High School’s stunning performance of the story of Matariki.

We are loving how often @DonovansChoc gets a mention on #lovethetron. @Webtaniwha indulges and concludes that the world is a better place after a piece. We concur!

@shootsbands feels lucky to be living in the Tron. So do we!

We never fail to be amazed by the natural beauty of the Tron. @maohv8 goes on a scenic drive and snaps this!

@alexfear01’s SuperMoon hangs out with other orbs in the Hamilton night.

SuperWaikatoSuperMoon from @grizeldasma.

@angelacuming sees the Super Moon and raises it a Super Sunset. Pretty!

@angelacuming dines at the Dumpling House in Hamilton East and has the best.meal.ever.

@traceycooper spots a tui in his backyard. Love it!

It’s a pretty winter’s Monday morning at @waikato. Great colours!

@DutchCatNZ snaps the Hamilton lake -still pretty, even in winter.

@chamfy works on drafting Hamilton’s Youth Action Plan and takes a pic of this goal. We totally approve. #lovethetron

@HYC_Youth celebrates our amazing community spirit with the wonderful people at Volunteering Waikato.

Spotted by @georgie_pienz: Superheros patrolling the streets of the Tron. We are super curious as to what this is about. Tweet us if you know!

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Can You Believe It’s Hamilton?!

It’s our latest #lovethetron roundup and 50th blogpost!

This is for real: @webtaniwha snaps Neil Dawson’s artwork, ‘Ripples’, suspends above autumnal trees on the banks of the Waikato River.

@flibertygibbety enjoys the decor at Chim Choo Ree while having the yummiest.dinner.ever.

@chamfy keeps warm at Milk and Honey with a vege pie, lolly cake and Oolong tea.

Spreading the love: We are pretty sure Hamilton has a secret traffic light fairy!

Creative fashion on the runway at the Wearable Ag Awards at Fieldays! Mayor @juliehardakernz was there to capture the moment.

It may be unassuming from the outside, but we peeked into @Soda_Inc’s loading bay and found some cool art on the walls!

We went to visit Creative Waikato’s new space and fell in love with their Underwater Collective mural!

@webtaniwha peeks through the window of Artspost and spies the Bank on Victoria Street.

We love Frankton Sushi, and we especially love their gorgeous calling cards.

@maohv8 on an early (and breathtaking) start to Fieldays.

@webtaniwha visits talented artist Adrian Worsley’s entry at the NZ Farmer Sculpture Competition at Fieldays. Love it!

Separated at birth? @jessemulligan visits the Tron for Fieldays and takes the time out to hang with Captain Hamiltron.

Hamilton’s own boutique brewery @GoodGeorgeBeer proves Fieldays is more than just about cows. @webtaniwha was there to enjoy!

The Other George: @kiwicanary loves the Little George pop-up bar, and so do we!

@webtaniwha snaps balloons rising above Fieldays. Love that balloons are such a big part of Hamilton’s identity!

On top of being named a Top 50 University, Waikato University reminds @chamfy of Tsinghua University. Excellent!

Celebrity chef @joshemmett returns home for Fieldays, and takes the time out to hang with @jess_vandy. We are envious!

Hamilton Garden Guerillas use their powers for good by picking apples to deliver to community groups. Follow more of their secret adventures at @HAMStreetGarden!

Nom noms! @MeggieB_B and her flatties do brunch at the Coffee and Food Establishment.

Another Masterchef on this week’s roundup: Ray McVinnie enjoys
Russian Fudge from Hamilton’s own @DonovancsChoc at the Food Show.

@BethanyPawson thinks Hamilton East is gorgeous. We concur!

Love the @nourishmagazine stall at Tamahere!

It’s always a beautiful day at the Hamilton Lake. Love that this is in the centre of our city! From @ndbrennan.

@DarkroomJesse happens upon a slice of Hamilton’s history on his wanders

Another piece of Hamilton's railroad history from @davejac

Another piece of Hamilton’s railroad history from @davejac

Pretty foggy morning over Seddon Park, from @camerashai.

Looking for fun things to do with the kids? @webtaniwha recommends the new Planet Warriors at @waikatomuseum.

A bit of old school fun for grown ups from @ndbrennan at the Bowlevard!

@JessMolina snaps the pretty lights of Hamilton City through the rain

@JessMolina snaps the lights of Hamilton City

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A Tale of Two Christmas Cities

The year I turned sixteen, I spent part of a hot, dry July, travelling around Germany. While it was sort of enjoyable in an I-am-getting-some-life-experience kind of way, I have to be honest: having just flown in from fabulous France, the relative blandness of Deutschland was really not my scene.

While travelling through Bavaria, sardined into a double-decker tour bus with 69 other teenagers and living on Coca-Cola, Pringles and Haribo gummy bears, we came to the town of Rothenburg ob de Tauber.

These were the days before the iPhone (we still had discmans), so we had to rely on the rather sparse printed itinerary given to us, which unhelpfully described the town as ‘an ancient gated town’. Drunk with fatigue, busting to go to the loo, and sick to death of seeing hundreds of ancient gated towns all over Europe, all we wanted was a half-decent public toilet and a sandwich.

What we got instead, was Christmas.

In the middle of summer, half a year away from December, behind unassuming wooden gates, this medieval town was celebrating Christmas with the kind of gusto that most cities around the world can barely muster just once a year. And they have been doing it every day of the year for centuries.

Festively adorned shop fronts – original structures dating back to the Middle Ages -line the cobbled streets, selling a cornucopia of Christmas delights, from decorations and trinkets to traditional German Christmas fare. Carollers sing on street corners, Santa rides through the town and life-sized wooden soldiers march on the streets daily.

Having had a childhood of white Christmases (or what I thought of as ‘real’ Christmases), I had no idea that Christmas in summertime could be anything other than half-hearted. But, for the three hours that we were in Rothenburg, it really was Christmas.

Rothenburg

Every year since, I have spent summer Christmases in the Supercity, always feeling a little cheated by the lack of pomp and fanfare. But, nearly a decade later, I am finally spending my first December in Hamilton, despite having lived here for five years.

For me, the lead-up to Christmas in Hamilton has been a wonderful meshing of the traditional and the modern. During the day, the CBD is alive with the sounds of troupes of children, kitted out in red and white, singing and playing Christmas music on Garden Place. Santa’s elves wander around spreading Christmas candy and joy. Office workers spend their lunch breaks on Ward Street, playing mini-golf under gigantic Christmas baubles. Even the homeless sit on the main street, Santa hats perched on heads, and wish you a very merry Christmas.

Christmas in Hamilton

As the sun sets, red and green arches light up along the main streets, leading the way to the tree on Garden Place. Spending warm nights on-street dining on Victoria Street, watching the spectacular nightly neon light show emanating from New Zealand’s tallest Christmas tree is reminiscent of summer evenings spent on the Seine, watching the dancing lights of la Tour Eiffel.

The hustle and bustle of the city lasts well into the evening. Every bar and restaurant from Bryce to Hood Street seems to have its own brand of Christmas cheer and families, friends, co-workers, lovers and everyone else in between are more than happy to participate. Cheerful Christmas music floats out from every establishment, and somehow, even on the most humid of nights, singing along to ‘Winter Wonderland’ does not seem out of place. I am enjoying Christmas without even trying.

When I have wanted to try, I have made the most of the smorgasbord of options that December in the Tron has presented me with, from the incredibly cute Christmas markets on Casabella Lane to my very first pantomime, Cinderella. This weekend, I am looking forward to taking the free bus (that is dressed up as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!) to see the decked-out mansions at Harrowfield, and then spending a romantic evening picnicking under the lights at Templeview -a Hamiltonian fixture, I am told. Sneak peeks of Trees at the Meteor, on Twitter, promises a fusion of Yuletide and contemporary art, followed by hot chocolate and carols at St Peters.

I am excited. This year may not bring a white Christmas, but it will be a real Christmas, and most importantly, this time it will last longer than three hours.

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Hamilton East Heritage

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IMG_0008IMG_0036IMG_0020IMG_0001IMG_0038IMG_0012IMG_0006IMG_0039IMG_0042A Saturday whirlwind trip to the Grey St. markets, The Hamilton East Heritage festival and finally Tea at Beale cottage.

It brought back a lot of memories for me, having spent all of my formative years in this vibrant, historic part of Hamilton and I enjoyed sitting in Steele Park, eating a crepe, listening to the Big Muffin Serious Band play bluegrass on tea chests and maple syrup cans, a bit of a change from generic Saturday mall visits or sleeping in. The tug of war was particularly funny and I was tempted to buy all the cheese, candy floss and handmade soap for sale, but managed to resist, opting for a visit of one of Hamilton’s oldest houses instead and some tea with cake and club sandwiches. Beale Cottage still belongs to a descendent of Dr. Beale and I fell in love with it, from the peeling wall paper, to the tiny doors and sloping rooms, it was just like a doll’s house, for grown ups. Sometimes it’s nice to forget about modernity and get up to all the revelry and mischief that comes with a fair.

Check out the Big Muffin Serious Band at http://www.muffin.net.nz/muffin/Home_Page.html and for more information of historic Hamilton I definitely recommend the Happening Hamilton exhibit at the Waikato Museum http://www.waikatomuseum.org.nz/

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