It’s our latest #lovethetron roundup!
It’s our latest #lovethetron roundup!
The one where we break with tradition and add a bit of a ramble to our #lovethetron roundup
There were many points this past week where stared at our phone/tablet/computer screens in utter awe and surprise. The first time was on Monday night, on the eve of our first birthday. Earlier that day it had hit us that we would be turning a year old on the 26th of November -i.e. the next day. Somehow, amongst our collective busyness of work, travel, exams, non-fatal seasonal illnesses and so on, our first birthday had sneaked up on us and we hadn’t even realised!
And yet, just hours after we had tweeted as such, we were overwhelmed with kind messages of well-wishes and love from Hamiltonians all over the Twitterverse. The amazing Miss @georgie_pienz concocted this beautiful creation below, and organised an open-invite fête at Milk and Honey. Then the Waikato Times published this lovely piece by Paul Barlow, reflecting on a year of the #lovethetron movement. To everyone who read, tweeted, turned up at Milk and Honey, or was just generally happy this week: thank you!
Hamilton is a wonderful place, and it’s only getting better. Over the past year, we have seen many lovers of the Tron (Tronphiles?) come out of the woodwork and wholeheartedly declare their passion for the city (Hat tip: Hamilton Mafia). We have also seen many, many skeptics convert and fall in love with the place. From people and culture, to sport and nature to art and food -we have seen more sides to this city than we can count. We have seen people delight over uncovering new secrets of the city (especially places to eat cake), and we have seen people bond and make new friends over a shared love of the city. While we can’t take any credit for any of this, we feel so privileged that so many of you choose to share your stories, thoughts and photos with us. #lovethetron is your movement. Happy one year Hamilton!
You know you’re in Hamilton when the local Italian cafe is staffed by genuine Italians.
As soon as you walk into ‘A Slice of Italy’ in Fairfield, you are hit with its European authenticity. Not faux-Euro authenticity in the form of chandeliers and overly-pretentious food options, but rather simple and tasty pizzas, croissants, & coffees. And of course, cheery staff with genuine European accents (and sincere interjections of ‘bellissima!’ here and there).
The most authentic part of this European experience was, for me, the tablecloths. Bizarre I know, but for once I was in a cafe with a cloth that is a sheet of plastic. Not some elaborate frilly thing bought off-the-rack at Smith & Caughey’s (via Guangzhou), but a plastic sheet with simple green and red checkers: the kind of tablecloths that Italian immigrants in America used to use for their cafes because they were, you know, actually from Italy.
The rest of the place is setup in a similarly European fashion. There are the stools with the obligatory newspapers and current affairs magazines, and outdoor tables where you can sit with your espresso and watch the world, and/or the police cars(this is still Fairfield after all), go by.
The cafe is an example of how one element can totally change the look of a neighbourhood. With this authentic Italian cafe in its vicinity the Vege King nearby suddenly looks like an open produce market, & the art deco ‘Fairfield Building’ opposite like a historical landmark.
If the suburb of Fairfield can capitalise on this with some other genuinely interesting eateries or stores, then they might have a real impact on changing the wider community’s largely unjustified perceptions of the area. Creating a kitsch alternative to the cheap, tired, & almost souless look of Five Cross Roads nearby. As it stands, with ‘Slice of Italy’, they’re off to a good start.