Howie’s Hot Five for…19 January, 2012

The Wall Street Journal had a column ‘Five Hours In’… which asked the simple question of a native in a major city: If you had five hours to show off your city through your eyes what would you do?

So to kick off 2012 and HH5-No.1 here’s our Five Hours in Auckland…

Ok, we’d meet our guest outside the Old Post Office in Ponsonby, Why? Cos I live nearby… and it has a great view of the city and the harbour from the Bridge around And from there we’d wander along Ponsonby Rd. for…

5. Breakfast at Good One cafe…

A great place because it’s very local – and off the beaten track and it’s a perfectly formed and quiet little joint… BTW a Howie’s Hot Five trend prediction for 2012 is that silence will start to make a roaring comeback… (we are sick of concrete, wooden restaurants that ping the ear drums to pain – and with music used as a constant aural wallpaper accompanied by cell phones with text messaging alerts set to 11…)

Good One – 42 Douglas Street Ponsonby

4. Quick inner city spin… on bikes

In the perfect world there’d be a City-wide bike hire station in Ponsonby Road – anyway we’ll bike from Ponsonby Road through Western Park and along K Road to St Kevin’s Arcade – bit grungy but something for everyone – ideally we’d go into the second-hand record shop and buy a record cover from the Howard Morrison Quartet 1960’s

3. Cycle, walk over Grafton Bridge ending up at Petals Cupcakes…

After quick cycle across Grafton Bridge (reserved for buses and bikes only) and we’d nip through the Domain and pick up some cup cakes for our later beach spot stop from Petal Cupcakes 8 Teed Street, Newmarket…  from the packaging to the taste these are hands-down the best treats in Auckland – superb. Cup Cakes are a fad…Petal Cupcakes are here to stay… 

And we slip into Little and Friday for a takeout – just because like Good One – this is a perfectly formed business without trying hard… Little and Friday 12 Melrose Street, Newmarket

2. Pah Homestead …72 Hillsborough Rd  Hillsborough (we’d drive here)

The ultimate gift to Auckland City – talk about soul! Evidently this is the perfect example of Italiante architecture in 1877 and now houses the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre.

And it’s full of New Zealand contemporary art with revolving exhibitions… A Philip Trusttum Survey is on until the end of next week… fantastic!

And if you have children let them loose on the garden  and lawn full of modern sculptures. This is a very special Auckland Highlight. HOWEVER…it loses points for its cafe… imagine a building full of contemporary art and a cafe that looks like a school classroom – very unimaginative … and food just ‘ok’ for the prices.
Click here for Pah Homestead – Wallace Arts Centre

1. Thorne Bay Beach, North Shore – we’d end our trip with a dip
and a cupcake on the beach…

Simply one of the best inner city beaches I’ve visited anywhere the world. (Only beaten out by Impanema and Bronte) just north of Takapuna (so nice drive – 7 minutes – to be exact over the Auckland Harbour) and we can swim there anytime because being a cove you don’t have to worry about half a hectare of mud between you and the water if you time the tide wrong…

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