What a great venue for a ‘Yelp Elite’ event! I always wondered what would become of the rundown commercial laundry in Mackelvie Street – newly transformed ‘The Shelter’ is resident to Blend cafe & fashion brands: Children of Vision, Taylor, Mobi, Otsu & Tokyo Bikes to name a few temptations. Drew & Sarah Duff-Dobson told us their story behind Blend Cafe: lovers of great coffee selling Smith blend which is Fair-Trade or Rainforest Alliance sold in compostable cups! On our arrival, all Yelpers were offered cocktails either Smith coffee, bourbon & orange and/or Smith coffee, Cointreau, orange & egg white. Whoa! The gorgeous fare was supplied by ‘Bird on a Wire’: selection of Asian salad with a peanut sauce, raw vegetables with Dahl and I missed out on the chicken, unfortunately! Incredible ambiance in the courtyard which was chic, urban & wholesome. Inspirational event – which is the first Yelp event showcasing local startup (entrepreneurial) business’s in the Auckland Central community. Yelp!
‘Junk & Disorderly’ is a second-hand shoppers’ haven: inundated with everything vintage including timeless books, kitsch ornaments, old-school pails, rocking horses, dainty tables, mannequins, crockery, 1970’s sofas and the kitchen sink. Serious. I absolutely adore this oversized jumble-sale – that favours the consumer. I have purchased, borrowed and browsed this awe-inspiring warehouse for days without boredom. Parking is a dream; located in the heart of Northcote – go and find some treasure now or miss out.
What a find! Bunker cafe is hidden away – just off Great North Road – not the easiest place to find, however when you do: bliss. I personally love ‘hard to find’ quirky, urban cafes that don’t do conventional. ‘Bunker Cafe’ is just that; a converted container surrounded by designer bean bags, wooden benches, pews and a concrete garden. Atomic coffee is on offer, along with oversized sweet & savoury brioche, gourmet pies, sweet fare and gastronomic European sandwiches filled with a multitude of choices. I decided on the bacon & egg ciabatta that was winking at me. Everything is takeaway: served on disposable plates. Service is fabulous and personable. Parking is scarce. Ambience is a writer’s dream. You better go now before everyone knows about it!
Are you having a fancy dress party? This is the place to venture to – if so. Word. Whether it’s an Elizabethan gig and you’re looking for ruffs, pantaloons, jerkins, corsets, queens & kings wigs – they have this covered. Or maybe you’re after Bollywood attire? I have indeed hired ruffs, tutus, props, wigs and costuming from First Scene. It’s rather overwhelming place to visit – so make sure you ask someone for assistance – if you’re short on time. I particularly like the selection of false eyelashes, theatre makeup and their shoe selection. All the staff are suitably friendly and helpful. Based just over the hill from Kingsland’s Main Street (shops and cafes) so very convenient and centrally located with parking right outside the building. Cool. Majestic. Transformative. Check it out.
Recently I attended a Yelp event: Yelp Pairs Cider & Cheese at The Dairy, Ponsonby Central. Hosted by the cool crew from Yelp Auckland namely Alex the Community Manager and Tara, Owner of The Dairy & Foxtrot Parlour. A good crowd attended (as always) and we were educated about the hip ‘Zeffer’ Cider brand established in 2009 and has been successfully winning awards internationally. All the cider was partnered with heavenly cheese from The Dairy: St Benedict Buffalo Brie with Zeffer Crisp Apple, Mahoe Blue with Zeffer Pear, Wangapeka with Zeffer Hopped Up Pippin and lastly Earth Sheep Cheddar with Zeffer Mahana Red Apple. It was indulgent, superbly overwhelming and undoubtably enjoyable – with all the tastings and information buzzing in my head. I loved all the cheese and craved more. My favourite cider was the Crisp Apple that is honest, simple and deliciously dry. Cider is slowly taking preference in the supermarket aisles and as for the cheese – you need to shop at Ponsonby Central, and be wowed at The Dairy.
After not attending a #smakl event for a while – I was really looking forward to engaging with the ‘specialist’ panel of speakers: Ricardo Simich (Editor Spy HoS), Bradley Ambrose (award-winning photographer), Arran Birchenough (Getty Images ANZ) & Mark Sagar (Lab for Animate Technologies) who all shared their valuable dogma, about the selfie-obsessed society we live in today. Some are the question raised were concerning intellectual property and copyright – in reference to celebrity. Apparently, if you snap pictures in a public place – it’s your image. People (generally) create a lot of content imagery that is uploaded onto Facebook, SnapChat & Instagram. Nothing is private or protected anymore. Everything is transparent and available on Google. What about facial recognition? Have you had the experience before on Facebook when you are tagging people, and they are already recognised? One thing I did learn, is if you want to be published in social pages, newspaper or magazine – refrain from Instagramming and Snapchatting for the event. #SMCAKL always spoils it’s guests with flavoursome pizza, craft beer, wine & cider. Brilliant sponsors. I fell in love with the ‘Playground People’ Instagram Printer – that prints images (similar to a Polaroid, but bigger) that you upload with a hashtag. I know why I love social – it just keeps evolving and being disruptive; without predictability.
1. When/Why did you establish NZPC?
We established NZPC in 1987 to support each other and to address the illegality of our work in the face of police arrests and the potential of HIV to affect our work. We were determined to make conditions related to our work safer and had to to build awareness that legislative change was needed for this to happen.
2. Do you directly work with sex workers’ Catherine?
Most of my work involves direct work with sex workers on a daily basis.
3. What is your stance on underage sex work?
NZ shifted its focus to one of protecting sex workers who are under the age of 18, as opposed to one of prosecuting these young people. This used to be the case before the law changed in 2003.
4. Do you know the current statistics of sex workers in NZ?
I’m aware there are thousands of people who are either sex workers, or who have been sex workers, and who live and work quietly in New Zealand. There are many more people who pay sex workers.
5. What services do NZPC offer?
We focus on working safely, and supporting sex workers to access relevant information which can assist them to do this. People who are considering sex work approach NZPC as do those who want to move away from sex work. We support all.
6. How could other people in society support NZPC?
We are aware there are many individuals and organisations who support NZPC by referring those sex workers who may not know about us, to us. This is important support.
7. What other organisations do NZPC work with besides Women’s Refuge?
We work with a tremendous variety of organisations from Family Planning Association to Sexual Health Services to the NZ AIDS Foundation as well as government organisations.
8. Tell me about your involvement in decriminalizing prostitution in NZ? This bill was passed in 2003?
NZPC was instrumental in pushing for the decriminalisation of sex work. I first presented to a select committee as a representative of NZPC calling for this change in 1989. Decriminalisation of sex work has improved the occupational safety and health of sex workers throughout NZ. Street based sex workers were most frequently arrested and convicted of soliciting and it was a demeaning experience.
9. Why do you think ‘sex work’ is still so stigmatized in modern society?
Sex work is stigmatised because non sex workers are not really listening to the diverse voices of sex workers, and are only happy when sex work is depicted as a horrible “empty” experience. Sex workers would say it’s a lot of different kinds of experiences and want to be treated normally, and not as some problem to be fixed.
10. What do you think of the word ‘WHORE’?
WHORE is understood by sex workers to mean, “We Honour Ourselves with Respect and Empowerment.” It is a word which has been reclaimed by sex workers everywhere.