Milk bottles and faded flowers at Little B cafe. I want to call them jonquils… but I’m not 100% sure. I always admire people who can name flowers and plants without pause. My mother is one of them. Perhaps you can tell me?
Saturday afternoon lunch with my family at the Jade Dragon. The food was good, the people better. My family is hilarious, especially my little sister Courtney. However, it was a little emotional (cue me weeping over Thom’s shumai) because it was the last chance I had to see my grandmother before the big move. I’m going to send her lots of postcards though, so she better watch out.
Celebrating the art of small press, every year the Auckland Zinefest gets bigger and better (Auckland Zinefests of yore: 2010 and 2009). The festival was scheduled to coincide with international zine month, July, and incorporated a month-long calendar of DIY and self publishing activities. Tessa puts her heart and soul into running the event, and it was wonderful to take part in it.
On July 16, St. Kevins Arcade hosted a day of markets, workshops and talks for both old hands with the long-arm stapler, and those new to the cut & paste scene. It was cool to see people come from all over the country for the event, and the joy on the faces of those who just wandered in off the street. Here are some photos from the main Zinefest event:
(Even the pup was having a great time)
The after party was held later that night at the Wine Cellar – friends, karaoke, cupcakes, pinball and hi-jinks Noting my prowess for hocking goods, I was asked to design a sign for the special Zinefest exclusive red wine punch. Fruity, friendly and utterly delicious. Do you think maybe there’s a career for me in this?
With departure imminent, I am trying to tick all the Auckland boxes I have just never got round to…. One of these to-do’s was a visit to Martha’s Backyard, the local USA food and clothing emporium. I have no pictures of the shop, but a few photos of the bounty and some sub-par junk food reviews!
- Eating Cheetos (for the first time) made me feel like I could understand the inner workings of Britney Spears. It’s corn crack! It makes you do stupid stuff. Like eat the whole packet in one mouthful…
- I can’t believe there is a cereal version of my favourite imported candy! The Reese’s Puffs look like dog kibble but taste delicious or their own or with milk. Watch out though because they make your entire biosphere smell like peanut butter.
- Eat. Spit. Be Happy. I had never imagined sunflower seeds as a snack – these BBQ ones were quite more-ish but were really messy with all the shelling and spitting. Good for mindless TV watching. Or sports.
- Barnum’s Animals crackers seemed like the poor child’s version of the amazing animal biscuits I enjoyed as a kid in NZ. Our ones had fluro-coloured icing! The circus inspired packaging is super cute though.
- “MoonPie, you were a let down.”
There was also some Big Red soda which tasted just like cinnamon bubble gum. Next time? More soda, perhaps some Lucky Charms and wheatie, sugary Life cereal, some of those “smore” flavoured pop tarts (they have a big range), and yes, an essential tub of marshmallow whip…
A. 114 Lunn Ave, Remuera 1072
T. 09 570 7976
cos·set/ˈkäsit/ verb: Care for and protect in an overindulgent way. Taking refuge from the winter winds that battered the city all weekend, the brunch club ventured out to suburbia out to Cosset, a sweet little café in Auckland’s Mt Albert. And indulge us they did.
It’s a warm and cozy place, filled with vintage furniture, stacks of magazines and lots of plants. The counter was stacked high with homemade bread and baking, and the staff were incredibly friendly. You can’t help but feel like you are taking tea in someone’s stylish living room.
I was delighted to discover that Cosset’s menu is entirely vegetarian, and was so delicious that the rest of the crew forgot about bacon. We ate: beans on toast with ripe avocado, coffee beans smothered in chocolate truffle, garlic mushrooms, and my pick of the day; toasted banana nut bread smeared with butter. We drank: star anise and feijoa sodas (made with Cosset’s own syrups), lavender lattes, and bracing Kokako coffee.
Oh boy, it was a lovely way to spend a lazy Sunday. With bellies full and minds humming from all the caffeine; we headed back to the car feeling, yes, cared for. I think we are all promising to ourselves that we will visit Cosset again soon.
A. 1087 New North Rd, Mt Albert 1025
T. 09 846 0655
Despite the calendar telling me it’s winter, I can’t quite believe it yet… There’s too much warm sunshine and colour everywhere. So what to do on a clear Sunday afternoon, with not much money and tummies full from breakfast galettes? The answer is walk, from the top of town to the bottom, from head to toe; peering in shiny windows packed with merchandise, and people watch, until the sun sets over the port.
The light is just so in the Alleluyah end of arcade; meaning I can’t help but try and record it every time I visit. And there’s one table in particular, made of old floorboards, that has me enraptured. I am trying to limit my use of the word perfect, but this table just is.
That’s my gorgeous friend Laura. We had coffee in the midst of 2011′s Auckland Zinefest… more on that to come.
Another summer, another Waitangi Day. Here in New Zealand we annually celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Most of us take a holiday, go to the beach, some people drive to Waitangi. I spent my weekend swimming, snorkeling, walking, visiting friends and drinking coffee.
We also celebrated by having a hangi at my flat on Sunday night. We live in the city, so it was non-traditional of course – no pit-digging and playing with stones in the back yard. Rather we used a contraption that steams the food baskets in metal keg, heated by a burner attached to a gas cylinder.
Still, the warm feelings of sharing with your whanau are present; and all the food is prepared the same way my grandmother does it, carefully wrapping everything in cabbage leaves. We even added manuka chips to get that smoke-on-the-tip-of-your-tongue taste.
Perfection. I hope you had a lovely weekend too, no matter where in the world you may have been.
Hi there! Please note this guide is more than five years out of date now and I no longer live in Auckland. Checking out K-Road is still your best bet for vintage however – some of the shops have changed names but remain in the same place. I’ve left this post up for posterity. Thanks!
I’ve spent many a happy hour stomping up and down city streets (everywhere) looking for vintage stock for Catch & Covet, but also just for the sheer love of adding to my wardrobe. You could say that when it comes to vintage, I’m as seasoned as a 1972 Christian Dior belt!
There aren’t many vintage stores in Auckland (comparatively!) nor are they large. Local girls serious about second-hand pop to Melbourne for the weekend, but that’s not for everyone… So I thought I would write a guide to Auckland’s best vintage stores.
This guide comes complete with a map (see the PDF download) and refreshment suggestions. Whether you’re visiting Auckland on holiday or you’ve lived here forever, I hope you find the guide useful.
Luckily, there are some note worthy spots to indulge in your vintage passion! They are all located handily around the CBD/city fringe areas, only a short stroll from one another. Our journey starts in the city, just off Queen Street…
Little High St, access off Durham Lane and High St, City
This is what I’d call a classic vintage cave. Chock full of furniture, mannequins and lamps! It has a wide selection of known designers, thanks to European buying trips. It also has a fine selection of hats – get into the thick of the vintage hunt by trying on a few of them. Take heed though: prices have varied visit by visit in my experience…
Tango is our only stop in the central CBD. You might be interested in checking out the Recycle Boutique across Queen Street, but in my opinion it requires a weekly search and this guide is about edited collections! So onwards, up to Karangahape/’K’ Road.
… take a breather …
If you’ve walked up the hill, you might be in need of some sort of refreshment! Right before you hit the second stop is the lovely Verona café (169 Karangahape Rd). Delectable coffee, blood red flocked walls and cozy booths for slouching in. I highly recommend their affrogato.
If you’re doing this walk on a Saturday the Hari Krishna centre (286 Karangahape Rd) has free, yummy vegetarian meals – however you should try give them a small donation as well as a smile!
FUZZY VIBES JUNCTION
151 Karangahape Rd, Newton – 09 309 1451
You’ll spot this one by the spray painted signage and arrows pointing down the stairs. There you’ll fine the orange interior of the fuzzy cave chock full of groovy stuff. While groovy isn’t really my thing it might just be yours. They’ve got the usual range of threads, plus an extensive selection of home wares. I really took a shine to their mint condition fondue pots and retro tea sets. It’s definitely got a different vibe to the other stores!
FAST & LOOSE
Shop 3, St. Kevin’s Arcade, Karangahape Rd, Newton – 09 309 9063
Local stylists adore this den of 80’s pomp, which sits just on the corner of the iconic St Kevin’s Arcade. They have a great selection of garish gold jewelry (yes, this is a good thing!) and a few cocktail dresses to choose from. What really makes this store shine is the layout and careful curation of objects; grouping tooled leather bags on simple white shelves, and the separation of men and women’s clothing.
St Kevin’s Arcade, Karangahape Road, Newton – 309-8884
Right next door to Fast & Loose, in double the space, Vixen has a much bigger selection of shiny pretty things to choose from! With less focus on the 80’s Vixen is a fantastic port of call whether you’re looking for something amazing or just a pair of cowboy boots. They seem to have a spectacular never-ending selection of patchwork leather bags. It’s where I go when I’m looking for a well worn band t-shirt, or one with a summer camp slogan. Awesome!
374 Karangahape Rd, Newton – 09 377 2733
I have super fond memories of one particular piece sourced from this store. In my slightly gothy phase I found and coveted a frothy tulle 1980’s cocktail dress, which was then cut in half to make a ragged skirt. I lived in this black cake skirt. Since then, the store has changed hands but it still seems pretty good – lots of boots and it even has baby vintage wear! Friendly staff too, which is always a bonus.
A mixture of vintage and designer resale, Tatty’s made the list as it has some gems for all budgets! I’ve seen Ann Demeulemeester pieces here as well as a lot of local New Zealand high fashion. Tatty’s has wonderfully friendly staff and illustrations by local artists on the walls. Also, look out for their ridiculously cute and well-dressed possum.
Conduct your vintage celebrations and commiserations over the two-sizes too small shoes at the daintily named café Agnes Curran (179 Ponsonby Road). Here you can enjoy a lovely tea or coffee surrounded by their retro-wares. If you’ve still got money left over, this would be a good opportunity to buy the milk jug of your dreams.
Even though these stores are vintage specialists (as opposed to charity/thrift/op shops – a whole ‘nother ball game there!) there are still some tips that will make your experience superb!
- The first thing I do when vintage shopping is to feel the fabrics, often along an entire rack before I pull any garments out. The higher the material quality, the more likely you are on to a wicked find.
- Things can be taken in, but not often made to fit a bigger sized body… So if it’s obviously too small, give it up! Some creativity can be exercised, for example: vowing to always wear that boy’s button-up-shirt undone.
- Choose your vintage shopping outfit wisely. I recommend slip on shoes or flats, a simple skirt and a singlet top, layered with a cardigan if it’s chilly.
- Also, take a sturdy, large bag with you. There’s nothing worse than moving on to the next stop with a handful of plastic shopping bags. Buy your clothes, stash and flip your bag over your shoulder. Keep both hands free!
Phew, that’s it! For easy reference, here’s a PDF with map and store addresses for you to print out (click on the image or the text link).
Mark it up if you find any other spots you love! ❤ Oh and don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you international kids, check back soon for a CFS guide to online vintage shopping – with loads of useful tricks and tips.