After all the earthquake woes Christchurch is buzzing.
Our city was chosen by Lonely Planet as a city to visit in 2013.
This year the New York Times has come to the party, choosing us as their number two spot for cities to visit during 2014.
Resilience, clever reuse of rubble space, greening and new architecture such as the Transitional (cardboard) Anglican Cathedral have been amongst the point-scoring achievements.
The trams have been well patronised since their re-start in November. Businesses are returning to Cathedral Junction: especially pleasing to see was the re-opening of the delightful Seasons café this week. And the Tram Station ticket office attracts a steady stream of people keen to make the most of their visit to Christchurch.
Nearby New Regent Street is threatening to burst as its quaint shops fill with attractive boutique businesses. The Wizard of New Zealand has found a congenial location in the street. He says he aims to have as much fun as he possibly can.
Attention-grabbing murals are appearing on once unappealing blank walls. A satisfying challenge is to combine street art as a backdrop to a tram photo. Particularly impressive is the work by Melbourne street artist Rone in Worcester Street near Cathedral Junction. The blank brick wall appeared following demolition of the long-standing Press building.
Several street artists have been busy in the central city with their paint spray cans, participating in New Zealand’s first Street Art Festival. And a brilliant street art exhibition ‘Oi You Rise’ is displayed over three levels of the CanterburyMuseum.
The works of well-known local and international urban artists include a stylised pre-quake Christchurch street and graffiti-covered versions of famous artworks such as the Rita Angus work depicting Cass.
Not to be missed, and offering choice subjects for the camera, the exhibition continues until March 23. The museum is conveniently close to a tram stop.
With so much happening in our buzzing city, tram drivers report not having time to talk about them all.
No wonder prestigious publications are giving our city the thumbs up.
Come and check us out.