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September 28, 2011 at 8:28 am #1334ZondraMember
Because of earthquake damage, this year’s deployment is different from past years. For all practical purposes, there is no city center – the place we all know very well and of course love. We’re being put up in hotels closer to the airport, in areas of town we don’t know as well. Things are more spread out in the suburban areas we’re now being placed. It’s a long walk to the NEAREST restaurant, or a grocery store. Instead of wandering around near the square, bumping into people in your deployment group, and strolling into one of your many favorite restaurants, this year takes more planning and coordination. You can’t just stop by the Dux or Bailey’s and see who’s in town. Some of our favorite restaurants are open, but they’ve relocated to new places in the suburbs. Finding them takes some effort, you have to know what you’re looking for. It takes making a plan ahead of time with your friends (especially if they’re staying at different hotels). For example, the other day our group decided to go to Little India, which has relocated to the Merivale Mall. We made reservations ahead of time, which is now recommended, since there aren’t as many restaurants left in Christchurch, so the remaining ones fill up. Some people walked (it took over an hour to walk there from our hotel), other people took a taxi ($$$), trying to figure out the bus, and then wait for it when it was late (again), was also a pain. But remember how good Little India was? They have the same menu (prices have gone up, which is the new norm), and even the same staff. Were you someone who preferred Two Fat Indians or Tandoori Palace? Well, you’re out of luck, because as far as I can tell, they’re still closed. Right now we’re still searching for a sushi place comparable to Sala Sala. Anyone have any suggestions?
We’ve been here for a week doing some training before we head down on first flight. It’s given us some time to try and figure out how things work now. I guess I’m just sharing what I’ve figured out, so that if you’re only here for a couple of days on a normal deployment schedule (without flight delays to the Ice), you can have an idea as to how things are and maybe do a bit of pre-planning.
For you folks who deployed at Winfly – please correct me if I’m wrong with any of this stuff, or add your own knowledge to this… Or once you come through on one of the first flights, share you experiences to give people on later flights an idea of how things are these days.
I have found this webpage to be helpful:
This site lists all the restaurants not just in the city center, but all over town and what their current status is. Whether they’re closed, relocated, or open as normal. You’ll see that most of Christchurch proper is affected, but that a lot of suburbs are operating normally. Now it’s time for us to get to know the suburbs. They’re just harder to get to, and might not be right by your hotel.
The Botanical Gardens are still there… Instead of strolling down the street to get to them, you now have to take a bus. You can walk around near downtown and peak through to the areas that are closed. A few things in that neighborhood are still open, but a trip there is more just to see the changes.September 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm #11275MATKATAMIBAMember
Isn’t Sala Sala at the end of that row of open-air restaurants across from a park? Are all of those closed too? What a shame – those were all great places with great food to sit outside in the evening air. I was hoping that area wasn’t considered CC. I suppose the Admiral Benbow (correct admiral?) area is gone too? What a great area that was, but it was definitely city center and old masonry buildings.September 29, 2011 at 12:58 am #11276skua77Keymaster
Sala Sala is one of those indoor outdoor places on Oxford Terrace along the Avon…all of which are still in the red zone. There were thoughts that some of them would reopen around 29 October when they open up part of the Cashel Street Mall, or rather a bunch of shops in conexes set where the buildings used to be, but no. I’m not familiar with Admiral Benbow’s and couldn’t find anything similar online.September 29, 2011 at 4:33 am #11277MATKATAMIBAMember
Yes, that sounds like the area. I hope those places can reopen, it was a great. I probably got the name wrong for the “Admiral Benbow”. It is an area in the CBD that is sort of a long alley with lot’s of bars and restaurants, and was great for live music. It has couches and chairs in the alley for people to sit on and was just a wonderful spot. I’m sure it is deep in the red zone. I’m also sorry to see that Mu is closed – a great steak house.
Also I saw that the Windsor Hotel is gone.October 2, 2011 at 11:43 am #11278thepooles98Keymaster
Looks like I’m staying at the Pavillions hotel just north of Hagely Park. Anyone know if there is anything nearby you can walk to easily?October 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm #11279cannonballMember
I’m at “the elms”, I just need a place to watch (hopefully) the all blacks crush their way into the world cup final.
-NateOctober 9, 2011 at 12:24 am #11280linglinrtwMember
Pavillion is pretty close to downtown. I heard the internet is pretty cheap
Elm is a bit further out but there are restaurants close by, Chinese, malaysian, Thai, and others. Internet is expensive though, $5 for an hour $20 for 24 hours. I got the 24 hour one and downloaded a few movies, so it’s worth it imo. There is a free computer downstair, but only one.
LingOctober 24, 2011 at 8:39 am #11281thepooles98Keymaster
The pavillion was nice. We had a big aftershock while I was there. Definately scary. It is relatively close to town and walking distance to the park. I bought a 100 dollar bottle of whiskey at Whiskey Galore and brought it to the family that took us in the night of the big quake. It was enjoyable getting to thank them for their hospitality. There isn’t a lot left of cheech that you can see. Most of the downtown is still fenced off.
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