Posts by Sam F

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  • Busytown: Tell You What: A Nonfiction Giveaway!,

    Not new, but handily the best I've read this year is Robert Hughes' The Fatal Shore. Fascinating, incisive work of history, beautifully written as only a famed art critic can do, and with so many intersections between Australia's convict settlement and the allegedly more enlightened process in New Zealand. And gosh, it's rough and funny where warranted as only an Aussie could do it

    By far my favourite nonfiction book ever, though, is David Halberstam's Korean War magnum opus The Coldest Winter. Less about war than about how a country can sleepwalk into disaster over years or decades, and the way that human decisions within institutional frameworks have unexpected consequences. It's massive and sad and terrifying and in many ways, a testament to how our world still works. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some reprehensible bullshit, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    If only they'd plumbed in a coffee machine this one might have lasted till Easter :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some reprehensible bullshit,

    Anyone who has renovated their own home will know what a $10,000 bathroom looks like, and it don’t look like much.

    You go with some jumped up Grey Lynn tiling procedure, you wear the results.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some reprehensible bullshit,

    Councillor Brewer should relax – if his friend John Banks gets in next time the blackout curtains and wardrobe will be handy for hiding cheques he doesn’t want to see and dressing for helicopter rides which he won’t remember.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: The Colour Of Spring,

    Last night in Beijing.

    Not much of a photog but was very happy to see this Mandarin duck at the zoo...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The uncooling of the inner West,

    just checked..that fat bastard hatred...

    the export was tom gould ....a NZ talent..he made and directed the action bronson video about seeing shit that doesn't exist...fuck these wavy comments from bank bitches...

    Huh? Please tell me I'm not the only one completely confused by this element of the thread...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The uncooling of the inner West,

    Welcome and cheers for that - I'm just about sold (almost literally a few years back, as mentioned upthread). It's just a teeny bit far for me to go with transport options to the city, as it stands right now anyway. You must be up near Don Buck Hill with a view like that I suppose?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The uncooling of the inner West, in reply to Dastardly Bounder,

    More like Ranui (Auckland’s currently murder capital) if you’re looking for a back blocks cheap area.

    We almost offered to buy a property in Ranui from a family member moving out but didn't have the scratch together at the time. I still sometimes half wonder if it's really that bad out there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The uncooling of the inner West, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There’s still a chance they’ll get New Lynn right.

    That'd be nice - I could live with a New Lynn commute to the city if it came to that.

    I should also mention in good conscience that I am probably fortunate in my chances of owning a property at some point, and am aware a lot of other people my age and younger will have it worse - not at the point of sending invites for a pity party just yet.

    We almost had long term occupancy by default - we moved into the current place in 2007 and have been on a simple ongoing tenancy since. At the time I'd expected we would have moved out long before the Rugby World Cup (we were only in the previous flat for a year). If I'd imagined we'd still be there seven years later I might have pushed at the outset for a longer term tenancy agreement in writing - the actual owner was a lovely person and might have agreed to it, but I suspect the professional managers who've since inserted themselves into the relationship probably won't be so amenable.

    At a few points I've considered making an offer to the owner on the property (or asking for right of first refusal if she sells), but we might have left that too late. In 2010 the unit below us sold for $150,000. In February the one next door to it sold for $350,000. We're talking about one bedroom units 48 square metres each, with a carport each and no garden. Completely hatstand.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The uncooling of the inner West, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    bucolic Mangere Bridge is set to be the next Ponsonby…According to those stats there is a downturn in population in that area, strange to say the least.

    In other words, it’s already happening…

    Transportblog did a post on this last month based on Aaron Schiff’s work and I commented there also. I would have been one of those kids growing up in the inner west when you came back from London, Russell (I’d have been in my second year of school). It was pretty neat for kids in primary school years – you could blast around the neighborhood on bikes pretty safely, Coyle Park and the beach were there for general purpose adventuring, and town was a quick bus ride away.

    Sometime around 1995-2000 just about everybody seemed to be adding an extra storey to their house (probably when the kids, like me, were reaching their teens) – now I suspect lots of those houses are a bit emptier, while the cars on the street are getting a hell of a lot flasher and the place (at least the north half) is generally developing that affluent sleepiness I associate with Devonport or Herne Bay. Being beachside it’s still lively with families and young people in the summer which simply serves to highlight how drowsy it’s become the rest of the time.

    At the moment I’m represented by one of the modest number of 20-34 blue dots in the Kingsland/Morningside area, but that’s an accident of having found a good flat with a currently reasonable rent (in fact, until recently it was ridiculously cheap notwithstanding that the flat is effectively unimproved since the 1970s). At some point in the next couple of years I’m pretty sure that will give way though, since the push on prices in the area is so great that at some stage the landlord will reach a tipping point and turf us out for a renovation and a more lucrative tenant to follow.

    We’re getting to the point now where owning a property makes some sense, as we need more room and I’m personally getting tired of not knowing what the hell our landlords are going to do, but where we’ll find something that works I don’t know. I had hopes that there might be some nice smaller unit development happening on the south fringe of Pt Chev by Great North Road, which would put us within cooee of my old neighborhood, but the watering down of the Unitary Plan doesn’t give me much hope. Maybe Glen Eden - the latter would be a homecoming of sorts (my dad's birthplace is there, although I read that that property with its glasshouse and gardens and trees is due to be built over with 30 units) and might not be too far from town for a cycle & train combo commute. Who knows what prices there will get to by the time we're ready to buy, though...

    To be honest, a long-term rental with more certainty would probably be almost as good as owning for us, but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for the current powers that be to create the kind of environment where that can happen.

    Most of the time it seems easier just not to think about it all.

    Could be worse though – am writing from Beijing where affordable housing is literally a lottery. A colleague is waiting to see if she’ll have a chance to put in an expression of interest on a fairly central apartment (just an hour and a half by train from the office!) – however she is number 43,000 in a queue for 1500 properties and there are a lot of people who will have to pass up first…

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1583 posts Report Reply

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