Imagine a refined and elegant sojourn into a bygone era where morning and afternoon tea are still in vogue. A blissful stroll through well ordered streets and neat manicured parklands where locals still meet and ponder over pleasantries. A calm transience of thought breaking free in the stillness of a moment at the waters edge . Each passing day a prelude to more of the same. There you have it. Life in a small town. A return to the sanctuary of old world charm. There are not many towns that remain the same from the time we are born till the years of our dotage. Even fewer that retain the traditions of old.
Imagine a pristine town complete with white washed walls and picket fences burnt to the ground and then rebuilt as a monument to the time of it’s creation. Remember Baz Luhrman’s ,’Great Gatsby’ a tribute to the roaring twenties? To a time when all was elegant, decadent and glamorous? Well at least to the upper classes. Now imagine a whole town tucked away in a quiet pocket of the world that still to this very day is a tribute to the style and grandeur of a Baz Luhrman movie. Without the glitz and bling dazzle of Hollywood royalty. The town I refer to is a New Zealand treasure. Napier.
Razed from the ashes in 1931 after a giant earthquake had devastated it’s population and destroyed it’s pretty little homes and gardens along with it’s main street infrastructure and renowned wineries Napier ,not only recovered, but triumphed. From the tragedy of that quake arose an architectural miracle on a scale rarely seen elsewhere. Each new building became an artwork in itself. Such was the dedication of those responsible for it’s resurrection. Those who come from small towns like this long for life in the big cities and sometimes those who have grown up in the noise and bustle of city living dream of the quiet life in a small town.
A gracious city with sophisticated airs. Still a little prude and a little behind the times but Napier stands proud in it’s pastel glory. A tree lined boulevarde frames the ocean view. A mini Hollywood bowl lights up on the green. A fountain spray keeps the flower beds moist. A soft moonlight glow sets the scene. The evening prepares for a promenade and Napier does not disappoint.
© Renee Dallow ( Hybiscus Bloom ) 5/8/2014