On Thursday evening, I headed into town to check out some public events taking place. I picked up a friend, then we headed into Hagley Park, in the centre of the city. The council was hosting a night light show called Botanic D’Light’s, where the gardens were lit up with colourful projectors, light artwork and even an improvised disco among a ring of trees. We spent a couple of hours enjoying the various attractions as the sun set. We then decided to take a look around town, as my friend had been oversees for the last 6 months. We wandered through the deserted heart of the city, the ruined buildings and empty lots a heartbreaking reminder of the earthquakes five years ago. We eventually found a Wendy’s and enjoyed a very cheap (but costly to our health) meal before heading back to the Botanic Gardens to meet with a third friend.

By now it was dark and frigid, so we quickly wandered through the various attractions on display before heading back to the parking lot. We then drove down to Sydenham to check out some artistic exhibitions, which turned out to be a bunch of expos, open-door tours and mini concerts scattered among the various shops in the area. By now, my Hipster-o-meter was rising quickly. We then found an Op Shop and made some fashionable purchases (the Hipster-o-meter was now broken), then we headed off home.

I definitely recommend that you go check out the Light expo tonight or on Sunday. It’s an awesome new way to experience the gardens and will get you nostalgic for the pre-quake days. It was in fact very nice to see some life returning to the city. I realised how much I had missed the quirky, artsy Christchurch night life with its events, expos and colourful culture. Hopefully, as the rebuild continues the city will become better and better – The modern and attractive new look of the buildings shooting up throughout town are a promising sign. Unfortunately, I have not yet mastered the art of low-light photography, so I apologise for the low-quality photos from this excursion. The show is far more colourful and awesome than the few pictures in this album. Just take a look at this video to get an idea of what to expect. Have a nice weekend!

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