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More Ebert

By Asides, Dinner for One, Wellington

Roger Ebert on the per­son­al, private places he loves (and the joys of being alone with them, as well as the occa­sion­al pleas­ures to be found in shar­ing them):

I first vis­ited the Moscow Arms near Pembridge Square in 1970, when the room fee at the hotel now named the Blue Bells was £4 a night. I have nev­er met any­body in that pub. I always sit in the same corner booth. There is a man who comes in every lunch­time, tat­tooed, bald, and wear­ing a motor­cycle jack­et. He is nearly 40 years older now, but he is still there, and it looks like it’s still the same jack­et. Has he noticed me cross­ing his field of vis­ion 50 or 75 times in his life­time? Certainly not. But if he still comes at lunch­time every day, it is my duty to bear wit­ness, because by now I have become the only per­son in the Moscow Arms who knows how long he has been doing this, or cares. I believe this includes him.

I too enjoy sit­ting alone in cafés, res­taur­ants and bars. Indeed this very morn­ing I took brunch at The Cheeky Pipi in Island Bay and, des­pite the average-ness of the cof­fee and the meal, I enjoyed the sit­ting, the read­ing and the watching.

More One Red Dog

By Food & Drink, Restaurants, Wellington

During what we laugh­ably call research for the post below I stumbled across this page for One Red Dog at where they say:

Nine years ago One Red Dog pion­eered the gour­met pizza in Wellington.

Ahem, bull­shit, ahem. Gourmet pizza in Wellington was pion­eered by Calzone nearly 15 years ago (“Chicken, Cranberry & Brie” … hmmmnn) even if, when they named them­selves, they believed that the Italian ver­sion of the cornish pasty was going to be their mainstay.

I remem­ber think­ing when they opened (in the old BNZ branch on the corner of Courtenay Place and Cambridge Terrace) that it was a brave move open­ing a res­taur­ant oppos­ite the Embassy Theatre. Now there’s noth­ing else.

And, of course, Calzone isn’t what it was, but that’s anoth­er story.