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More Ebert

By Asides, Dinner for One and 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 and Wellington

During what we laughably call research for the post below I stumbled across this page for One Red Dog at menus.co.nz 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.