NZ Day 2, Part 3: Christchurch, Millennials’ City

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Thursday, December 1

The rebuilding center of Christchurch feels like a place built by and for millennials. Not surprising, when you consider that many areas of the city were either flattened or necessarily abandoned after the quakes. Rebuilding is always a job for the younger generations and it seems they have flocked to the center of Christchurch even as others have moved to surrounding suburban areas.

Being in a place that’s being built with a view to how things might be in the future is refreshing. Say what you will about hipsters, urban millennials, or however else you choose to define them, they seem to be making this place their own and seem to be doing a better job of improving things than the fossilized “reformers” elsewhere (yes, US politicians, I’m looking at you!).

From the motto on the side of the new performing arts center (that echoes the Bob Marley tune I’ve had in my head for a couple of days), to the various “Greening the Rubble” installations around town, there’s a feel to the place that is youthful and vigorous, but still laid back in a fun way. I like it.

Also, “hip” inexpensive hotels with A-grade seismic ratings are quite the thing. I’ll remember that when I come back, as I’m not all that crazy about the neighborhood I’m staying now.

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