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As we celebrate our one year anniversary at The Crossing in Christchurch City, Elizabeth, one of our lovely team members discusses her love for the City and how she accidentally came to call it home.

"I moved down to Christchurch from Auckland at the beginning of March 2020. The move was not entirely voluntary as I had planned on moving to Europe after finishing my undergraduate degree. However, my timing could not have been worse for overseas travel and as I had sold everything I owned, I moved to into my sister’s spare room which happened to be in Christchurch. Two and a half years on from that move, I would like to share with you some of the reasons that I fell in love with my accidental home.

Christchurch isn’t known as the garden city for no reason. The number of parks and public gardens scattered around the city is amazing. This was a definite life-saver when I went from a student flat to living with a 6-month old and a two-year old at a time when all the playgrounds were closed. Being able to wander through Abberley Park to look at the flowers or watch the birds is a real privilege.

It wasn’t until the country started to open up again that I could truly appreciate the massive transformation that Christchurch City has undergone. I had last visited the city when the RE-Start container mall was still the shopping centre so the difference in the city centre was quite startling to me. When completing the rebuild, it is clear that the designers were not looking to simply replace what was there but to enhance the city and create something really special. As I am from Auckland, my first stop was at Riverside market. I love the farmers market feel to Riverside. From the collective-style grocery stores to the amazing selection of restaurants, the only issue with Riverside is that I can’t sample everything in one visit.

From Riverside, it is a short stroll to paradise for someone who packed their life into one suitcase in anticipation of moving to Europe. Down the pedestrian Cashel Street, you’ll find Ballantynes department store and then across the road is The Crossing. I loved the container mall and I think that The Crossing has incorporated the spirit of revival with them. The Crossing is home to many of my favourite shops including A&C homeware, Perriam, and of course Nicole Rebstock. The laneways filled with boutiques makes it unlike any indoor mall. Here you actually can see the sunshine and get fresh air while you shop.  

For drinks at the end of the day, I could wander back towards Riverside which does have many wonderful bars, but I prefer to continue up High Street to Cascade Bar and Courtyard. The courtyard is lit up with string lights and the live music on Fridays is the perfect way to end the week. To top it all off, Cascade offers delicious custom cocktails alongside craft beer and wine. My personal favourite is the Cascade Quencher as it tastes like springtime. However, if you are wanting something a bit different, Beehave is a must try.

I wasn’t expecting to live in Christchurch. The pandemic changed my life, as it did for many people, but I am so lucky to have had the chance to fall in love with this wonderful city. It is amazing to watch it, not just rebuilding, but completely redeveloping. And now, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Who needs Europe?"

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