Listless in the Western suburbs

I walked to Wadestown today, which unfortunately meant walking the length of Courtenay Place after the first night of the Sevens. The entire street smelt like the floor of a Palmerston North student bar, soaked in pretty much every liquid that can be squeezed out of a human being while they’re having a good time. At 10am there were still dehydrated husks stumbling home, like zombies dressed up by bored children. There’s nothing wrong with having a party, but I don’t think the A & E staff saw much of the $15 million injected into the local economy.

I took the opportunity to detour through Kelburn, and discovered things had changed for the worse at my old flat. I didn’t go too far up the path, but observed that the thin layer of white paint they coated everything in back in September in hopes of a quick sale was not weathering well. I saw in a recent ad they’ve added $35,000 to the asking price, up from $500,000 when I moved in back in 2003, $600,00 when they tried again in 2010, and $650,000 a few months ago to $685,000. Yeah, that’ll work! There must come a point where property investment crosses the line from terminal economy-distorting nuisance to pathology – has greed ever been recognized as a mental illness?

It probably wasn’t the best day to visit Kelburn, it looked sullen and dingy under the grey skies, with recent layers of half-hearted graffiti and a worrying number of ‘For Sale’ signs. It probably looks great in the sunshine, though.

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