City fringe living and urbanisation let's drink to that!
On the outerlying central suburbs beyond the cusp of the inner city and the bustle of Ponsonby and K'Road lies an area of humble consideration, bubbling innovation and warm community spirit that we affectionately call Grey Lynn.
The areas commonly known as Grey Lynn, West Lynn, Richmond Road and Arch Hill exist from the K’Road end of Great North Road through to Surrey Crescent and back along the old meandering farm road known as Richmond Road, has existed in a state of creation, flux and regeneration for the past 130 years. It's an area that has gone through several iterations since it was turned from farmland in the 1890s through to the early speculative developments care of landowners Williamson, Crummer, Mackelvie, Pollen, Prime, etc. After an early working and middle-class boom of the 20s, 30s and 40s the abundance of cars and the attraction of quarter acre sections lured many to the suburbs of Mt Albert and Mt Roskill, leaving space for the vibrant Pacific Island community to move in during the 50s. From the late 70s they were joined by the students, artists and LGBT community pumping further sass and funk into the area, attracting the current swell of upwardly mobile urbanites who have returned from big city life in other countries or have lived here a while, attracted by the area’s diversity. It has a feeling of both being a tight community as well as slightly edgy, sitting between the urban centre and the beginning of the suburban sprawl.
It is this collective fractured space that the Grey Lynn Business Association has been working to understand, finding out what we can do to support the businesses, community and character of this unique ‘hood'. Two tangents have emerged: One where we provide obligatory communication and negotiation with local councils, boards and landlords to ensure long-term goals of the community and businesses are met. However, our more interesting objective is to support and amplify the diversity and beauty of what exists in a district that is loosely categorised by the postcode of 1021.
We have met some great people along the way, from grass roots environmentalists and new businesses launching interesting projects to organisations doing work with other great suburbs and other great cities around the world. What we have come to see is that this collection of individuals, businesses and communities all believe it's better to work together rather than apart.
Our learnings and experiences have led to the next step - beginning a conversation with you, the people with ideas for the people. We would love you to be part of our first event called Beer, Burgers and Brioche at the Grey Lynn Library Hall on Thursday, 18 October. We'll have specialty Grey Lynn burgers created by Tiger Burger, a vegan friendly LGBT brioche by Tart bakery and beer from our good friends Hallertau as well as drinks by Allgood Karmacola et.al... Music by local Grey Lynn DJs and a very special guest to briefly chat where urbanisation is headed while you get to mix with the Grey Lynn illuminati to socialise the ideas of what the future could look like in this proud inner-city suburb. We want to meet you the people and dance with your ideas and plans for action. It's an all-inclusive night for those looking to champion community.
Entry is $25 for those want to join the movement. Every entry gets a drink, burger and brioche to relax and be reacquainted with the community and to share the vision of why Grey Lynn is one of the best suburbs in the world to be part of. Tickets are limited so please get in fast. Go to www.glba.co.nz for information and tickets.
(Jacob Faull and Irene King co-chairs, GLBA)