Most of the buildings in downtown Christchurch are demolished by now (because of the February 2011 earthquake), but the open lots made room for a “container mall.” You know those dingy mundane metal boxes that sit on trains, trucks, and barges? Christchurch retailers have cleaned up and dressed up these metal boxes and positioned them into a colorful outdoor mall.
The mall even has a two-story coffee shop with lots of big glass windows (single pane, to be sure). The parking garage behind looks like it made it through the quakes. Kiwis call these things “car parks,” which in my mind always conjures up images of smiling vehicles careening down slides and bouncing on teeter totters.
You can even stroll down the mall promenade with your arm around your partner at the downtown container mall. Side note: kiwis seem to have “partners” more than spouses. Our American friend, trying to fit into the local scene, once referred to his wife as his “partner.” ONCE is the operative term here–he got an ear-full from his WIFE.