Auckland, and its pies, get reviewed by the New York Times
It may be derided by New Zealanders who live south of the Bombay Hills, but Auckland has received a glowing testimonial from New York Times travel writer Seth Kugel.
He only spent a day and a half in the City of Sails, but Mr Kugel packed in a lot during that time and was clearly impressed with what he saw, especially the Auckland Art Gallery, Karangahape Road and the city’s meat pies.
He described the $100 million revamped art gallery as “my kind of free – no suggested donation for you to feel guilty for turning down or huge contribution box you must walk by.
“Even the coat check is free. And you’re free to take photos, too. Try that at your hometown museum.”
“Most notable about the new museum design is how the adjacent Albert Park becomes an honorary work of art itself. Every so often you happen upon a wall of windows that pulls you out of the museum and face to face with marvelously gnarled trees and footpaths that lead to pristine lawns and flowerbeds beyond.”
From the gallery Mr Kugel made his way to Karangahape Road or “K” Road “as it is mercifully abbreviated.”
“The road is lined with vintage shops like Tiny Space, Vixen Vintage and funky Fuzzy Vibes Junction (where) they sell not just clothes but other quirky memorabilia. It reminded me of some hybrid of Bedford Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and St Mark’s Place in the East Village. And yet all its own”
The New York travel writer saved most of his praise for meat pies he sampled at “The Fridge” in Kingsland and the “Food Room” in Ponsonby.
“The meat pie is a New Zealand staple. I set out to try some and will admit to some scepticism. I feared I was in for a version of the Cornish pasty which I consider a hockey puck posing as a snack.
“I had an extraordinarily fresh tasting mince and cheese pie I’ve been thinking about in the days since. The pastry was so flaky and delicate that when I went to cut the pie in half to take some photos, a standard butter knife cut cleanly through without denting or collapsing the dome.
“On my way out I couldn’t resist taking a chicken, mushroom and pesto one to go. It was even better.”
Mr Kugel even had kind words for Auckland's often maligned public transport.
"[It] has an efficient, punctual bus system that does not require exact change and it also works great in tandem with Google Maps and you can put together a great day for very little."