Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

30s and Clients Guide
City guide dressed in 30s style tells visitors about Napier's historical trivia.
30s Charm II
John “Bertie” Cocking displays charm to a friend of Napier's.
The Band of the 30s
Extras line up next to the jalopy in which they arrived at the port of Napier.
Art Deco Silhouettes
Thematic building facade in Napier
The Twin City Stompers
Jazz band Twin City Stompers plays and socializes with passengers on a cruise in the port of Napier.
License plate for one of several classic cars that enhance Napier's Art Deco atmosphere
mechanical adventures
An extra opens the bonnet of one of the jalopy cars parked in the port of Napier, so that cruise passengers can admire the engine.
Pause for Contemplation
Cyclist stops at the cycle path that runs along the long seafront of Napier.
Passengers and cruise crew appreciate Napier's extras present there to bid them farewell.
Jalowell Landing
One of the extras from the 30s - Art Deco by Napier, next to a jalopy.
30s Charm
John "Birdie" Cocking, the ambassador for Napier, poses in a themed shop in town.
Coquette Fashion II
Mannequin and bicycle outside a vintage Napier fashion store.
The Daily Telegraph
Art Deco facade of the old building of "The Daily Telegraph".
Coquette fashion
Napier Art Deco Trust employee in costume to match the mood of the city.
Bertie to the Commands
Birdie aboard one of Napier's clunkers.
Napier's Art Deco
Napier's Art Deco buildings.
Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.

Bertie has no hands to measure. He wolfs down a slice of chocolate cake and lets out a "Let's Go!" enthusiast that makes us immediately get up wherever it takes us.

We walked to his car and saw how, out of nowhere, he was once again attracting the attention of passers-by with his Panama hat, black and yellow striped suit, bicolor Spectator shoes and poses and expressions charleston e swing  which it enhances using an ornamental cane.

After a new photo shoot, he sits behind the wheel of the disconnected yellow-green vintage, it kicks off, and greets those left behind with lush honking horns.

Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand

Birdie aboard one of Napier's clunkers.

It was becoming more and more difficult for us to believe that we were dealing with an ex-accountant, an impression similar to that which John Cocking, the man behind the character, retains of himself.

Now 66 years old, this disaffected Brit started working at 16. At 22, he had earned the CPA diploma (Certified Public Accountant) and was preparing to make a fortune when he realized he had no interest in that project. His life went round and round and ended up taking him to faraway New Zealand and Napier, a city that was also unique.

Napier's Seismic Collapse

On February 3, 1931, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 devastated Napier. The catastrophe forced the authorities to review the city's urban code, inadequate to the seismic risk of the area. The streets were widened and the new buildings erected, as a rule, with only two floors.

Until then, Art Deco had been the popular building style but the recovery coincided with the Great Depression when, after the Empire State Building phenomenon, little or no significant city development was undertaken.

The responsible architects took advantage of the void and designed Napier with simplified influences from the lines of Frank Lloyd Wright and the buildings of the Spanish missions. The result turned out to be unique.

Art Deco, Napier, New Zealand

Napier's Art Deco buildings.

From Ruin to Irreverent Art Deco Splendor

During the 60s and 80s, some of the Art Deco buildings were replaced by contemporary ones but most remained intact long enough to stand out. From 1990 onwards, the center was restored and protected and in 2007 UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site, the first cultural place in New Zealand to achieve this status.

As an added value, since then, only another city on the face of the Earth, Miami Beach – which was erected in an Art Deco Streamline Moderne style – rivals Napier.

In the mid-80s, some residents founded Napier's Art Deco Trust. A mere leaflet created by them managed to get a thousand and such people to participate in a guided walk through the streets of the center and the regional authorities insisted on joining the effort.

Gradually, many more thousands of obsessed fans of architecture began to want to discover the city.

Art Deco Building, Napier, New Zealand.

Art Deco facade of the old building of “The Daily Telegraph”.

Thanks to the initiatives of the trust, Napier currently earns 1.14 million euros from his buildings but continues to try to increase the spectrum of admirers. John “Bertie” Cocking became his main asset.

The Promotional Prominence and Host of John Cooking, or Bertie

Already living in New Zealand, Cocking was more fed up with accounting than ever, and fell in with David Dale – a friend – that there must be something he was perfect at that could save him. To which Dale replied “well, I think you would make a great Manoel” (Barcelonian employee of the British series "Fawlty Towers").

John Cocking followed the advice. He studied the role and began performing in New Zealand restaurants. Shortly thereafter, a restaurant owner in Auckland hired him full-time and Cocking left the balance sheets for good. However, he created and adapted new roles.

It was with one of them, Bertie, that, in 1995, he proposed to Napier his acting services, suggesting that it become a kind of walking tourism delegation.

The idea immediately appealed to the city ​​councilor who felt the character embodied the historic soul of the city.

Without further hesitation, the mayor named Bertie ambassador to Napier and awarded Cocking a decent wage.

Bertie, Napier, New Zealand

John “Bertie” Cocking displays charm to a friend of Napier's.

The relationship of the local Art Deco Trust with Bertie has evolved into a strong dependency and, although Cocking is no longer paid today (probably because it benefits from other, more profitable forms of income) it is their alter-ego who introduces, mobilizes, animates and promotes Napier's Art Deco eccentricities.

Napier's Total Conversion to Thirties Glamor

Throughout the year, hosts dressed in the fashion of that time lead guided tours through the key points of the city's architecture and past. Extras, musicians, singers and other actors re-enact it in their bars, squares and gardens.

Small business owners took advantage of the packaging and opened stores specializing in contemporary clothing, furniture, music, painting and photography.

Art Deco Facade, Napier, New Zealand

Thematic building facade in Napier

They too wear matching clothes and make their contribution. As we explore the city's most emblematic streets and buildings, we also come across drivers behind the wheel of vintage cars that receive subsidies to get around Napier.

The heyday of this already organic show is the Geon Art Deco Weekend. Held on a weekend in February, the festival concentrates more than 200 events, hundreds of jalopy twenties and thirties, aerial acrobatics, jazz concerts, dances, picnics etc.

Coquette, Napier, New Zealand

Napier Art Deco Trust employee in costume to match the mood of the city.

It generates a veritable Great Gatsby fever because guests from the four corners of the world are infected.

There are thousands of fatal femmes under cloche hats, plush furs and charming dresses that smoke through large mouthpieces, and so many other festive incarnations of Jay, the blinding character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel.

A Caravan from the Thirties, at the Service of Napier's Promotion

Many of them exhibit trustworthy looks and behaviors but John Cocking does nothing else in life. Bertie and his occasional female partner quickly claim the spotlight.

We follow him to the lift in an Austin Seven maroon driven by a lady in a fancy mink, and every now and then we hear the ambassador's unmistakable honking again.

Behind us, seven other historic cars complete the procession, all guided by immaculate figures from the XNUMXs.

Showgirl and clunker, Napier, New Zealand

One of the extras from the XNUMXs – Art Deco by Napier, next to a jalopy.

At the end of a winding route, the entourage parks in line in front of a large cruise ship moored in the port of Napier. Moments of waiting and dialogue follow. Crew members of different nationalities and ethnicities disembark and start inspecting the cars and questioning the owners.

The Irresistible Appeal of Napier's Jalobs

Gradually, hundreds of passengers arrive by bus from the center of Napier, enrich the interaction and take countless photos of themselves with the jalopy and their owners.

Mechanical laypersons ask trivial questions and comments about years of manufacture and aesthetics.

But others are knowledgeable in the matter. They question the positioning of valves, cylinders and pistons and the owners unceremoniously open their hoods, encouraging thorough inspections.

We followed and photographed that curious Automobile Fair with renewed interest and, at intervals, we talked to some of the participants.

Barry Price is one of the most demure but assumes his positions bluntly:

“I live 60 km away and the money they pay me is barely enough for the fuel that this boy wastes … but I'm not old enough to be bothered with these things anymore. I come because I like it and we have fun”.

Extras receive cruise, Napier, New Zealand

Extras line up next to the jalopy in which they arrived at the port of Napier.

Twin City Stompers' Thirty Years Sound Band

Meanwhile, the Twin City Stompers install themselves against a container and add more meaning to their words.

Equipped with a trombone, a double bass, a mandolin and a megaphone that amplifies and box the vocalist's voice, the musicians play “When you'e smilin","All of me” and other famous themes from the time of Napier's reconstruction as passengers return to the cruise and fill their balconies.

Twin City Stompers, Napier, New Zealand

Jazz band Twin City Stompers plays and socializes with passengers on a cruise in the port of Napier.

Prolonged waves are exchanged.

And as the big boat pulls away from the dock towards today's Australia, it leaves Napier in the grip of the glamorous past that his hosts continue to renew.

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Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coasts concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the extreme southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessible via six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
Mount cook, New Zealand

The Cloud Piercer Mountain

Aoraki/Mount Cook may fall far short of the world's roof but it is New Zealand's highest and most imposing mountain.
Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.
bay of islands, New Zealand

New Zealand's Civilization Core

Waitangi is the key place for independence and the long-standing coexistence of native Maori and British settlers. In the surrounding Bay of Islands, the idyllic marine beauty of the New Zealand antipodes is celebrated, but also the complex and fascinating kiwi nation.
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

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Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Sheets of Bahia, Eternal Diamonds, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

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Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

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knights of the divine, faith in the divine holy spirit, Pirenopolis, Brazil
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

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Rostov Veliky Kremlin, Russia
Rostov Veliky, Russia

Under the Domes of the Russian Soul

It is one of the oldest and most important medieval cities, founded during the still pagan origins of the nation of the tsars. At the end of the XNUMXth century, incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow, it became an imposing center of orthodox religiosity. Today, only the splendor of kremlin Muscovite trumps the citadel of tranquil and picturesque Rostov Veliky.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
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When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
travel western australia, surfspotting
Perth to Albany, Australia

Across the Far West of Australia

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China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

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Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Chamarel waterfall

A Mini India in the Southwest of the Indian Ocean

In the XNUMXth century, the French and the British disputed an archipelago east of Madagascar previously discovered by the Portuguese. The British triumphed, re-colonized the islands with sugar cane cutters from the subcontinent, and both conceded previous Francophone language, law and ways. From this mix came the exotic Mauritius.
Viti Levu, Fiji Islands, South Pacific, coral reef
Viti levu, Fiji

Islands on the edge of Islands

A substantial part of Fiji preserves the agricultural expansions of the British colonial era. In the north and off the large island of Viti Levu, we also came across plantations that have only been named for a long time.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
São Nicolau, Cape Verde

Photography of Nha Terra São Nicolau

The voice of the late Cesária Verde crystallized the feeling of Cape Verdeans who were forced to leave their island. who visits São Nicolau or, wherever it may be, admires images that illustrate it well, understands why its people proudly and forever call it their land.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Natural Parks
Moçamedes to PN Iona, Namibe, Angola

Grand entrance to the Angola of the Dunes

Still with Moçâmedes as a starting point, we traveled in search of the sands of Namibe and Iona National Park. The cacimbo meteorology prevents the continuation between the Atlantic and the dunes to the stunning south of Baía dos Tigres. It will only be a matter of time.
Conflicted Way
UNESCO World Heritage
Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

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Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
The Dominican Republic Balnear de Barahona, Balneario Los Patos
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

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Djerba Island of Tunisia, Amazigh and its camels
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The Tunisian Island of Conviviality

The largest island in North Africa has long welcomed people who could not resist it. Over time, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs called it home. Today, Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities continue an unusual sharing of Djerba with its native Berbers.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
On Rails
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Australia Day, Perth, Australian Flag
Perth, Australia

Australia Day: In Honor of the Foundation, Mourning for Invasion

26/1 is a controversial date in Australia. While British settlers celebrate it with barbecues and lots of beer, Aborigines celebrate the fact that they haven't been completely wiped out.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Maria Jacarés, Pantanal Brazil
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

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