Miramar Mike In Berhampore

Wellington hockey stadium floodlit at night
Where are you living now Mike, still in Miramar?"

Nope, I have taken up temporary residence in the suburb of Berhampore, a place I had little to no knowledge of. For instance hands-up who could draw Berhampore on a map of Wellington, where does it start, where does it end, what's in it?

It is surrounded by the suburbs of Vogeltown (where?), Newtown, Melrose (huh?), Island Bay, Kingston (what the?), and Mornington (Crescent, I win!).

Ok, so we all know where Newtown is, likewise Island Bay, but those others are just made up places, surely.

Here ya go:
Wellington suburb of Berhampore circled on a map
Now, we all know our own suburbs. You can name the shortcuts, where the rich live, when to leave to get to the shops before they shut, what number buses to use.

You can name the suburbs you travel through to get to work / university / the shops.

We all claim to be proud Wellingtonians. 

But really, how much do you actually know about other suburbs, ones you've no business driving through. Those places you visit once in a blue moon coz ya mate and his new family moved out to Mornington (if that truly exists). Suburbs like Karori that you know is big, and is *waves hands* over that way somewhere.

I have been in Berhampore since the start of the year, ensconced with a local Berhamporian who can't imagine living anywhere else, totally loves it, brought up the kids here, and wouldn't move unless you put a bomb under them. Or bought them a house somewhere else.

Seen through their eyes I have come to appreciate this suburb differently than I would have if you'd asked me a year ago.

Berhampore is not just houses, a couple of main streets, and a quick jaunt to the big smoke (Newtown or Island Bay depending upon which way you head).

There's the communities, the comfortable and middle class. They seem to be, mostly, left leaning, government workers, environmentally conscientious peeps. There's the poor, the hard working, politically bored, service and retail workers. 

There's a lot of families, inside homes that range from rough and ragged, to big and sparkling. Most people live in townhouses that have quite a few decades under their wooden belts.

If there is a heart to Berhampore, and I'm not sure it does have one in the "city centre" sense then it's around the award winning Sprig & Fern, Baker Gramercy, and Baron Hasselhoff's being the most notable of the shops. A couple of dairies exist, but that's about it really.

Berhampore is a place to live, to go home to after a day's working, a suburb that doesn't want all action and fast pace. Families grow up here, men are in beer clubs, and women invite mates over for pie night.

This is a place to be, to gossip about work, the Government, the house prices, but most of all to forget about the big bad world out there, shut the front door and be with the loved ones.

It's also a LOT bigger than you think AND has the gun club, a vibrant hockey stadium, and Mount Albert Park with dog walks and views.


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