My Wellington: A “warm and intimate” city

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Ruth McIntyre, owner of the children's bookstore in Kilbirnie, is withdrawing from the <a class=book trade.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

KEVIN STENT / stuff

Ruth McIntyre, owner of the children’s bookstore in Kilbirnie, is withdrawing from the book trade.

Ruth McIntyre and her late husband John opened The Children’s Bookshop in 1992. It was John’s dream to do something exciting and positive with the new life he received from a kidney transplant this January. Ruth and her dedicated staff have been running the bookstore since John’s death in June 2017. But now it is time to enjoy a more leisurely life, spend more time with family and friends, and read some adult books.

What does it mean to be a Wellingtonian?

Kind of like coming home. I was born here but left when I was 3 and lived in different rural parts of the country. When John and I returned from the UK in the early 1980s, we found work, settled down, started our family, and started the bookstore in 1992. That bound us with the city for the next 29 years.

I live here because …

Many of my family and friends are here, and our business was born and prospered here. The city center can also be reached quickly and everything you need for daily life is not far away.

We may not have great weather, but we have …

Some wonderful cafes, shops, cultural institutions and a lovely waterfront.

CONTINUE READING:
* My Wellington: A city full of creativity and a “good mix of people”
* My Wellington: The Basin, the Bank and a test game to watch
* Wellington art galleries will be closed this summer
* A life story: John McIntyre

Ruth McIntyre says Wellington has a fantastic number of high quality indie bookstores for its size.

KEVIN STENT / stuff

Ruth McIntyre says Wellington has a fantastic number of high quality indie bookstores for its size.

Where is the best place to swim?

Searing Bay.

Where is your favorite place to admire art?

I enjoyed exhibitions at Te Papa, City Gallery and Pātaka. As a former journalist, I also loved the World Press Photo exhibitions that used to be held in Shed 6.

The best food in the region is….

Too many favorites, but the twice-baked cheese souffle at Elements in Lyall Bay and the chicken sambal at Kanama Kopi Kadai in Kilbirnie are both delicious.

The twice-baked cheese soufflé at Lyall Bay's Elements is one of Ruth McIntyre's favorite dishes.

KEVIN STENT / stuff

The twice-baked cheese soufflé at Lyall Bay’s Elements is one of Ruth McIntyre’s favorite dishes.

What’s the best festival in town?

World of wearable art.

What is your ideal evening in Wellington?

Dinner with family or friends at Restaurant 88 in Tory St.

The perfect Saturday morning in town is …

I’ve been working in the bookstore on Saturdays for over 20 years, so a leisurely brunch at the Gypsy Kitchen in Strathmore would be a welcome treat. I hope the Saturday grocery markets are still open as I now have time to visit.

Gypsy Kitchen in Strathmore, pictured here in 2011, is part of Ruth McIntyre's perfect Saturday in Wellington.

EMMA ALLEN / stuff

Gypsy Kitchen in Strathmore, pictured here in 2011, is part of Ruth McIntyre’s perfect Saturday in Wellington.

My guilty pleasure in town is to …

A film during the day, just before work. I haven’t done that for a while though, so I’m looking forward to seeing more films on my half board.

In which part of town are you most at home?

Kilbirnie, where the bookstore is. But I will now broaden my horizons and explore other parts of our beautiful city.

Not many people know about Wellington, but …

It has a fantastic number of high quality indie bookstores for its size.

The number of bookstores in Wellington is one of Ruth McIntyre's favorite features.

Jericho rock bow / stuff

The number of bookstores in Wellington is one of Ruth McIntyre’s favorite features.

What is Wellington’s best quality?

Its compactness – which gives the city a warm and intimate atmosphere.

What is your greatest hope for this city?

I think Wellington’s inner-city layout could lend itself to more traffic-free areas, with a mix of shops, lawns, and outdoor seating for people to meet. I would like to see a film museum that covers all of our film history, but first we should fix the chronic condition of the water pipe system.


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