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By Martyn• 15 Sep 2016
When I first met Reema Alfouir, she was a freelance fashion writer with thread.co.nz and a sometimes photo shoot stylist. These days, Reema divides her time between studying towards a Bachelor of Communications at Massey University and a painting and drawing based arts practice focused around exploring the female form through expressionism and abstraction. Friendly and thoughtful, she's one of those characters you somehow end up talking with over coffee in the mornings around town. We talked to Reema about some of her favourite spots in Wellington for shopping, coffee, dinner, live music and inexpensive and interesting fun.
Word On The Street: When you need a strong cup of coffee to wake up in the morning, where do you go?
Reema Alfouir: If I am in the mood for philosophical conversations centered around existentialism and Taylor Swift then Customs Brew Bar, for sure. I also go to Memphis Belle; there is such a fun energy there. Lamasons' is another favourite, their coffee is always perfect.
If you had a friend in town who wanted to go shopping, where would you take them?
I love ENA, my best clothing purchases this year have been from there. I also hit up The Service Depot, Good As Gold, Recycle Boutique and Emporium. My shoes are always from Ultra. For skincare products we would go to The Wellington Apothecary, the practitioners there are incredibly helpful.
It's Friday night, and you need to take a few friends out for drinks and dinner, where do you go?
Probably Five Boroughs, I go there a lot and get the burger and loaded fries -every time. The Bresolin is another one that I love, and again, I always get their burgers. Both of these places have other great food on the menu, but I find it hard to venture outside of my basic burger gal bubble - this is not necessarily a negative thing. We would probably finish the evening off at the Matterhorn; I love the vibrant yet mellow vibe there.
You're feeling a bit flat and looking for a sweet treat, where do you go?
Sweet bakery in Karori (and apparently soon to be on Cuba Street) their Nutella brownie sandwiches are the answer to all my dessert fantasies. I recently had the deep fried Oreos at Five Boroughs which were insane. I'm also always up for cake at Fidels.
Best public park or outdoor area to hang out in on a sunny day?
On sunny days I love zenning out somewhere along the waterfront. It's great for people watching too.
You're short on cash and want to do something fun in Wellington, best free activities?
I love gallery hopping; there are so many good galleries in Wellington, such as Bowen Galleries, Enjoy, and the City Gallery.
You want to take some friends out to see some live music or DJs, where do you go?
It would depend on what gigs were on. However, if it were an impromptu thing, it would probably be Meow. I always have a good time there no matter who's playing.
What's your favourite bookshop? And what's your favourite section of the public library?
I like Arty Bees as it provides me with that sentimental little narrative of stumbling across 'that perfect book'. When I am a woman on a mission Unity Books tends to have what I want. My favourite section at the public library is the art section I always end up stuck there.
What's the best street to hang out on in Wellington if you wanna see something zany (and what zany things have you seen there?)
Zany! I should say the bucket the Cuba Street bucket fountain or something right? I suppose seeing people climbing on top of the bucket fountain is always quite zany. Otherwise, go to some random cafe in Lambton Quay and listen in on people trying to sound enthusiastic in those mundane business lunches - not necessarily zany but equally fascinating.
Martyn Pepperell talks to Bicycle Junction's Catarina Gutierrez about her favourite things to see and do around Wellington.